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You are here: Davis of Iowa > Jim Davis's Biography > Part XV                    Click HERE to go to Part XVI

 Part XV




(2013 - 2014)


Our first great-grandson, Jackson Davis Holmberg is born -


Early in January, the building lot in Pravada which is immediately east of our house and had been purchased by the country singer John Fogarty, was  being prepared for construction of Fogarty’s Scottsdale home.  Two gigantic Saguaros, each of which were at least 250 years old, stood some 25 feet tall and had five or more robust limbs, were bulldozed down to make room for the house.  Normally, all Saguaros within a building envelope are relocated to a location outside the building envelope.  However, these Saguaros were so old and large that it was not feasible to relocate them.  Hence they went to a land fill.   We watched the disappointing process from our dining room.

A Gigantic Saguaro Demolished For Fogarty’s House



On January 16th, Bev and Allan helped us celebrate Francine’s 70th birthday.


Jim, Allan, Francine and Beverly


On February 9th Kyle and Veronica’a son, Jackson Davis Holmberg was born in Austin, TX, which also happened to be Adam Holub’s 21st birthday. Kyle, Kim and Dave were in Austin, with Veronica providing whatever help to her in an exceptionally long delivery -  some 30 hours in labor.  Eventually,  our first great grandchild was born.  Jackson was a healthy, 6 pounds 9 ounces boy.  Even though Kyle and Veronica were not yet married, Kyle, Kim and Dave all joined in to insure that both Veronica and Jackson received the needed care and nurturing. (Vernoica and Kyle were married two years later.)


Adam, who was working in Louisville, planned to drive to Boston to celebrate his 21st birthday with his  Boston friends.  He arranged to be off work for a long weekend.  However, a major snow storm blanketed the northeast portion of the US curtailing travel and cancelling flights.  Despite having a railroad passenger ticket to Boston, because of the storm he only got him as far as Buffalo, NY.  He tried the bus lines from there to Boston.  No dice!  He was unable to get to Boston.  Eventually, he gave up on getting to Boston and accepted Brett’s invitation to celebrate his 21st birthday with Brett in Pittsburgh.


David and Kyle, Anxiously Awaiting Jackson’s Birth

Proud Father and Son


Proud Grandmother, Kim and Grandson



One Full Texas Boot

Another ISU Acacia reunion -


On March 11th, Francine and I attended an Iowa State University Acacia Fraternity Alumni meeting of several of us, mainly Arizona  residents at Bert and Jan Fellow’s home in  Mesa, AZ.  Ten of we brothers and spouses were able to attend.  The attendees are pictured below.


Front row, L to R: Bert Fellows, Dale Weber, Wally Kolbe & Bruce Campbell

Back Row, L to R: Dick Cone, Larry McComber, Larry Wogahn,  Neil Woodley, John McDonald & Jim Davis


We continued this annual gathering every year until the pandemic caused us to halt it in 2020.  Brothers from as far away as Singapore, Florida, Oregon, Ohio, Wisconsin, Texas, Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado and California attended over the years normally with his spouse/significant other.  We gathered at brother’s Arizona home until the group became too large when we switched to a country club or similar venue. 


That evening Francine and I attended a concert by Andre’ Rieu and his orchestra and singers.  He is my favorite orchestra leader and entertainer.  His music is basically classical but with a modern twist.  His singers are delightful and entertaining.  I will go to see him and his ensemble  whenever I can.


On March 16th, Francine and I hosted a dinner party of some of her fellow Mayo development committee friends as well as other Mayo employees, including the President of Mayo Arizona, Wyatt Decker and his wife.   We hired chefs and servers from The Estancia Club to prepare the meal and serve the guests.   A week later Francine’s grandson, Benjamin visited us for several days.  We went to a spring training baseball game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.


Later in March, Francine and I travelled to Austin, TX to meet Jackson Davis Holmberg, our first great grandchild.


Kyle, Jackson and Veronica


Proud Great Grandparents with Jackson

Three Generations

Proud Great Grandad


Each spring the Climbing Tangerine vines on our back patio are full of blossoms.  A wonderfully quiet place to sit and contemplate the wonders of the world.

