Remembering Nicholas: Grieving father creates statue to honor late son
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The pain of loss has inspired a South Mississippi father to build an impressive monument to his son.
It has taken Stephen Davis of Gulfport two years to complete the monument that captures everything his son was.
Nicholas Scott Davis passed away on June 10, 2019, at the age of 27.
As was typical of his nature, Nicholas was trying to help his father with some renovations at his house in Gulfport. That good intention turned tragic when he was electrocuted.
“He left us way too early. He died a little more than two-and-a-half years ago on June 10,” Stephen Davis said. “It was an unfortunate accident, but it’s very, very important to check the breaker.”
Nicholas attended Gulfport High, where he played in the band with one of his two sisters. He was on the swim team and enjoyed karate, Pokemon and other video games.
“You name it, he just loved being around people and his friends,” Stephen said with a smile as he remembered his son.
Fishing was Nicholas’ favorite pastime and is represented in the monument, along with other things that the 27-year-old loved.
“He was a very, very special young man with God in his heart,” said Stephen. “He tried to spread the word of God around quite a bit with all of his friends and everything, try to bring them in that direction. He had struggles, he had issues like everybody does.”
Before he became a truck driver, Nicholas worked with his father for a couple of years at Newman Lumber. Stephen now drives the forklift that his son once drove. Those years together are now precious to his father.
“I just wanted people to remember him,” said Stephen.
The story of Nicholas’ life is told, in part, through the loving and detailed craftsmanship of the sculpture made by his father. In addition to a likeness of the 27-year-old, the sculpture is filled with things that mattered most to him, as well as parting words from each of his parents.
“From the moment God blessed me with you as my son, my heart was forever changed. Love, Momma,” reads the inscription from Nicholas’ mom.
“The hands that held you your first day and your last make this gift for you until I can hold you again. Love, Dad,” reads the inscription from his father.
Stephen first made the monument from clay, then cast it in fiberglass-reinforced concrete.
“This is going to be on the side of a hill where people coming down the highway are going to see a little glimmer of something and, hopefully, a few people will stop in and take a few minutes to remember my son,” Stephen said.
Stephen had hoped to get the monument in place in time for Nicholas’ 30th birthday, which was the day after Thanksgiving. He wasn’t quite able to make that deadline, but soon the tribute will be in place where Nicholas is buried in Rulo, Nebraska.
“I’m crating it up now for a professional monument company to put it into place so it’s all as good as it can be, and then I’ll go up there and sing him happy birthday,” Stephen said.
The photograph of Nicholas on the monument is embedded into a special porcelain that does not fade. The image is expected to last 100 years.
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