Arrie Wilson Davis, former Associate Judge of the Court of Special Appeals (now the Appellate Court of Maryland), 6th Appellate Circuit (Baltimore City) passed away on November 27, 2023, at the age of 83.
Born in Baltimore on July 21, 1940, Judge Davis graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in 1957, after which he enrolled at the University of Maryland with the aim of pursuing a career in medicine. His focus soon changed, and he went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts from Morgan State College in 1963, a Master of Arts from New York University in 1966, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1969.
Judge Davis was a trailblazer, being one of the five African Americans admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1969. Throughout his career, he served the state of Maryland in various capacities. He was a Baltimore City assistant state’s attorney, an assistant attorney general in the Maryland Attorney General’s office, and represented the Maryland Division of Corrections. His dedication to the legal profession extended beyond the courtroom, as he taught paralegal studies at Morgan State University (now Stevenson University). Judge Davis was also an MSBA member and a Bar Foundation Fellow, as well as a member of the Baltimore City, Monumental City, J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Associations, and the Harry A. Cole Judicial Council.
In 1981, Governor Harry R. Hughes appointed him as an associate judge for the District Court of Maryland, District 1, in Baltimore City. He was then named to the Baltimore City Circuit Court before being appointed as an associate judge for the Court of Special Appeals (now the Appellate Court of Maryland), Maryland’s second-highest court, by Governor William Donald Schaefer. After retiring in 2010, Judge Davis continued to serve as a retired judge, specially assigned until 2017.
Judge Davis’s dear friend and former Chief Judge of the Maryland Supreme Court, Robert Mack Bell, attested that “He was a mentor and friend to generations of attorneys and judges.” Judge Stuart R. Berger of the Appellate Court remembered him as “the epitome of civility” and a “kind and lovely man” who approached his judicial responsibilities with a deep reverence for the law.
Judge Davis is survived by his wife of 59 years, Joan Queen Davis, two daughters, Joanne Davis and Aria Davis Crump, son-in-law Regan Crump, granddaughter Noelle Crump, sister Ramona Davis Hamilton, and his close friend, Judge Robert M. Bell.