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My father was born at home in Yadkin County, North Carolina on March 11, 1913.  Where his father farmed, raising primarily tobacco.  When father was two years his parents decided to relocate their family of six to IA where farming was more rewarding and the schools better.  They moved in with relatives  in Union, Iowa until they located a nearby farm to rent.  The farm had a very large house, which unfortunately was destroyed by fire in February 1917.  The family lost all of their belongings as well as the coming year’s seed corn.  The family lived in a temporary storage building while farming in 1917.  In November 1917, when dad was not yet five years old his parents decided to return to North Carolina.  In January 1919 the family decided to return to Iowa once again.  My father accompanied his father, older sister Safrona and older brother Howard on the return to Iowa.  Father’s mother, two sisters and one brother stayed in North Carolina until dad’s brother Thomas was born.  Two months after Thomas’ birth the five of them traveled to Iowa to rejoin the family.

My father began school in September 1920 at a country school south of Union, Iowa.  The family moved several times with dad and his brothers and sisters attending various country schools.  In 1923 the family moved to near Clemons,  Iowa where the family attended and most of them graduated from Clemons High School.  Father contracted osteomyelitis in about 1931 which required several months of hospitalization at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.  Because he lost so much of his school year, he dropped out of high school upon recovery from his surgery.  He located a job as a hired man working on a farm directly across the road from where mom lived with her parents on the then Ware family farm. 


My mother was born on December 23, 1912 probably in their home on the Marshalltown family farm.  She was raised primarily on the family farm except for her first five years, when her family lived in Marshalltown and her father worked as a carpenter.  That was the time of WW I but I am not aware of any of her relatives being in the military service at that time nor that being the reason the family moved to Marshalltown.  Also, we don’t know who farmed the home place between 1913 and 1918. 


My mother attended school the nearby one-room country school enrolling in the fall of 1918 and completed her first eight years there, most likely walking  to school as soon as she was old enough to walk the ¼ mile to school and to return to home. She then attended Marshalltown Senior High School for her next four years graduating in 1931.  My mother probably lived with family or friends in Marshalltown while attending school there, maybe even working for the party where she stayed or part-time in a local store.  Upon graduating from high school, mom enrolled at William Penn University from where her older brother and older sister had recently graduated.  She however, transferred to Iowa State Teachers College in  Cedar Falls, Iowa where she earned a two-year elementary teaching certificate in 1933.  My mother was then employed as the teacher at the Hurricane #5 country school close to the family farm.  She lived at home while teaching there.  

My father and mother met, dated,  fell in love and married on August 31, 1934.  However, since my mother’s employment as a primary grades teacher required her to be unwed, she and he kept their wedding a secret.  They lived apart for that school year.  Because, I was to be born in August 1935, mother did not renew her teaching contract upon the competition of that school year.  My father was then employed as a hired man near Marshalltown so my parents moved into a local rental for the first year of  my life.   My parents then moved in with her parents in the spring of 1936 as dad and mom began renting the Ware Family Farm at that time.

My mother died in the Methodist Hospital, Des Moines, IA of cardiac failure on December 15, 1988.  My father died June 18, 1996 in his home of prostate cancer which metastasized into his bones. They are both buried in the family plot of the Hartland, IA cemetery.








Witten by themselves, other than Bob and Nancy’s which were written by their spouses,

children and/or brother Jim


Gerald Robert (Bob) Davis (December 15, 1936 – October 9, 2013)


Bob was born December 15, 1936 at the Deaconess  Hospital  in Marshalltown, IA.  He was just 16 months younger than Jim.  They grew up together sharing toys, playmates and events.  Bob began helping Jim with chores as soon as he was able during those early years.  Bob started school two years later than Jim, as one needed to be five years old to begin school.  Bob and Jim walked to and from school together.  As his older brother, Jim looked after him.  Bob occasionally needed help with his studies and Jim was there for him. As he was able, Bob accepted more responsibility for the chores, field work and other farm tasks.  He was a good worker and eager to learn.    As Jim accepted more responsibility and more difficult assignments, Bob would take over some of my jobs. 


When, Jim’s pony Rusty, foal of Beauty, was ready to ride, Bob was about seven years old.   He became Beauty’s primary rider and care giver.  He,  our sisters and our guests, would ride Beauty around the farm.    Bob, also participated in both the LaMoille basketball and baseball teams.  His athletic skills were probably about average as were the rest of his team-mates. In as much as the school district his family lived in was considered “an independent district” his parents could send their children to any school in IA without an additional cost.  Bob and his younger siblings decided along with their parents to attend the Clemons Consolidated School located about ten miles northwest of his home beginning in the fall of 1952.  Bob graduated in 1954 from Clemons.  Bob enrolled in Iowa State College – now ISU – for the fall 1954 term.  He rented an apartment in a nearby private residence and chose Farm Operations as a possible major.   Jim was enrolled in engineering and living in the Acacia Fraternity at that time.   Bob and Jim socialized and kept in touch with each other.  Jim offered to help him with his studies whenever he needed some help. 


However, college did not work for Bob.  At the end of the first quarter, he decided to drop out of ISU and to enlist in the Army-actually  he volunteered for the draft.  This was  during the Korean War.  He was sent to basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO.   After basic training, Bob chose the Army Airborne and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  Bob, enjoyed a week of leave between his basic training and reporting to Fort Campbell.  While training for the paratroops, Bob made his first parachute jump.  He then decided that “paratrooping” was not something he wanted to do after all.   He was able to transfer to the Military Police (MP) at Fort Campbell.  He enjoyed the MP and completed his two year tour as a MP.

Bob and Vieve Galloway were married in the LaMoille Methodist Church on July 21, 1955.   Jim was honored to be Bob’s best man.  Bob and Vieve returned to Fort Campbell for the completion of Bob’s enlistment. Bob and Vieve’s first child, Kindra was  born November  27, 1956.  They were not able to return to Iowa for Christmas 1957.  However, Jim would finish his USMC Basic School assignment in Quantico, Virginia in February 1957 and would be driving from Virginia to his next duty station in California with a planned several day stop in Iowa to see our parents.   Since none of Kindra’s four grandparents had met Kindra, Bob arranged for Jim to drive to Ft. Campbell on his way from Virginia to Iowa and to have Vieve and Kindra accompany Jim on to Iowa.  Kindra was the Davis grandparents first grandchild.  After Vieve and Kindra’s visit to Iowa, Bob’s mom and dad drove them back to Ft. Campbell where they lived until Bob’s two year tour was completed. 


Bob, Vieve and Kindra returned to Iowa and began farming a rented,  farm just north of Hartland, IA.  Kraig was born June 29, 1958.  Bob and Vieve rented several central Iowa farms the following twenty three years.  Their family grew to four with two daughters, Kindra born on June 29, 1958 and  Kyla  born on November 17, 1959 and a son,  Keith who was born on June 27, 1963.  Bob, Vieve and family spent most of their time on a large farm immediately west of Nevada, IA where all four of their children graduated from Nevada schools.


Kindra married Barry Jones on July 21, 1978 in the Methodist church in Nevada.   Barry was employed at the Heart of Iowa grain elevator in Nevada.   Kindra and Barry had two daughters, Amber born July 19, 1981 and Ashley born September 20, 1982.  Amber had a son, Kaine born February 13, 2007.  Amber married Jim Albright on March 21, 2017.   On February 12, 2020 Amber delivered a baby girl, Lillian Vieve - appropriately named for her grandmother.


On May 14, 1983 I was visiting Bob for a few days at their home in Nevada and attending meetings at ISU.   On that Sunday morning Bob learned that Kindra had been in an auto accident earlier that morning and was in Mary Greely Hospital.  Bob and I rushed to the hospital.  Her husband, Barry was there.  Amber and Ashley fortunately were not in the car at the time of the accident.  They were safely asleep with their grandparents, at Bob and Vieve’s house.


As  the result of severe spinal injuries from the accident, Kindra lost the use of her legs and has been confined to a wheel chair ever since.  She is blessed with a wonderful personality and has accepted her fate with dignity, bravery and perseverance.  She found part-time employment at the Nevada School system.  She is reasonably mobile with her auto and powered wheel chair which she graduated to in 2018.  Barry, worked his entire career as an employee of KeyCoop.   He was a valued employee and is frequently called back to work as a temporary employee. They are retired and continue living in Nevada.  Kraig attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical School in Prescott, AZ for two years but then left that  and began working  for Honeywell  in Mesa, AZ. 