Francine on our back patio

A Small Giant Argentina Cactus In Full Bloom; The Blossoms Are Only Open 24 Hours

The Landscaping Between Our Driveway And Our Casita


Kyle graduates from college –


In early May most all of our immediate family and Dave’s father gathered at Kim’s in San Antonio to celebrate Kyle’s graduation from St. Edward’s University.  Kim and Dave, hosted a wonderful graduation party for Kyle.  The wonderful family friends, the Wannacotts drove over from Houston to surprise many of us. It was another wonderful gathering of our family and we toasted Kyle for  his success. 


Proud Graduate With His Proud Parents And Brother

Dave, Kim, Francine, Jim, Brian, Kyle, Paul (David’s Father), Brett & Kevin


Kyle aspired to attend medical school however his undergraduate grades were not quite good enough for him to be accepted.  Consequently, he enrolled in a Medical Specialist Graduate Program which would lead to a Masters in Science.   He concurrently worked for an orthopedic surgeon.  The combination of his superior grades in the Master’s Program and his work for the orthopedic surgeon in addition to his interview earned him a place in the class of 2019, at The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) a private medical school in Erie, PA.


The beginning of several trips -


In late May, Francine’s small band of four close friends who were all members of the Mayo Clinic Development Committee gathered at Laure Perez’s (one of the foursome) New Mexico ranch for a long weekend of learning a bit about the life of a rancher.  The ranch which is in the eastern central part of New Mexico,  was part of the ranch her grandfather built over his lifetime.  The event was to have been branding time for the spring new born calves.   However, calving season was late this year and it was not yet time to brand so we toured the ranch and enjoyed the very rural New Mexico country.  It was a great time for we three and one-half couples (Laure was widowed).


Even though I grew up on a farm and had a basic understanding of ranching, it was a very interesting learning experience for me. With the modest amount of rain that the eastern part of New Mexico receives it was surprising that there was sufficient grass and other vegetation for cattle to thrive.   Indeed, some summers are so dry that the ranchers are forced to purchase hay for the cattle to grow into the feeder cattle that the ranch markets.  Purchasing hay makes the entire venture unprofitable.  The visit included a tour to the nearby Old Fort Sumner Museum which primarily contained the grave and various memorabilia of and about the life of Billy The Kid a young cowboy outlaw whose life and death are memorialized. 


L to R: Terri and Matt Juechter, Francine, Jim, Laure & Paulette & Joe Maslick in Laure’s Ranch House.


In early June, we travelled to The Twin Cities to attend the retirement party of Francine and my good friend, David Mona.  He was one of the principal owners of the public relations firm that Francine worked with.  David and Linda Mona were two of Francine’s very best friends and played a key role in helping her through her grief when she lost her husband in 1998.  It was a wonderful recognition for David and all of his accomplishments.


We also visited with Francine’s daughter, Heather and family while in the Twin Cities and attended a Minnesota Twins baseball game with her son Benjamin and his father, Duane. We travelled to NYC to visit Lindsey.  We dined at the usual restaurants and saw two plays.  Fran very much wanted to visit the outdoor broadcasting of the NBC Today show.  We were there standing in a small crowd observing the live broadcast of show.  Fran was pleased to get her picture taken with Savannah Guthrie, one of the show’s anchors.  


The View of New York City Looking East Over Columbus Circle And Along East 59th Street


Mid-August Francine and I left on a driving trip to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper, Alberta, Canda.  We stopped overnight and spent a day in Salt Lake City, UT.  We spent much of that day visiting the Mormon Tabernacle and the surrounding facilities which are the center of the Church of Latter Day Saints activities.   The Tabernacle is spectacular. The hosts/guides are most pleasant and informative.  We visited the huge Tabernacle performing area at the time the choir was rehearsing for its next performance.  Listening to the choir in person was particularly moving.  We visited the extensive offices of the famous Mormon ancestry operations.  We did a couple of modest searches which provided no surprises.  We walked the hallowed grounds which are meticulously maintained.   It was a day well spent.


We drove through magnificent scenic country to Missoula, MT the next day. We stayed overnight in Missoula.  We reached the US-Canadian border mid-day on our third day and crossed without difficulty.  We drove through the city of Calgary, where I had  previously been but hadn’t spent  any time.  It is a clean, fairly large city in the middle of the Canadian plains.  We headed west from Calgary and soon were in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.  We reached Banff late that afternoon.  We had made reservations at a hotel which on-line looked perfect.  Instead, it was a hotel designed primarily for campers or hikers of local areas, which was particularly rustic and not what we had expected.  We checked out the next day after locating much better accommodations closer to Lake Louise and transitioned to the hotel more to our liking.


