Cindy Davis’ legacy to be honored at Turnage Theatre

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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The legacy Cindy Davis left on the Washington community will be memorialized on Friday, June 14 at the Turnage Theatre with an unveiling of a plaque. 

“Cindy really did make a difference,” her husband, Luther Davis, said. “She made a difference wherever she was.” 

Davis was generous with her time, energy and kindness as she volunteered in her three sons’ schools, serving as PTA president for several years, lead a successful effort to deliver the county water system to the Magnolia Shores community where she once lived, served her church – First Baptist Church in Washington – and assisted with an initiative to reopen the Turnage Theatre in 2007.

The Turnage Theatre sat vacant from 1979 to 1996. In 1996, a group of likeminded people, Davis included, formed a committee to raise millions of dollars to painstakingly restore the historic theatre for the following 11 years. It became a performing arts center that showed movies as well. 

Luther described his late wife as a “people person.” 

“She really loved people, and people really loved her,” he said. 

He shared that people would joke with Davis saying they wouldn’t give her any more money for the Turnage Theatre and if they saw her, they would cross the street. They knew she’d ask for a donation. Luther said she would laugh, because she knew it was true. 

In December of 2012 the early-20th century theatre closed again due to financial difficulties after an economic downturn in 2008 combined with large mortgage payments. Ten months later the theatre was purchased by the nonprofit, Beaufort County Arts Council for $250,000, according to articles published by the Daily News. 

Davis also dedicated much of her time volunteering in what was called the Oncology Clinic at Beaufort County Hospital. Today, it is better known as the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center, a Facility of ECU Health Medical Center that is near ECU Health Beaufort Hospital in Washington. She began volunteering after her first bout with cancer. 

In June of 2021, Davis passed away at the age of 80 at her home in Greenville.