Kraig was married to Tomiko April 2, 1988 at the Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, Arizona.   Kraig and Tomiko had two children, Lauren, born on October 13, 1991 and Austin born on August 21, 1993. Kraig and Tomiko were divorced in 2011.  Kraig worked his entire career in the aeronautical manufacturing field, always in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area. He is now retired and living in Phoenix. Kyla attended Patricia Stevens Business College, Omaha, NE from September 1978 to May 1980.  She was then employed  by a small engineering firm in Omaha.. She subsequently made her career as a nanny caring for young ones - as they are the delight of her life – many of those years were in greater Boston, MA and for the past eight years in the Des Moines area.  She owns a home in nearby Ankeny, IA. Keith married Denise Holzmer on August 30, 1986 in the Nevada Methodist Church.  Keith completed two years of DMACC (Des Moines Area Community College) was employed by Grainger in Des Moines for 13 years.  He then moved to a nearby ethanol plant as the maintenance manager of the newly constructed  plant.  Keith left that  position in 2011 and is now a Field Service Representive with Danfoss. Denise has worked her entire adult life, as a cosmetologist, a real estate agent and currently as the office manager/receptionist/chief honcho/”Greeter” for the Iowa State University  Foundation in Ames.  They built a home adjacent to Bob’s home in Nevada.  Keith and Denise have two sons, Zachary, born June 10, 1989 and Kolin, born July 23, 1991.  Zachary  married Logan Pejsha on October 17, 2015.  They have three children:  Jax, born September 6, 2014, Tatum, born September 8, 2017 and Ryan, born February 27, 2019.  They now own and live in their grandfather “Bob’s” house adjacent to Zachary’s parents. Kolin married Morgan Shickell  on September 16, 2017.  They have a daughter, Grace, born August 31, 2020.   They reside in Cedar Rapids, IA.


Bob and Vieve were divorced in 1987. Bob married Janice Heiberger on December 28, 1988 at the Marshalltown Methodist church.  Unfortunately, while returning from a visit to Des Moines on June 15, 1989 they were in an auto accident when an on-coming driver veered into their lane and hit the right side of Bob’s car killing Janice outright.  Bob “retired” from farming in 1981.  He built a new home on old Route 30 about one mile east of Nevada.  He drove a school bus for the Nevada school system for many years after that..   Bob built a “ware” home (a combination three bay, high clearance, oversized garage with a single level approximate 1000 square feet  attached wing) which he finished off as comfortable living quarters located about one-half mile south of Nevada on Farmland that he owned.  He subsequently sold a two acre contiguous parcel to his son Keith and Keith’s wife Denise  on which they built their lovely residence.


In October 2013., I was visiting Bob at his home and reconnecting with family and ISU Chemical Engineering Department, while staying with Bob.  Francine drove to Bob’s place from Minneapolis on Saturday morning October 5th.  The three of us drove in Bob’s car to Oskaloosa, Iowa to attend a William Penn University (WPU) awards ceremony.  The ceremony among other things included the recognition of the Howard and Emma Ware family – mother’s father and mother - with the WPU Torch Award.  We spent the evening and the following morning in Oskaloosa and drove back to Bob’s home about noon on Sunday.  Fran and I said our good byes to Bob and headed to Minneapolis early that afternoon. 


Later that afternoon, Bob decided to do some work in one of his buildings across the road that he had built and  rented as storage space to individuals who need to store their boat, extra car or whatever for the  winter.  He had arranged to meet one of his renters there that afternoon.  While waiting  for his renter, Bob decided to replace a burned out light bulb that was about 12 feet above the concrete floor.  As he descended the ladder, after replacing the lightbulb,  his foot missed a rung and he fell to the floor, hitting his head. He lost consciousness.  He recovered consciousness, sat on a bench for a bit and called Denise, his daughter-in-law who lived across the street.  Denise rushed over to see him.   He told Denise he had only fallen from the second rung of the ladder and was OK.  Never-the-less, Denise wisely said no we are going to the emergency room in Nevada – about 2 miles  away.  Preliminary evaluations concluded that Bob had a blood vessel(s) broken in his brain and he needed more care than could be provided by that medical care facility.  They transferred him to the Mercy hospital in Des Moines.  They asked Bob if he wanted to go by air flight or by ambulance.  The medical team evaluating him apparently did not impress on him the need to go by air, so he chose to go by ambulance which was only minutes longer than the air flight, but significantly less expensive.  During the 30 minute ambulance ride, Bob lost consciousness  and never recovered it.  


Bob was kept in the hospital for a day and then transferred to a hospice facility in Ames, as the  decision was made that surgery, the only possible remedy, was ill-advised.  Bob lasted three more days with family in continual presence.  He died  peacefully, with family by him on October 9, 2013. Bob was buried at the Rose Hill  cemetery located on the south east outskirts of Marshalltown.   The internment attended only by family was favored by rifle Honor Guard salute, from Harry C Harter VFW Post 839,  arranged by brother Dick Davis.


By daughters Kindra and Kyla and by brother Jim



Beverly JoAnn (Davis) Everist (July 16, 1938 -            )


In July of 1938 I was born into a marvelous family.  It was at that time Mother and Daddy  (always called them that) and 2 brothers, James Howard and Gerald Robert.  Both had nick names of Jimmy and Bobby and as the years went by I had my own names for them. Jimmy  was almost 3 and Bobby was going to be 2 in December. According to Mother and Aunt Bea I had 2 brothers that wanted to help take care of me all the time.  I was healthy and have great memories of the life on the farm!!  We lived in the same house all of my growing up years, 2 story with the 4 bed rooms upstairs and the one down stairs.  I was lucky enough to have my own room for a while.  More will be added later.


We had a country school house that we attended and then bussed to LaMoille where I went thru my sophomore year of high school and then to Clemons consolidated for my last 2 years of high school.   We had a country church which we attended every Sunday with both Sunday school and church.  Home-made ice cream socials were held frequently and they were such fond memories with the men all cranking the ice cream freezers until the electric powered freezers  came along.  And we had chicken burgers – something that no one seems to know about if they did not live in our part of the country!!


I was a 4 H member, both boys and girls clubs, more good memories of the boys club.  Daddy let us choose our project and mine was always a Hereford calf that we  had responsibility to raise, to feed and groom and to train them to be led.   It was a powerful project, teaching us many things from care of animals and how to manage the money when we sold the calves at the county fair.   A very tough part of this was leading the calf in the show ring on the final day of the fair where an auctioneer would be selling your loved calf.  I remember the auctioneer saying “IT WILL BE OKAY BLONDIE” as I was crying when I led calf in the ring. However, it was my money when the calf  was sold.  I put it the money in my college education fund. The girls 4 H was great also but most of us preferred the boys club because of the outdoors.  And it was such fun being at the fairgrounds, with all the activities during that week. 


School was great, had many friends thru all the activities, girls basketball, band, glee club etc.  Speaking of band, I played alto saxophone and that is when I met Allan.   He also played the alto sax and told me when I met him that I would never get First Chair as that was his and he was right, but I did get to have Second Chair.  We had great fun with all the extra-curricular activities. I strongly feel I had a good education.  I did well in school and know my parents were proud of my report cards!! I detasseled corn in the summers and worked for a Dr. in his home in Marshalltown helping with the children and their activities.  Thank goodness as this paid for my nurses education.  I graduated from the Iowa Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing in Des Moines, IA. This was a 3 year program with no summer breaks.  It was a good decision for me as Allan and I had been dating through  high school and he had one year of college left at Iowa State.  My choice was to be married 10 days after my graduation so I could get a job in Ames and help with Allan’s finances for his last year of education.  He was enrolled in Army ROTC and had a 2 year obligation in the service after his graduation, so this was our best plan.  I was fortunate to get a job at McFarland Clinic in Ames, rotating thru each department so that nurse could have a day off.  I managed the front desk on Saturdays and that is what real experience is all about, handling so many different problems.  A great beginning to my career and it was very rewarding.


Allan and I left for Fort Riley Kansas a few days after his graduation and commissioning.  What an adventure. He was instructor for the basic training of new recruits. We found a lovely apartment, moved in and because of a little problem stayed only one night.  The next day we moved a furnished duplex in Manhattan, KS (the opposite side of the base). It was a little frightening for me that first day, when on a walk to the nearby grocery store,  three soldiers grabbed my arms and pressured me to go home with them.  Hence, the very quick move.   The Manhattan apartment was within walking distance of Kansas State where I got a job immediately at the Student Health Center.  Another eye opening experience. We spent 3 months at Ft. Riley and then moved to Fort Lawton in Oklahoma where Allan spent the rest of his 2 year commitment.  Great friends were made there with whom we are still in touch. 