The Banff and Lake Louise Resort Hotels were both fully-booked however we were able to eat several meals and take advantage of the other resort amenities as outsiders.  We hiked the western one-half of Lake Louise.  It was a wonderful and spectacularly beautiful hike as the lake is at the base of some impressive snow-capped mountains.


We spent a week hiking, driving to various vistas, watching black, brown and grizzly bears ravenously feeding to prepare for the upcoming winter hibernation and golfing one day at the Banff golf course.   The golfing experience was one of the most unusual we have ever had.  The golf course was very tightly placed between mountains and woods on one side and a fairly large river on the other.  In addition, there was a less travelled road lengthwise through the course as well as walking paths with a fair number of walkers enjoying the fine weather.  It was a golfing challenge to avoid the vehicles and the walkers.  The course itself was fairly “plain Jane” but the scenery was fantastic.


One day we drove The Icefields Parkway, a 150 mile stretch of four lane highway along the Continental Divide between Lake Louise and Jasper.  There are spectacular icefields to be viewed along the Parkway.  We rented a recorded tour guide which reported on the icefields, the vistas, the habitation, the vegetation and the history that one observes in the drive along the Parkway.  It timed the descriptions to be delivered at each specific point in the drive.  I had driven this Parkway previously, however, this was Francine’s first trip to Alberta, Canada and its scenic wonders.  She was quite impressed with Alberta, CA.


Mount Saint Piran, Lake Louise


Hiking Along Lake Louise

 Banff Golf Course Between Banff River and Spectacular Mountains

One Of Many Vistas From Lake Louise

 Moraine Lake, Near Lake Louise

 The Columbia Icefield, From The Icefields Parkway


We departed Lake Louise and drove south to visit Glacier National Park the following day.  There were several forest fires in western Canada and United States which sourced considerable smoke that drifted east somewhat blanketing the area in southern Alberta through which we drove.  It was mildly disconcerting to us as the highway we drove was through  some mountainous terrain.  However, we encountered no significant smoke and made good time in our drive back to the United States.  We arrived at the eastern edge of the Glacier National Park where we found a modest motel to overnight.  The next morning, we entered Glacier National Park using the Going To The Sun Highway which traverses Glacier National Park east to/from west.  This 50 mile long highway is essentially the only highway in Glacier National Park and it is only open during the summer months as the snowfall in the Park is too much to keep the highway open. 


Glacier National Park, West Entrance


Glacier National Park is a spectacular park, very rugged, very limited vehicle access, very congested during the summer, very isolated in the winter as it is adjacent to the United States- Canada border.  Contiguous with the northern border of Glacier National Park and in Canada is Waterton Lakes National Park.  The two Parks comprise the Waterton-Glacier International Peace 


One Of Many Glacier National Park Vistas


Waterton Lakes National Park.  The two Parks comprise the Waterton-Glacier International Peace  Park.  We spent the better part of one day driving through Glacier National Park, including a stop at the only major visitor center near the middle of the park.  Since we were near the end of the traditional summer the traffic was not unbearable, however it was heavy with numerous turnout parking areas near hiking trails.  It was another day well spent and we checked off another home country attraction to which we had visited for the first time.


We exited Glacier National Park and found a motel near Flathead Lake.  The Lake is the largest freshwater lake in the western United States.  We stayed in Kalispell a delightful town ten miles north of the Lake.  The drive south the next morning was along the full length of the western edge of this beautiful lake.  The rest of the drive to Park City, UT was more of our wonderful western United States spectacular countryside.  We stayed several days at the Montage Resort in Park City where we spent the days hiking and golfing.  One day was spent at the National Dog Sheep Herding Competition.  Then on to Scottsdale   in one long last day but worth it to be back home.


Remembering Cindie -


In September we placed this boulder with Cindie’s name along the side of Dynamite Road where Cindie was struck by the Waste Management Trash Truck.  It is at near the street sign mentioning Cindie Davis Holub.


The Boulder With Cindie’s Name At The Site Of The Accident Which Killed Her


The Workmen Placing The Boulder Along The Side Of Dynamite Road


The William Penn University Ware Auditorium -


On weekend of October 5 and 6, 2013 William Penn University (WPU) held its Homecoming Celebration which included an annual dinner  on Saturday evening in which the university recognizes various alumni.  We had chosen the Friday before that weekend to dedicate The Ware Auditorium.  It is in a new Classroom and Activities Center which the university had completed a couple of years previously.  Francine and I traveled to brother Bob’s home.  He drove the three of us to Oskaloosa.  Kim and Brian flew in that morning and met us in Oskaloosa.


