One veteran, Dale Robinson of Carroll County, called the center a “tribute” to Trinka Davis’ life.
Davis born in Akron, Ohio in 1933. Her father, Poncet Davis, was a Meridian, Miss., native and her mother, Katharine “Kay” Davis was from Birmingham, Ala.
Poncet Davis worked as a broker with various southern textile firms doing business with Akron rubber companies. In 1941, he bought a rubber company of his own, Robbins Tire and Rubber Co. in Tuscumbia, Ala. He eventually bought another rubber manufacturing firm in Bowdon, Textile Sales Co., which later became Trintex.
Trinka Davis graduated from Mt. Vernon Seminary, a women’s boarding school in Washington, D.C., in 1951 and later attended Briarcliff College in Westchester County, N.Y.
By the 1960s, Davis had made her permanent home in New York City, where she worked as a representative for Robbins Tire and Rubber Co.
When her father died in 1975, Davis inherited Textile Sales in Bowdon. She chose to engage wholeheartedly in the business, traveling from New York to spend time at the manufacturing plant. She chose Kirk Dortch, a local resident, as president of Trintex and Fred Kelley as her financial advisor.
“She was very, very active in her work with the plant,” said Ima Gravitt, who worked with the company 43 years, retiring as executive vice-president in 1996. “She was good to her employees and really believed in them.”
On Oct. 13, 1978, the Textile Sales plant was destroyed by fire. Davis rebuilt the plant, saving 300 local jobs. She also built a modest house on the corner of the manufacturing yard so she could stay onsite during business visits. She formed Intertex World Resources, an international synthetic rubber brokerage business.
“It was her determination to be back in business as soon as possible,” Gravitt said. “We were back making tires within six weeks, but we had to farm some of the plastic items out.”
Davis eventually sold the manufacturing arm of the business to Carlisle Companies Inc. in July, 2004, but stayed on to run the company. Before her death on Aug. 17, 2006, she entered into a contract with long-term key employees so they would acquire the brokerage business upon her death.
Davis had visited Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a child and was touched by the sacrifices of American service members. She formed the Trinka Davis Foundation to honor and serve veterans in West Georgia. After her untimely death, the foundation board was left with her vision to carry out that mission.
The board learned that West Georgia veterans had to travel to Atlanta for medical care and that a community-based clinic would give them access to high-quality care, closer to home. The facility would also have a community living center for veterans requiring long-term care.
The foundation enlisted the help of Peacock Partnership, an Atlanta architecture firm specializing in healthcare design. R. K. Redding, was chosen as the construction company.
Construction was completed in the summer of 2012 and the building was donated by the Trinka Davis Foundation to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on Aug. 16. The hospital opened Monday, with a ribbon cutting and dedication service set at 1 p.m. today.
“It was her desire to help the veterans and their families here,” said Gravitt. “This center is her dream come true.”
A large crowd is expected today for a 1 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for the new $17 million Trinka Davis Veterans Village in Carrollton.
The center’s outpatient clinic has been open since Monday and the community living center is due to open in the near future.
The center is located at 180 Martin Drive, Carrollton, just off Bankhead Highway, near Kmart.
The keynote speaker for today’s ceremony will be the Under Secretary for Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Robert A. Petzel. Pete Wheeler, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Veteran Services, will lead the pledge.
Other events on the agenda include a presentation of colors by the Carrollton High School color guard and a rifle demonstration by the Carrollton High rifle team.
“After the ceremonies, people will have an opportunity to tour the new facilities and a reception will follow,” said VA Public Affairs Officer Greg Kendall.
The 73,900-square-foot center was built from funds from the foundation established by the late Katharine “Trinka” Davis, a Carroll County business leader who wanted to provide assistance to veterans.
Outpatient services offered in the 25,000-square-foot clinic include primary care, home based primary care, mental health, physical and occupational therapy, vision, dental, podiatry (foot medicine), audiology and other specialties from visiting medical specialists and tele-medicine through the latest technology in video teleconferencing, according to Bruton.
The 42-bed, 48,000-square-foot community living center, which is due to open in the near future, will provide veterans needing inpatient rehabilitation with private rooms in a home-like atmosphere, including kitchen, laundry areas, fitness room, celebration room and courtyard areas.
Patients wanting to sign up for VA services or needing information, can visit the clinic on weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The phone number at the Carrollton center to call for information is 404-321-6111, extension 2656 or 2657.
— Some information for the story from “Trinka Davis: Southern by Choice,” a book published by the Trinka Davis Foundation.