Upon completion of his service, Allan was hired by the Farm Credit Federal Land Bank and started his career in Iowa City, IA, a few days after our return from Oklahoma.   I was pregnant with our first child so I did not look for employment when we moved to Iowa City. Our son was born December 24, 1961.  Michael Allan was the prize and was born on the day he was due.  I am  sure he has not been late for anything since.  We had a great time with our new addition and we had church friends with whom we spent a lot of time with as they had a baby girl the same age as our Michael. 


We were soon transferred to Cedar Rapids, IA by The Federal Land Bank and loved it there.  We bought a house with a huge yard loaded with fruit trees and with plenty of room for the friends of Mikes that loved to be outside.  Frequently, the boys would not have time to come into the house for the bathroom and Mike explained to me it was okay because his “Grandad did the same in his field”!!!  What could I say?


We soon were saddened as our 2nd pregnancy, a baby girl we named Michelle Lynn, at one day-old was flown to Iowa City University Hospital.  When she was fed the first time they soon learned that found she had no connection from esophagus to the stomach. Additionally,  pneumonia immediately became a problem.  We lost her 8 days later.  The loss of Michelle was very traumatic for all of us.  


We got pregnant shortly thereafter and our 2nd baby girl, Jolinda Ann was born on August 3. 1966.  She was a healthy happy baby for which we were so thankful.  We had such fun in Cedar Rapids as it was a neighborhood with young children and with our large yard it seemed we always had the activity at our home.


Allan was soon promoted to the Farm Credit Bank central office in Omaha, NE where the kids both went to school at Prairie Lane and Westside High School.  Mike became interested in flying during high school and took private flying lessons. He had his private pilot’s license before he was 16 years old  Thus after high school graduation he was off to school at Embry Riddle Aeronautical in Prescott, AZ.  He began his career after graduation from Embry Riddle at Grand Canyon Charter Tours.  He also was a flying instructor at  the Las Vegas Airport.  I may not have the next few years exact but he had a jobs with Air Midwest, TWA - as the youngest pilot they had hired - and then with United Airlines, where he is now a Captain flying out of Denver, CO 


Jolinda was in 9th grade in Omaha, when Allan was a promoted to increased responsibility at the   Louisville, KY office of the Federal Land Bank.  Jolinda had just made the high school cheer leading group so was hard for her to be happy about the move. Regardless, we moved and she was an excellent student there as well.  Upon graduation, she enrolled in Indiana University in Bloomington Indiana.  She graduated in four years and then travelled to Florida with a couple student friends.  She was hired as a hotel guest desk attendant at the Hyatt Regency in Miami. Thus began her career with the hotel industry where she has done very well.  She has had jobs with a small boutique hotel on Miami Beach, then began with Omni Hotels in Texas, then Four Seasons in Texas and  now in Denver.  She also now has concurrent responsibility for the staffing of the Four Seasons Hotel in Nashville, TN which was under construction.  She will be Senior Director of Marketing there as well as Denver.  What an experience!!


Michael married Cindy Gunnels and they were proud parents of 2 girls, Alexandria   Elise born July 15, 1991 and Madison Ellen born June 11, 1994!  Even though Ali was born the day before my birthday I consider her the best gift I have ever received!!  Both girls have been a blessing!  Ali graduated from university of Colorado in Boulder and Madi from Ft Lewis College in Durango, CO!  Both girls have had great careers and made Allan and I feel very proud!  Ali was married to Jimmy Forsyth  on September 9, 2020. They both worked from home during the Covid outbreak  and  with that advantage they bought a house in Durango, CO and  have since made their home there!  They have had a baby girl (Olive James) on August 7 2022!  She was given Allan’s mother’s name Olive which has been such a blessing!  One of many given to me.  I am so thankful!


Mike and Cindy were divorced and Mike was married to Lizette Stuber December 27, 2011!  They are both United Airline captains and continue to make their home in Golden, CO!  Mike is a volunteer for Alpine Rescue and should write a book about his many experiences and years there!  Jolinda was married to David Cohavi and had their first child, Jaden Davis!  They were divorced when Jaden was an infant!   Jaden is a sophomore in Golden High School and did a year of virtual education while living in Nashville with his mother. They have moved back to Golden and Jaden is a sophomore at Golden High School!


We have been blessed with such wonderful children and grand-children.  They are in my daily prayers!


Allan and I had 62 years of marriage and many great experiences.  We both loved to travel and enjoyed  many driving trips in the United States and many cruises, using  several different cruise lines.  We did get  to do all that we wanted except for France which had to be cancelled.  Our travels with the family were the highlight of all.  We have been very fortunate and thank God every day for the life we have had.


I will end on a sad note, Allan died May 23 2021.  It was a peaceful death which one has to be thankful for.  Many of my friends are going thru the same and have been there for me.  It is a part of my life that I must think of all the great memories that I will always have.


By Beverly Everist



Nancy Eileen (Davis) McLemore  (December 18, 1940 – May 6, 2018)


Nancy was born December 18, 1940 at the Deaconess  Hospital  in Marshalltown, IA.   Being the fourth of soon to be six siblings, Nancy had both older and younger siblings to experience help from older siblings and taking care of younger siblings.  She started school in 1946 and attended our near-by country school house for one year.  She transferred to the LaMoille Consolidated School, joining brothers Jim and Bob and sister Beverly in 1947.  Nancy was a good student, she participated in both the LaMoille basketball teams.  Her athletic skills were about average as were the rest of her team mates.  As she was able, Nancy accepted more responsibility for duties in the house, helping mom and with the chores, field work and other farm tasks. She was a good worker and eager to learn.    As Bob and Beverly accepted more responsibility and more difficult assignments, Nancy would assume responsibility for their jobs. 


In as much as the school district in which her family lived was “an independent district” the parents living in that district could send their children to any school in IA without an additional cost.  Bob and his younger siblings decided along with their parents to attend the Clemons Consolidated School located about ten miles northwest of our home beginning with the fall of 1952.  Nancy graduated in 1958 from Clemons.  Nancy enrolled in Iowa State Teachers College (ISTC) in the fall 1958 term.  She lived in the girls dorm and chose primary education as a  major.   Nancy graduated from ISTC with a two year (four year?) degree and began teaching second grade in the Rochester, MN public school system.


In the fall of 1965, Nancy and her good friend and fellow Rochester teacher, Betty Cox, visited her older brother Jim and family, who  had moved to Minneapolis that summer.  During the visit Nancy and Betty became interested in following up on an advertisement in the local newspaper announcing plans to hire primary grade teachers for a military base located in the South Pacific on the Kwajalein Atoll.  In the process, Nancy was offered the job she wanted teaching second grade but Betty was not offered a job.  Nancy advised the employment company that she would not accept the job unless Betty was also employed by them on Kwajalein.  Betty was then offered employment and they both made plans to move from Rochester, MN to Kwajalein Island.


Kwajalein Island and is on the Kwajalein Atoll and is only three miles long and half a mile wide and was primarily occupied by U.S. military and defense operations, including recovering ICBM (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile) parts from the lagoon, a relatively shallow part of the Pacific Ocean.  Kwajalein Atoll is about 210 miles around the lagoon. The native population was Marshallese and fairly small.


On Kwajalein, Nancy met Neal McLemore, a “Rambling Wreck” from Georgia Tech, who was a civilian contractor working for Kentron Hawaii, Ltd.  Neal’s primary responsibility on Kwajalein was range operations.  Neal was three years older than Nancy and had two sons, Kevin, born April 19, 1958 and Shaun, born August 18, 1959 in a previous marriage, who were living with their mother in Sacramento, CA.  Nancy and Betty taught school on Kwajalein for four years and Betty for three years.  Neal and Nancy moved from Kwajalein to Huntsville, AL where Neal continued working for Kentron performing defense industry work.


Nancy introduced Neal to her family at a family reunion held at brother Jim’s place in Upper Arlington, OH in July 1968.  They were married in Marshalltown, IA at the Methodist church on September 7, 1968.  After a short honeymoon they returned to Huntsville, AL where Neal continued to work for Kentron.  Nancy began teaching second grade at Randolph Academy, a private school in Huntsville.  One of the students at the school at that time was Werner von Braun's son.


Neal, Colin and Nancy


On July 31, 1970 their son Colin was born.  Nancy taught school and Neal worked in Huntsville until the summer of 1972. Neal accepted a Kentron position on Kwajalein and the family of three moved back to the South Pacific for a six year assignment. Nancy again taught school on Kwajalein.


In 1978 Neal accepted a Kentron job as Site Manager for the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR) at Hill AFB, UT and the family moved to UT.  Again, Nancy taught primary school, this time in Kaysville, UT.  While living there Nancy and Neal hosted winter/Christmas/skiing Davis Family reunions in both 1978 and 1980.  These were great family reunions, piling into Nancy and Neal’s home, enjoying a big fire, sleeping on the floor and many of the family learning to ski.