The floor on which The Ware Auditorium was located was finished two years after the completion of the first portion of the building.  I  donated $150,000 to name a room  in the building in honor of the Ware Family members who have such prominent roles in  WPU’s   history.  (Please see The Ware Family and William Penn University article in the appendix for more information on these roles.)

Jim Addressing The Audience At The Ware Auditorium Dedication


My brother Bob, Dick and Judy, Kim, Brian, Francine and I attended the dedication of the auditorium, where I made a few comments about the Ware family’s role  in  WPU.  We   attended the alumni dinner celebration that evening which honored Howard and Emma Ware with the WPU Torch Award.  The award was in honor of our grandparents for the roles they played in WPU’s history. I was able to catch up briefly with Bill and Joyce Wagoner.  Bill was a third cousin of mine on mom’s side of the family who was a neighbor of ours when we lived on the farm.  Joyce was a high school friend of ours.  I had not seen nor talked to either of them for over 60 years.  I was also able to reconnect with a number of WPU faculty and board members.  It was a wonderful weekend.


Brian, Kim, Dick, Judy And Bob At The WPU Alumni Banquet


Francine, Jim, Kim And Brian At The Dedication


Brother Bob’s tragic fall -


We returned to Bob’s home Sunday morning.  After returning to Bob’s place, Francine and I drove to Minneapolis to spend a few days with Heather and family.  We had dinner with our good friend, Walt Mauer and his lady friend that evening.  I had several voice-mails from my nephew, Keith, Bob’s younger son who said Bob had fallen earlier that evening which resulted in him hitting his head on a concrete floor.  Bob was in a Des Moines hospital with bleeding in his head which was deemed not repairable.  He was unconscious and in fatal condition. 


The next morning Francine flew back to Phoenix, I picked Myrna up from her home in Minneapolis and we drove to Ames  where Bob was being transferred to a hospice facility.   Bob’s immediate family gathered at the hospice facility to keep a vigil and wait.  Bob passed peacefully on Wednesday.   Most of our family, including Beverly, Allan, Nancy, Neal, Judy, Dick, Janie and many of the next generation, including Kim, Dave and Brian had gathered to say goodbye to Bob. His funeral was Saturday and he was buried near his late wife Janice Heiberger, in the Rose Hill Memorial Gardens Cemetery.  Dick arranged for a local VFW team to do a final gun salute at the grave site ceremony.  After Bob’s internment,  the entire family visited the Maid-Rite shop for a Maid-Rite Lunch.


(For more about Bob, please see his chapter in the appendix to this auto-biography.)


Bob was first of the six of we Davis children to depart this life, although we had said goodbye to Janie’s husband, Jerry Aiken, almost five years earlier.


Bob and Kyla (Kyla’s Favorite Picture Of Her And Her Dad)


Lindsey joined us in Scottsdale for Thanksgiving.  Then our immediate family gathered at Kim’s house in San Antonio for Christmas.  Kim continued the family tradition of everyone wearing identical pajamas for gift giving and for pictures of our wonderful Christmases. 


Davis Family Christmas, At Kim’s 2013

L to R: Brad, Adam, Kelly, Brett, Ellan, Kyle, Jackson, Veronica, Brian, Jim, David,

Francine, Kim, Kevin, Mandy, Janice (Veronica’s mother), Courtney And Andrew.


The year 2013 came to a close, with another family loss with the death of Bob.  He is remembered in this auto-biography, particularly by his four children and their children as a gentle, involved and loving parent and grandfather.  His chapter in the appendix of this auto-biography does only modest reporting on his life.  Francine and I had travelled extensively, particularly in our magnificent west and to attend family events in 2013.  We looked forward to a rewarding 2014.


We surprised Francine with a birthday party to observe her 71st birthday at our Estancia Club attended by many of her local friends and a few who travelled a bit to attend.  She was pleased to be remembered and toasted by so many of her friends – but hates  surprise parties when she is the one that is surprised.


