SPENCER - An Air Force staff sergeant who died earlier this week at his off-base home in Alaska will be brought back to Roane County for burial this weekend.
Staff Sgt. Samuel B. Davis, 33, was pronounced dead at his home early on Feb. 23, apparently due to complications from back surgery, according to his parents, Ravenswood resident Mary Davis and Brandon, Miss., resident Fred Davis.
The Associated Press reports Anchorage police and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations are looking into the death, but a police spokeswoman said nothing seems suspicious and no foul play is suspected.
Davis was born in Ripley and spent a great deal of time in Spencer, where his mother and her family are from, Mary Davis said.
"He was just a good guy," she said Thursday. "He was really funny and had a good sense of humor. ... I can't say enough good things about him."
His body is being flown into Charleston Saturday night and will be brought to Spencer for Sunday's funeral, scheduled for 1 p.m. at the John H. Taylor Funeral Home.
According to his obituary, Samuel Davis enlisted in the Air Force in 2001 and served nearly nine years as a crew chief with the 509th Maintenance Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Noster, Mo., where the stealth bomber is based.
In November 2011, he was reassigned to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, where he worked as an aerospace maintenance craftsman with the 703rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.
"Samuel was in the Air Force 13 years and wanted to make a career out of it," said his father, Fred Davis, who is retired from the U.S. Army. "He loved the Air Force."
Fred Davis said he was glad to see his son follow him in military service.
"In the Army as an officer, you want to lead by example," he said.
Samuel Davis graduated from Dutchfork High School in Irmo, S.C. The family moved around some due to his father's career in the military, but Mary Davis said she and Samuel returned to the local area when the couple separated.
Although her son was stationed in Alaska, Mary Davis said they were in regular contact.
"We talked almost every day. It's good memories," she said. "I just thank the Lord He gave him to me as long as He did."
She said her son made friends easily. Fred Davis said he was told a memorial service for Samuel at the base in Alaska "was a packed house."
In addition to his parents, Samuel Davis is survived by his wife, Robbin Davis; sons Luke Garhett Davis and Kolton and Nicklas Borchers of Marshall, Mo.; one brother; a grandmother; and multiple aunts, uncles and cousins.
Family will receive visitors from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home prior to the service. Burial will follow with full military honors at Clover Cemetery in Spencer.
The AP notes Davis' is the fourth serviceman from the base found dead this month.