Kentron then proposed that Neal transfer back to Kwajalein.  However, Neal accepted employment with Boeing in 1985 so the family moved to Kent, WA, where Neal engaged in a number of interesting assignments.  The most recent was in classified electronics work on Boeing’s 747 planes for military uses sold to international customers.   They purchased a lovely two story walkout ranch which had a large auxiliary building in which Neal immediately set up a large, heated garage where Neal and Colin rebuilt classic cars, trucks and handled other mechanical challenges. 


Colin graduated from Kent High School in 1988 and enrolled in Washington State University.  He majored in business and embarked on a successful entrepreneurial career by founding his own automotive related manufacturing and sales company, MACS TIEDOWNS.  Colin moved his business to Sand Point, ID.  Colin has twin sons, Cody and Jackson, born February 23, 2010.  Nancy, retired from teaching with the move to Washington and began a new career in real estate sales. 


Nancy was unfortunately challenged by cancer on three occasions. The first encounter was lymphatic cancer.  After two bouts of chemotherapy, she was eventually treated with a Monoclonal Antibody transplant in at University of Washington Hospital/Fred Hutchinson Institute.  This treatment was considered experimental at that time which required  Neal and Nancy to get special medical insurance coverage from Boeing’s medical benefits department.  The second cancer was breast cancer which required chemotherapy and radiation. This cancer returned in her leg after a year or so and broke her right femur.  This required  a rod to be inserted into her femur.  She fought this off and the cancer returned again and required another operation to remove it from her leg.  The third cancer was pancreatic in 2017.  Nancy fought this for a year.  Despite this  gallant last cancer fight Nancy, died of pancreatic cancer on May 6, 2018.


Nancy and Neal enjoyed their marriage and its  many adventures.  These included many scuba dives together in Kwajalein, and a wonderful vacation to Australia and New Zealand with Nancy’s parents, Ralph and Ruth joined them.  In Huntsville they hiked the Appalachian Trail.  While in Washington they enjoyed many wonderful times cruising on their boat on Puget Sound, San Juan Islands and the Gulf Islands in Canada.  They also pursued harvesting/trapping crabs during some of these cruises and eating these freshly caught treats that same evening. 


By husband Neal, son Colin and Jim Davis




Ralph Richard (Dick) Davis (December 29, 1942 -                  )


Dick was born December 29, 1942, 2:41 PM at the Deaconess Hospital in Marshalltown, IA. His Mom wrote, “I knew you would be a boy because you were born on a Tuesday.” Dad said, “The doctor charged me $ 45 for a delivery fee, but I had visited Ruth and the new baby and was leaving the hospital when he came in. Dick was the 5th child and the 3rd son. All living in the house that Ruth was born and raised in.


Chores were all part of farm life, and the complexity stayed the same as we kids grew into them. The Davis family had milk cows, chickens (both laying hens and butchers), hogs, feeder cattle, and every few years sheep, and the horse herd which numbered 23 at one time. The horses were the only animals that didn’t require daily care. We rode but not often or on a regular schedule. Sometimes we helped neighbors with cattle herds as we were the only horse holders in the community. When asked why he had the horses Dad often responded that he just liked to watch them run and play in the pasture.


The six siblings had the same home all through high school, but schools attended were Hurricane # 5, a single room building ¼ mile away {Mom was a Student, Teacher and Mother of Students}, Lamoille, 6 miles south of our home, Marshalltown High School (Jim went his senior year as he wanted chemistry – not available at Lamoille) Clemons, 9 miles NW of our home and State Center 13 miles SW of our home. Nobody was expelled!  After I graduated from Clemons and ranked # 4 of a class of 13 {All but one of which came to our 50th year High School reunion). At Clemons everybody did just about everything: baseball, basketball, band, chorus, and debate team.


I was presented my High School Diploma by the President of the School Board Ralph W. Davis who dropped out of CHS during his sophomore year because he lost so much of the year due to months spent in Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN recovering from massive surgery on his leg.


I enrolled at Iowa State University, selected Navy ROTC – every able male at land grant colleges had to take at least 2 years of ROTC. Soon after starting I found some of my NROTC shipmates were getting paid and having books, tuition provided. I asked oldest brother Jim why didn’t he tell me about this program? Well, you would have to serve TWO extra years of active duty! SO?



Annual Navy Ball celebrated by Judy and Dick 1964, Ames Iowa



I graduated from ISU on November 25, 1964, and the same day I was commissioned Ensign USN, and headed for NAS Pensacola FL for Pre-Flight Training. I completed Pre Flight (broken ankle) VT-1 {T-34}, Primary Flight, VT-2 {T-28}, and Intermediate Flight, then flew to Iowa for a weekend to marry Judith Jane Sawyer, my ISU Sweetheart. The wedding party included her sisters Tomi and Jo Ellen, my sisters Nancy and Jaynane and Brother Bob, Brother-in-Law Allan Everist and cousin Darrel Davis and returned to Pensacola for VT-5 (T-28C) carrier qualification. We went home for Christmas with family and then proceeded to Corpus TX for Advance Flight Multiengine (TS2A) and Winging Ceremony pinned on by aforementioned Judy. Headed for NAS Lemoore Calif for A-1H / J Attack Training. Lots of good times in that group. After 6 months headed for Fleet Squadron, Attack Squadron 176 at Jacksonville FL. I joined the squadron when they triumphantly returned from a cruise on USS Intrepid where they earned the nick name MiG Killers as prop bombers shot down jet MiGs. We cruised on the USS Saratoga to the Mediterranean Sea, during which the USS Liberty was attacked by Israelis and the Achille Lauri was attacked by terrorist both of which we were involved in counter strike plans. Judy joined the Executive Officers Wife and her three boys to follow the ship as we hit ports around the Med. Obviously the port schedule was in jeopardy because of world events.


Upon return to Jacksonville in an 18 Plane V formation (we lost two aircraft on cruise) the Navy retired the SPADS and I was sent to VA-43 NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, VA for Jet Transition (TA-4) followed by A6A Replacement Air Group Intruder Training (VA-42) also at Oceana. Next, we reported to VA-35 (A6A) at Oceana. When I Checked in, I told the XO that Judy was expecting, I called him the next morning and reported I was not at work because Judy had given birth to Richard Weldon Davis on September 26, 1968.


The turnaround training cycle of VA-35 was horrible. I believe that an overly extreme aggressive leadership pushed the members to foolish and dangerous decisions. We lost 3 aircraft and 5 aircrew in 4 months. We then cruised to the Tonkin Gulf aboard the USS Coral Sea and engaged in combat operations for over 8 months and lost 1 A/C and crew due to operational loss. At the end of that cruise, I was ordered to “Shore Duty” at VA-128 NAS Whidbey Island, WA where I Instructed Intruder pilots and welcomed Jason Robert Davis, born March 29, 1971.  He was delivered by our flight surgeon on a quiet evening at the Navy Clinic.  Lots of great times/visitors/salmon fishing/ partying /elk hunting and trips to Iowa Christmases during that two-year tour. I was invited by VA-95 Squadron Commander to join their squadron leaving “next Tuesday” for a Coral Sea Cruise back to the Tonkin Gulf. Our departure was delayed but we did arrive in time to provide cover for the evacuation of South Vietnam. On the next cruise on the USS Coral Sea, we were involved in the counterattack on the Freighter US Mayaguez and covered the Marine rescue of the imprisoned crew on Koh Tang Island. After that evac, a Marine corporal approached me on the Hanger Deck and asked what a 100 Tai Bat money was worth because he had a canvas sack with several thousand of them! I looked it up and told him in total it was worth about $ 13.28. He was disappointed!


Next, we as a family of four towed a trailer behind our 1964 Jeep Cherokee to Newport, RI for Naval War College. We saw a lot of the northern tier of States and family and friends on the way. An excellent year at War College was rewarded by assignment to the Pentagon as the Chief of Naval Operations’ Personnel Officer for two years. We went to one of Jimmy Carter’s inaugural balls.



Rich, Dick and Jason at end of Cruise Fly In of

VA-95 “Green Lizards” Whidbey Island WA 1975



Back to Sea Duty as Aviation Ordnance Officer on USS America based in Norfolk VA. I was also the ship’s C1A aircraft commander (the COD GOD).   We had some interesting out of the way ports and airfields and I was able to get Judy to fly as the only passenger from Barcelona to NAS Rota Spain where we surprised old Whidbey friends Fred and Kay Dickinson. We spent the night Toppi Hopping in the local bars. On the return 8-day trip from Rota Spain to Norfolk, we were joined by several hundred dependents (male relatives older than 10). I was joined by Father Ralph and Son Rich. Upon return to Norfolk.


Ralph, Dick and Rich next to USS America’s Carrier Onboard Delivery (C1A) aircraft “Miss America” enroute from Rota Spain to Norfolk VA 1978


I was promoted to the rank of Commander and was selected for Command during that tour. We were then off to the Training Command as XO then CO of Advanced Squadron VT-21 in Kingsville, TX. I think most Naval Officers agree that their Command Tours are the best tours of duty.  VT-21 was great. My parents and several siblings came to Texas to help us celebrate the Change of Command. There were many clearly superior officers that worked as flight instructors. And when you have great personnel, they attract other great officers. Much of the daily hard days instructing was completed by our “Ser- Grads” These were the recently winged officers that excelled in their training and were Selectively Retained Graduates.  The Training Commanding Officer could select or reject candidates. These young officers were sharp, good at their trade and excelled at teaching those just junior to themselves. The comradery was fantastic which made the resolution of the few minor problems and mistakes easy to correct. The morale and production from both Navy and Marine officers were most impressive.


Following the Command tour, I received orders to return to USS America as the Assistant and then as Air Officer, an assignment as good as any aviator could expect. “Air Boss” is responsible for the flight deck, hanger deck, weapons elevators, and all air space from surface to 3,000’ within 5 nautical miles of the ship. It was another great job on the USS America and resulted in my selection for Captain, under the tutelage of the best Naval Officer, I ever served with Snuffy Smith ADM USN Retired. The tour was the most demanding, stressful and rewarding of all my jobs in the Navy and I could not have spent it with a better crew.


Judy’s mother, Mary, The Air Boss and Judy on a Dependent’s Cruise in 1984.  Mary received

the United States flag flown on USS America that day



As a newly selected 0-6 with both sons in High School, Judy and I decided we wanted an overseas duty assignment.  We were penciled in for a NATO job in Garmisch, Germany. But before we could pack for the move, the Bureau of Naval Personnel changed it to Naples, Italy.  We both had spent some time in Naples during carriers’ deployments and decided it would be an adventure, and it was. We lived on the economy (rented a villa in an Italian community) and made a successful attempt to learn about our neighbors and their lifestyles. My job required me to travel to some interesting NATO Countries and several out-of-the usual-bases, to say the least.


One “Sea Story”:  I was sent to the then under construction Ground Launch Cruise Missile Base (GLCM) the Air Force chose a sparsely settled wooded area in far southern Sicily. Construction was well behind schedule and the Area for Helicopter Landing Field hadn’t even been annotated in the plans! But the Real Deal GLCM’s had a scheduled delivery date to make the Squadron’s Ready for Action deadline. The Command was in a dither they needed to land/unload/refuel/launch helicopters with nuclear weapons and all the security/safety that entailed! I found out that the Navy was going to deliver the weapons with H-46 helicopters from a Navy Ammo ship. I pointed to a concrete area down the street and asked what is that for?  “That’s the Air Force Exchange parking lot.”  I said, “That will be your helicopter operating area as well. That is bigger, better, and more equipped than where those guys operate every day. It was so designated.


Not all travel in Europe was for business. As a family we skied in Austria, toured in London, preferred Ischia, over Capria for a weekend getaway and even took brother Jim to that Island when he visited. My parents were scheduled to come to Italy to attend Rich’s graduation. We were forced to cancel their trip as the Red Brigade (Italian Terrorist) were making serious threats. The folks did come for a visit the following year.   At that time Rich’s was the only Grandchild’s graduation they had failed to attend.


Rich graduated from Naples American High School and left, solo, for Blacksburg, VA to enroll in the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech. He chose the school location at least partially because our next tour of duty, next year, would probably be in Norfolk or DC and we would be close. Rich was able to travel to Arkansas and Iowa to visit Grandparents enroute to VA. He was also able to attend and represent the family at Keith and Denise’s wedding. Next, he flew from Des Moines to Washington DC to visit a Naples friend. The day he traveled to Blacksburg was “The Worst Day of My Life!” He traveled via bus, arriving at a new and confusing college campus without a guide or direction late in the day with all the gear he would/might need for a freshman semester and two weeks of international travel beforehand.


We traveled as a family, but we also traveled in smaller groups or solos. Judy did some travel with her job, and she did join me in Germany when I was having my throat cut – spine operation. I was in the hospital and called to see if she could come for the event. She arrived on Easter Sunday.  We went to the Club for Dinner where a program was going on.  I took the hand of a big guy dressed in a pink easter bunny costume, sweating like crazy, red in the face, and said Judy this is my surgeon! I came to Iowa/Nebraska to house hunt in May 1988 as my next assignment was at Offutt Air Force Base, I stayed with Jaynane and Jerry and looked at every acreage the Century 21 agent could find. I gave him our Italian address and asked him to keep in touch.  Judy and Jason headed home from Italy about a month before I did.  When we arrived at the Aikin’s’ home in August, Century 21 had just the same listings. We drove to Glenwood IA in response to a flyer and the agent showed us 6 properties and we made offers on two because we had a Davis reunion in Missouri to get to. So, we bought our home while enjoying Lake of the Ozarks. Now that we are fully retired it seems harder to plan where to next. Our 3 weeks in New Zealand is by far our favorite of them all. We enjoyed traveling with Iowa State Alumni. In the Navy I traveled East and West. I went West as far as Patio Beach, Thailand and I went East as far as Ceylon, so on a globe I missed around the world by about ¾ of an inch. I did make it to Australia on 3 port visits (when you sail on the USS Coral Sea – you get invited to the land down under ever cruise.  Judy and her girlfriend did a Hawaii vacation in 2019 so she could claim her 50th State visited; I had seen Hawaii more than enough so I puppy sat.


Speaking of puppies. We took our second Golden Retriever, Rusty, to Naples and the Italians were fascinated with him because we took him on a leash about a block from home to do his business. We would put his leash in his mouth and down the road we would go. They couldn’t believe the dog took himself on a walk. Rusty’s fathered a litter of Goldens in Italy and more when we returned home. We quickly learned there were Goldens that needed adoption and Judy found her new passion. She has been a major player in Golden Retriever Rescue In Nebraska for over 30 years.  That comes in handy when we need a new best friend and we have had plenty of occasions to watch over a newly surrendered dog to determine their wants and needs. On one weekend, we actually had three dogs all named Sadie. One was ours.


My last tour of duty was with the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff at Offutt AFB. Judy and I decided to see if we could stand midwestern weather for retirement, we hadn’t been in Iowa for a full winter in 27 years.  And I wanted the job because when I joined my 1st Squadron  (VA-176) I had to plan two long missions that the fuel consumption figures provided for our use were unbelievable! Who provides these stupid numbers?  Answer: JSTPS!  So sure enough 24 years later I got to where the numbers had originated but by then the services missions had ended. So, what was a Naval Aviator doing here?  My next mission was to do away with the billet but not before I was ready to leave. For my retirement Brother Bob brought Dad and my Uncle Bud to Omaha for the ceremony. I introduced Uncle Bud to my boss Vice Admiral Etchison as my WWII Submarine uncle and they talked about subs for the entire evening.


Rich and Jason both thrived at Virginia Tech and NROTC. Rich went on to have a great career as a Naval Aviator. Jason’s eyesight precluded a flying job and he entered into the Supply Corps. He spent a little more time on active duty than he anticipated after which he immediately went to Colorado. We asked what his career plans were, and he said he was working on it. He used his /engineering degree as a car salesman, a financial arranger, head server and trainer for an Asian restaurant and then became a flight attendant for Frontier Airlines. The job fits his personality perfectly.  He and his wife Michelle take advantage of the flexible schedule to travel widely, and Michelle has launched a commercial quilting business. She comes from a quilting lineage and has created so many beautiful creations for family and friends including a Colorado State Flag Contest. Rich chose early on to be a helicopter pilot so he could control his assignments with more precision. He graduated from VA Tech with his sweetheart Bonnie Gail Kraus.  They married and they left for Pensacola. They have three sons and Bonnie was primary and frequently the solo parent. Rich was deployed much of the time even when he was on shore duty. Rich retired as a Captain in June 2018 and they moved to Roanoke, VA close to Bonnie’s old stomping grounds and her mother. Rich was awarded an Air Medal for flying all night supporting the evacuation of the Achille Lauri (remember her?) which was sinking in the southern Indian Ocean.


After retirement I gave myself a 9-month cruise to do whatever I wanted to do. Mostly work on old Farmall tractors and hay making equipment with a little hunting rolled in. Then Judy started looking for a job for me, (she was still working full time during which she went to Turkey for 3 months TDY living in a tent and wearing combat boots!). She settled for “Executive Director of the Glenwood Area Chamber of Commerce”. I got very involved in the community. Almost as much as I was with the Southwest Iowa Sportsmans Club. {Yes, it should be “Sportsmen’s” but the incorporation was filed that way} I became Chief Instructor for Mills County Iowa DNR Hunter Education, in 1988, and 10 years ago started the Glenwood HS Trap Club for state wide competition. About the same year Neal and Colin McLemore convinced me to join them on a pheasant hunt in Downs, Kansas. It was and still is great an annual 4-day November- Michelle’s Birthday- adventure for Rich, Jason and me.  Plus, we have added several SWISC shooters as well. My deer hunting has slowed down since the hay days of the early 2000s when deer were becoming too plentiful. I think 5 of us were party hunting on Opening day 2001, we were party hunting so anybody can shoot any deer for the group present. We had 6 tags, and I filled all 6 of them that Saturday – right place right time. The best rack I’ve harvested was a ten point with an 11-inch drop tine on one side. I missed him on Monday but harvested him on Wednesday evening with a black powder muzzle loader on our West property line.  I had to have help loading him in the truck. To occupy my spare time, I chair the Glenwood Planning and Zoning Board, am a Trustee on the Glenwood Municipal Utilities, am a lifetime member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars taking part in the business of caring for veterans conducting memorial services.


I’ve joined the Church that Judy has been involved with since we moved to Glenwood. Good people, good ministers but I can’t help comparing it with Hartland of our youth. The Ice Cream Socials, Christmas programs and even the digging of the basement all were labor intensive, and everyone pitched in with good spirits and a true sense of belonging. The night Dad’s grain bin caught on fire was another community pull together event. Telephone calls went to neighbors who called other relatives, brother Bob called the elevator in Albion and told them they had to open now at 2AM, they did. At dawn Mom, who had been making coffee and sandwiches since midnight, counted trucks, tractors, wagons, and cars there were 28 in the lane.


The environment our family was blessed to grow up in was not rare in those days. May we find the same in future.


By Dick Davis


Jaynane K Davis Aiken

 I was born on July 27,1946 @ 7:21 AM in the Evangelical Deaconess Hospital in Marshalltown, Iowa, to Ralph W. and Ruth L. Davis. I am not sure how long Mom was able to stay in the hospital, but at home I joined five siblings @ RR. #3 Marshalltown. My first remembrance of the family, was the great family meals and gatherings that took place. I am sure they have somewhat run together, but it usually involved Aunt B and Eithel, or neighborhood families. The folks had a terrific support group in the community and church of Hartland. The community men worked together with any farming needs or shortages, and the women cooked, sewed and gathered in a very tight, loving circle of hard work and love. Some of the first church memories that come to mind, was sitting in a row with the siblings in “our pew”. No, we weren’t assigned seating, but it just became to be, that was Ruth and Ralph's family row, there were The Landers, the Packers, the Goeckes and the Tomlinson’s, and so on. It was fun to begin to sit with other Sunday School classmates at times in the rows further toward the front, probably to keep an eye on us. It always amazed me, that as the years went by, the seating never changed. So, if you were not there that week, the spot was noticeably vacant. And the phone calls after church began to see if everything was OK at RR.#3. What wonderful memories were created with the summer Ice cream socials, where Hartland was known for its famous chickenburgers and the baked goods the women had made with homemade ice cream as the best. The men would spend lots of years cranking the ice cream by hand, batch after batch, until they made an electric motor to crank the paddles in the cannisters. Every family and each member of the family was expected to work the ice cream social in some capacity, from doing dishes, to serving, to taking the money in. We all had our roles. 

I remember what a fantastic cook my mother was. She could work in the field all day beside Dad, and then come in and have dinner on the table. We always had our bigger meal at noon and our evening meal was Supper. She could have a packed lunch ready and deliver it to whatever field they were in and they could pause long enough to eat and then back to the field. She baked everything, and my birthday cake was always a chocolate angel food. Perfect! The freezer always had baked treats and was stocked with our own meat and items to construct a meal that most people wouldn’t know where to start. She froze corn, fruit and then canned what she could grow or buy. How she found the time is a mystery, but of course she was seldom seen sitting. Mom and her sister Aunt Bea made or sewed a great deal of our dresses and eventually even bridesmaid’s dresses for our weddings. When Aunt Bea came for the week, there were two sewing machines whirling all the time and the best of times. Aunt Bea was also a great cook and baker, and her yeast rolls were the best. Aunt Bea was a school teacher and she was our substitute mother whenever she was around. Such a wonderful, little woman.


I always remember there were animals that were pets, there were animals that needed tending to, there were chores, there were household tasks and there was not a doubt that everyone was helping out with these. We nursed several orphaned pets on the back porch when the  weather     was too brutal for them outside. We always had outside dogs, that quite frequently spent time inside and then there were cats that I insisted in making them domesticated, whether it was a good idea or not. Mom was always such an animal lover, that she had a hard time turning me down. We usually made the cats and dogs comfortable in the old cob shed out the back porch. There we used warm milk and table scraps, and bales of straw to keep them going through the roughest of winter weather. I remember one cat, “Baby Face” that became a favorite, as she would let me dress her in a doll dress and sleep in the cradle, with a blanket pulled right up to her chin. What a life!

I attended Lamoille Consolidated School for one year, joining the rest of the siblings. I remember riding the bus, parts of the school building and site. We had the ultimate smallest gym ever and people would line the stage and the side courts to watch basketball. I remember the baseball fields were on a low land of the west side, that required going down a steep flight of steps. I remember walking over to Ingeldue’s welding/machine shop after school. Dad would often times, pick me up there, as the older kids had sports after school. That always meant, a cold soda for 5 cents out of the vending machine, the best ever orange soda! I always had my siblings to play with and do things with. However, my best friend growing up was Janet Dunn. Their family moved in across the road, and our birthdays were a year apart, and we were inseparable most of the time. We hiked, explored the farm grounds, played in the barns and out building and we were at the Davis or the Dunn house, it was just such a great time growing up with a friend that close. Keep in mind, that was very doable to be with friends, without our parents driving us to a person’s house for “play dates". Obviously, they would not have had the time with six children and all the faming they worked so hard at accomplishing. I remember that a lot of times, Dick was the leader in our exploration of the woods behind the Dunn farm or the creek that ran through our back 80 acres.

I remember going into Marshalltown with Mom and Dad, not sure where the rest of the siblings were. But to go to the Fremont Grill with just Mom and Dad for a hot beef sandwich or tag along to the Kent Feed store to buy the new chicks. Mom would choose the feed sacks she wanted, to sew for a later project. The Maid Rite was a great favorite and of course, Dad would not need much convincing to grab a sandwich. I remember Tractor Supply Store and all its gadgets and dad knew everyone and they called him by his name, the minute he walked in. I always thought that was pretty special. I remember that Dad would sometimes wear his older bib overalls if he was headed into town, other times it was a newer, dark washed pair. Of course, that was embarrassing to me as a kid, but it wasn’t until I was older, that Dad said, “you never wear your good bibs into the bank”. Seberg's pharmacy on 13th street was like a whole different world with lots of pretties. And then who could not love fresh doughnuts at the Kresge’s store on main street. The entire front window was the doughnut machine, that would drop the dough into the next

vat, and then the machine would scoop them up and then on to the machine that frosted them. That was also the best soda counter, for ice cream treats and malts, it seemed to go the entire length of the store.


When our parents enrolled us in the Clemons School system we rode the bus together, and I started 2nd grade with Mrs. Gamble as my teacher. She was the most memorable and welcoming teacher and I was lucky enough to have her a couple of years later in 4th grade. I can still picture her smile and her warmth. Janet moved when I was in the 5th grade, and it was very hard to not have her so close, even though our families remained very close throughout the years. It was different not having her just right across the road. I loved school and always liked being there, and having new classmates. My class consisted of 10 girls and 2 boys, from 2nd grade throughout our entire time at Clemons, through our sophomore year. Talk about getting to know your classmates, I am in touch with several on them to this day. Along with school, came Boy’s and Girl’s 4-H, sports and band. Joining both Boy’s and Girl’s 4-H was common, as then we had baby beef’s for showing and selling at the County Fair, along with my siblings. Dad would buy the calf and provide the feed, but it was up to us to follow through with feeding, grooming and showing the steer. No doubt, Dad did far more than any one of us did. The entire process, was how I paid for 3 years of Nursing classes. Today, as I look back, that was quite an accomplishment and quite a no brainer for my parents. I always liked the Boy’s 4H classes and meetings more than the household and cooking that the Girl’s 4H provided, and the culmination of Fair week was just such fun. Until it was time to show the beef, get the price and then lead them away, I always had a rough time with that part. I played the saxophone because Beverly had played one, and it was available. I can’t remember enjoying it too much, but remember the great band experience and the teachers.

When we were growing up, we had the Minnesota Woolen Mills to look forward to. This was usually a married couple that would call and book and appointment to come to the farm for an early fall evening or showing the family the items that they were selling. They would arrive that evening and bring in 5-6 huge (as I remember) trunks to the dining room. And when they opened the trunks, it was like a Christmas seeing all the beautiful but practical coats and jeans and sweaters and mittens and hats! As a family, we really didn’t go buy clothes in a store, how could you walk in with 6 kids and not break the bank. I do know, that we wore woolen or flannel shirts from this company for years, handed down to the next sibling. I remember the flannel lined jeans that were my older brother’s, that layered over me became my sledding pants The kids were sent off to bed and the bill would need to be dealt with. And I can only imagine what that must have felt with all six of us needing and wanting what we had just seen. .One year, I think I was probably about 12 years old, I saw and tried on and wanted with all my heart, a mint green “Good coat” with a fake fur collar. Of course, it was too much with all the other more practical purchases that the folks could budget for. When Christmas rolled around, I didn’t see that present under the tree and I just knew that I needed that coat. All the wrapping were cleared away and the visiting was still going on, when Daddy told me "To move that couch out away from the curtain”, there was my green coat! Daddy was so very proud of himself and the joy was to this day, something I remember.

As I spoke of our shopping being limited in the stores, there was always one item that Dad made sure we had good choices. He always said you need a sturdy pair of shoes, not some canvas or lightweight shoe.  So, Ewer’s shoe store knew when the Davis family was In their store.  We had aa dress pair and a school pair of shoes and very seldom nothing else.  Can you imagine the cost of that bill?  But Ewer’s became a family trip, sometimes more than once, when we were home for holidays, all of us  would make it a stop.  Sometime there were shoes under the Christmas tree for Mom that Dad had secretly returned to Ewer’s and  purchased.  

I remember Jim being away a lot and we would see him in at the Grocery store where he worked while going to school in Marshalltown his Senior year and then off to Ames for college. I remember Bob and Vieve dating and they allowed me to tag along or be in their presence on trips to town. Then Bob was gone for Army and the excitement for the wedding when he returned. Then there were more family joining us at the table for Sunday dinners and Holidays. Mom and Dad were always so welcoming when we included friends, significant others and family to join us for meals. It was always a feast, and the dishes that needed to be washed by hand!

Summer storms in the Midwest were usually with the threat if tornadoes. Of course, there was not a siren, it was Dad listening to the radio and making sure the animals were taken care in the best way possible. I never remember being scared of a storm, as Mom and Dad weren’t. I do not remember any damage other than wind damage on branches of trees around the yard. But the summer Keith, my nephew was born, it was the night of the ice cream social. Vieve had been having contractions all day, had milked most of the cows and then needed to head to the hospital. Of course, Mom couldn’t come because of the social, so someone ran me over to Bob and Vieve’s farmhouse, she showered and headed to town and there were 3 little ones to entertain when the sirens of the County Hospital started going off. They had had their baths and we headed to the stairs to the basement, as we heard the silence and then the horrible winds that followed. When the storm passed, the picnic table was up against the house and several trees were down. But Kyla speaks of this day yet, about the tornado and setting on the basement steps. I guess I remember the winter weather and severe storms more. Dad would plow the long driveway and it would just fill up again. One year, Dad had spent a great deal of time getting the horse buggy equipped with sled runners and that year he hitched the horse us and took us for many sleigh rides. One year we had a sledding party for the youth church group on our county road. We would start at the top of Dunn’s hill and come down and if you were really good, you turned into the Davis drive way. Apparently, I wasn’t so good, as I remember some great scrapes as I headed to the steep ditch instead. I remember Daddy pulling people out of the ditches when they were stuck on the road, or pulling cars in the lane with the snow too deep.

Some things I remember about my dad: he became quiet and sullen at times, never raised his voice or showed his anger in words, but you always knew when he was worried. I never heard Dad swear, but if he used the word DAMN, he was furious or had just hurt himself. He suffered from back pain frequently due to the fact that he was a farmer and never stopped working. I remember the first date I was to have with my boyfriend, I was doing the milking because Dad was suffering from a “pinched nerve” in his back. Of course, my date came early and I was running late. How mortifying! Every day he could, He would eat lunch and then stretch out on the floor without a pillow, for a 30 minute nap.  I always thought that must have  hurt  more than the nap helped.  The doctors just told him he needed to slow down and rest his back.  How was that going to happen when he was a farmer?

Some things I remember about my mom: I never saw her get mad or angry. I could always tell when she was hurting. She nearly always wore an apron in the kitchen, she never seemed to be sitting for long, she wallpapered some of the bedrooms upstairs, enlisting her good friend, Doris to help her. She was so worried when she started to wear slacks instead of dresses, what would people think, she dressed modestly because she didn’t want to stand out. She wrote in a journal nearly every day, and once a week, she wrote each of the siblings to keep them up to date on what was new at RR#3. Long distance phone calls gradually became a Saturday event, as it was the cheapest time. And what a treat to hear about the weather, the crops, the neighbors and any touch from home.

When I graduated from 8th grade, Dick graduated from High School at Clemons, and Dad was on the school board. So, he handed us our diplomas, and I always thought that was very special. By then our family had grown, with Jim and Karen, Bob and Vieve and Bev and Allan all married and the grandchildren were starting to arrive. For my Junior year Clemons merged with State Center and 2 other smaller schools to form West Marshall High School. My last two years of high school were in State Center, where I rode the bus most of the time. The summer of my Junior year, Dad bought Rev. Proctor’s old Plymouth two door. I thought it was pretty cool to have a vehicle to drive to school when the weather wasn’t too icy or much snow on the roads. I remember it was so faded, it once had been blue and I put an old woolen blanket on the seat that was badly worn. How lucky was I?

In the summer, I had detasseled corn, and then worked in the food services at both Boys and Girls State and the State Fair in Des Moines. That meant, for that week to ten days, we lived dormitory style with a bunk bed, and a wood crate for our belongings. Great memories and experiences to say the least. I met a boy from another school at Boy’s state and later that fall he asked me to a school dance they were sponsoring that dance. I met my future husband Jerry Aiken there and we dated throughout my Senior year and on through my college days.

AS I think back with my siblings, I do not ever remember my parents telling me I needed to go to college, or asking what I was going to do. I know that each of us knew that with our upbringing, that family and making good choices were what our parents wanted for us. And we would have done anything to not have our parents be disappointed in our choices or in our lives. Our parent showed each of us such support and such strengths to follow, that their legacy has served us all well.

After graduation, I attended Iowa Lutheran School of Nursing in Des Moines. It was much like a convent, I assume, as we had demerits, housemothers, curfews! We attended straight through the summers, 3 years to become Graduate Nurses. As We graduated on Thursday, many of us had weddings that very next weekend, September 2, 1967 was my wedding date. Jerry and I were   married at the  Friends Church in Legrand, Iowa.  We spent one night in Missouri as our honeymoon before   we returned to Ames,  Iowa and moved into our first apartment.  Jerry began his junior year at Iowa State University the next  week. I worked nights in Boone , Iowa as a  graduate nurse.

We took our state boards in Des Moines for two days straight, when after the first day, I already knew there was no way I was passing it. Then the fun of waiting 5-6 weeks before the dreaded results were mailed to you. I became an RN and utilized that profession for over 54 years! I had an opportunity to work at Mc Farland Clinic for the head of Pediatrics while Jerry finished 2 years and a fall of student teaching. It was truly a wonderful experience. Jerry worked at both the agriculture farms at the college for spring and fall work, and during the summers he became a carpenter apprentice of sorts to a great handyman. That experience served Jerry very well, while he could do most building and woodworking, leaving the plumbing and electrical work for someone else. Thoughout our married life, he always improved and worked on house projects that we became very proud of.

Jerry enrolled in the University of Iowa Physical Therapy program and we moved to Coralville, Iowa. I was employed as Evening charge nurse in pediatrics at Iowa Mercy Hospital. After graduation, Jerry took his first position as a physical therapist at Immanuel Medical Center in North Omaha, and with the help of Bev and Allan finding us a great duplex, we made the move to Omaha. For us one car, meant that I worked nights and weekends in Pediatrics at Bergan Mercy, so he could drive the opposite direction to his work. After about a year, I joined the staff of 4 ENT doctors and worked there until the delivery of our first child. In May of 1974, Justin Jay joined our family and we felt very blessed, indeed.

We had a great babysitter about 8 blocks or so from us and from the very beginning of me returning to work after maternity leave, Justin joined 2 other infant boys. She provided wonderful care for them and they literally grew up together. In January1975, Justin was just 7 months old, when Omaha suffered a crippling blizzard and the city stopped. Cars were stuck and abandoned on every street, and the snow came down so fast it was over a foot deep in less than 10 hours that day. Somehow Jerry crawled from his hospital to my work location and we started off toward the baby sitters at 8 pm. We found out her street had not been plowed as of 10 pm, so we decided that Justin was well cared for and he had his first sleepover! And we were able to get to him the

 next mid-day. In May of 1975, Justin being one year old, we were at work when the tornado warning came on for Omaha and stayed on through a horrendous storm that crippled Omaha. The destruction took 8 miles through the center of Omaha. Jerry was confined and safe at the hospital, we as staff were sheltered in the basement of the office buildings with some patients. And we could not get a hold of the babysitter due to landlines being down. Jerry was able to make his way to me about 5 hours later, as the roads were so obstructed. When we made it to our neighborhood at nearly 9 pm, the babysitter had the boys all dressed in pjs (some of which were her daughter’s pink ones) and were down for the night. What a blessing and a relief! We always said that year was one to remember and Justin was told he wore pink pajamas' his first year.


In 1975, we bought our first house in West Omaha, and enjoyed the task and effort of homeownership. Our daughter, Jill Michelle completed our family in July 1977, and the joys of motherhood were truly a blessing. We had great neighbors and many neighborhood activities and the kids attended the neighborhood elementary school, walking when able to or carpooling with our immediate neighbors. They participated in soccer, Brownies, Boy Scouts and made many friends to enjoy the experiences with. Jerry was Assistant Boy Scout leader, that lead to many campouts with the troop for Jerry and Justin. We camped as a family with a canvas pop up camper, and the kids thoroughly were outdoor kids. I think we always thought we would live in Omaha. We had our first dog before we had children, and always had one while the kids were at home. Jill convinced her dad that a cat would be great, so our house grew with pets.


Jerry, Justin, Janie and Jill



Jerry continued at Immanuel Medical Center, becoming the head of the department. I was able to stay at home with the kids until they were in school and then I began at Hospice Center and eventually moved to the Omaha Surgical Center. This became a wonderful experience and I truly enjoyed the skill set and preparation of surgical patients. In 1988, Jerry began to interview with several head hunters and after several interviews, we made the decision to accept a position in Idaho.

Jerry joined a private practice of 3 other PTs in Twin Falls, Idaho. He had always wanted to do this and the adventure was a good one for us as a family. He drove out to Idaho, began his work and began a search for our home there. We sold the Omaha house and loaded up, headed west with one cat in our car. Of course, I was the one that suffered food poisoning for the trip, not a great start and I don’t remember much of the trip. We found a great house in a great part of Twin Falls, the kids started to 6th grade and 9th grade there. Their Omaha teachers wanted us move in the summer, so the kids could finish their school year in Omaha. I knew our kids would do better meeting new friends and classmate before summer began. They proved us correct and truly adjusted very well to the new area and the new schools. Justin began soccer that Spring and was immediately accepted into that circle. In the fall of 1989, Justin started High School, Jill began Middle School and I decided to just stay home. That was until one day, I stopped by the hospital and visited about a possible PRN position. Before I left, I had a job to present to my family that evening at the dinner table. I then began working in Same Day Surgery and as our staff grew and our schedule demands grew, I became charge nurse in Same Day for the next 15 years. Eventually I branched out and became a pre op nurse over all the hospital’s operating rooms I loved the atmosphere, my staff and the patients that we were able to serve.

Justin developed a great group of friends, and soon there was this tall strikingly beautiful young lady hanging around our house. Jamie Eslinger was frequently hanging out in the kitchen with me, easily becoming very comfortable with our family, and spending lots of good times with us. Jerry and I thoroughly enjoyed her presence and became acquainted with her parents, as they lived quite close to us. Throughout their Junior and Senior year, the two of them were always together and together with friends at Jamie’s house or ours. Jamie loved sports and played basketball, intending to play in her college days, Justin played soccer and together they were always at each other’s events.  The Eslingers became dear friends and I had an Idaho sister in Juanita.  We laughed our way through many trials.

In Jamie’s Junior summer, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease. She frequently needed to be a patient in our Same Day Center and our bond grew. She underwent biopsy diagnosis, splenectomy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Justin was amazing with her, and I always felt he was such a gift to her during this time. She finished her treatments and was cleared of any cancer by January of her senior year. Her mother, however had put off any treatment until Jamie was cleared, and then she began her medical and surgical treatment of advanced breast cancer. (She lost that battle in 2000). Justin and Jamie graduated and then came college. Jamie went to Cottey College in Missouri, and Justin went to Evansville University in Indiana. They were able to continue their long-distance relationship for a couple of years, before they went their separate ways.

Jill developed a great group of friends, participated in mixed school soccer league, did all the after-school activities and thoroughly enjoyed her high school experience. She graduated with honors and headed off to Washington State University in Pullman, Washington to study working with Autistic children. She finished college early and graduated with a 4.0 and headed to Portland, Oregon to work in that field. She relished what she was doing and seemed to settle right in.

Both Jerry and I loved the Twin Falls area, the atmosphere and where we were working. We easily called it home and counted the move as a good one for all four of us. We golfed at our local country club and were able to take a couple of trips with friends, that involved golfing and good times. We traveled to family reunions and our children always felt that the times at the reunion was the best, and they had great relationships that sustain them today with their cousins. I always felt that we were fortunate to have made the move when we did to where we loved the area.


Jill, Justin, Jerry and  Janie

Justin graduated from Evansville and moved to Oregon. He always seemed a little lost in what he chose to do for employment. But what do mothers ever know from sons, he just kept working and enjoying the SW Oregon area. Jill was living in Portland when she met her roommate's brother, and the rest is history. We now have a great guy as a son-in-law. Danny Pickering and Jill were married in 2003. Danny and his family have owned a restaurant in Mount Vernon, Washington and Danny opened his own eating establishment in Stanwood, WA. Danny and jill make a great team together. They have helped the restaurant business grow and together they work making the catering aspect work beautifully They have been blessed with two great daughters, Norah Ruth (named after Grandma Ruth Davis) and Elise Beryl. They are truly the blessing to my life, along with the happiness of my children.

When the picture doesn’t look the same as reality, something has to give. Jerry struggled with alcoholism for many years and the burden took more and more of Jerry. He chose to take his life in 2009, and our lives changed. I continued to work at the hospital and dealing with the loss. Jamie calls me after hearing of Jerry’s loss, reaching out as only she could. She ends the conversation, asking how Justin is. After being apart for nearly 11 years, she had wanted to catch up on where he was and what he was doing. My response was, “here is his number, call him”.

She did, they talked and talked and the phone calls never stopped until they were together in April of that year.

They were never apart after that, moving to Martha’s Vineyard, for many summers, winters in Florida, moving back to Oregon in 2013 and to Bellingham, Washington in 2015. I retired from the hospital in Twin Falls in 2011 and moved that day to Mount Vernon, Washington. I was going to not work; instead, I was going to figure out the rest of my life. For a few years, I was living in the same vicinity as both of my children! Within a couple of years, I was employed at NW Eye Center and continued working 7 more years, retiring again in 2011.


Jamie, Norah, Justin, Jill, Elise and Danny

At a family reunion in 2017, Justin and Jamie pulled off a surprise wedding, where they had nearly all of the Davis family together. They had so much fun and the best response to all of the family, was to be a part of it without any doubts. In 2018, they moved to Boston, an area that they both dearly loved and they had several family members and friends to stay connected to in the area. Jamie’s business growth in Marketing was a great move for her and they relocated and readjusted easily to being on the East coast again. Justin began working for security at Kraft Services, most of it just happened to be at Gillette Stadium for his beloved New England Patriots. He had worshipped from afar for many years, the Patriots. They were his team, no second guessing that. They were putting a game plan together for the next step of their life. In December of 2021, he became urgently, severely ill and passed away at the age of 47 years. The loss is unimaginable, as they were together as a couple and the happiest, they had ever been. Jamie continued with strength and honoring Justin in everything she has done since his passing.

At the time of this writing, we have suffered losses as a family, and we cannot make sense of them. But we have survived and have many blessings of health and love.


By Jaynane K Davis Aiken


 Click HERE to go to Appendix Four