Francine Observes And Her Friends Celebrate Her Birthday


Since Francine and I had joined The Estancia Golf Club in 2007, I had played an average of about twice a week and had taken a few lessons to correct at least a few of my bad habits.  The Estancia Golf Club has been nationally ranked in the top 100 best private golf courses and either 1st or 2nd best in Arizona.  As such the members and staff receive may requests from unassociated golfers who want to play it.  Many members host their friends and family, sometimes several times a year.  However, many requests are never honored.  All of my family who golf have played the course at least once.  One of our Estancia neighbors who has played golf his entire life had last I knew at least 19 holes-in-one.  One Saturday when he and his wife were playing with Francine and me, he had hole-in-one number 18 for him on our par 3 number 7 hole.  The following Monday while was playing with several friends, I used a seven iron to hit a good drive which bounced twice in front of the pin and then rolled into the hole, for my first hole-in-one.

Jim Retrieving His Ball From The Cup After Hitting His Hole-In-One


Jackson turned one-year old on February 9.  He celebrated his birthday with a night out on the town with Veronica and Kyle.  Jackson was growing fast, maturing as expected and continuing to be the center of their and their parents universe.

Veronica, Jackson And Kyle Celebrating Jackson’s First Birthday


In late March, we held our Arizona ISU Acacia gathering hosted by Bruce and Sonnie Campbell in Sun City,  Arizona.

L to R: Jim Davis, Dick Taylor, Dennis McComber, Dick Cone, Bob Davis, Larry McComber, Bruce Campbell, John McDonald, Bert Fellows, Larry Fellows and Larry Woghan


More summer travels -


In April, Francine and I caught up with Kim, Dave, Veronica, Kyle and Jackson who travelled to  California to visit Brett and to introduce Jackson to Disneyland.  In May we travelled to Westford to participate in the annual Westford Run which again remembered Cindie for her earlier dedication and support of this charity event.  Again, Waste Management supported this event in honor of Cindie.


Francine And Jim, May 2014


On August 6, Bev, Allan and Francine helped me celebrate my 79th birthday with a wonderful dinner at our favorite local steak house.  Two days later our family traveled to Lima, Peru and our eventual destination of Machu Picchu.  Brian  and  Dave planned our trip with A & K.  Our nine hour flight to Lima was uneventful and we arrived mid-morning Lima time.  We checked into the hotel which was overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  Some of us walked to a nearby shopping mall to check out the bargains for purchase. The following day we had a guided tour of several nearby sites in and around Lima.  The next morning, we boarded a regional Peruvian airliner for a one hour flight to Cusco, the nearest airport to Machu Picchu.  Cusco is at 11,000 feet elevation.  We were advised to be prepared for altitude sickness.  The rooms in our hotel had additional oxygen injected into the rooms.  We toured the area the next day and explored Cusco on foot. 


L to R:  Jim, Beverly, Allan and Francine Celebrating Jim’s 79th Birthday


Back Row, L to R: Kyle, Francine, Jim, Kevin, Mandy, Courtney, Andrew, Ellen and Brett

Front Row, L to R: Wylie (Kyle’s Friend), Adam, Kim, Brian, Brad and David

Our Machu Picchu Family Party


The entire group with the exception of Kim, Francine and I were hiking to Machu Picchu from a departure point not far from Cusco.   The twelve hikers had some 20 porters carrying the hiker’s extra clothes, the food and wine, the eating utensils, the tents, sleeping bags, the equipment that they might need – even camping chairs - and any other needs that the hikers might have for the five day hike.  The porters hiked the trails that our party hiked, but did not stop as frequently.  They reached the next camp site ahead of our hiking party, set up camp, began preparing the evening meal and welcomed the hikers into the camp.  Two of the porters provided massages for  sore muscles.  The next morning the porters prepared breakfast and snacks for the hikers to carry, broke down the camp and prepared to move it to the next camp site.  The porters, many of them  less than 4 feet tall were amazing.


The Hikers Ready To Begin Their Five Day Hike


The Porters Welcoming The Hikers Into Camp After The First Day Of Hiking


While the hikers   were   doing their thing, Kim, Francine and I had a guided tour primarily of the Sacred Valley which is a fertile valley along the Urubamba River.  The entire valley was developed by the Incas who pioneered advanced agriculture with terraced hillsides, experimental crops and varying farming practices.  In addition, there were the usual ancient ruins, the scenic vistas and the usual various visitor attractions. We stayed in very nice accommodations and gradually transitioned toward Machu Picchu.  The last portion of the journey was a one hour train ride to the small town of Machu Picchu Pueblo which is at the base of the mountain on which Machu Picchu is located. 


One Of Many Ancient Agricultural Properties Where Terraced Farming Was Practiced


We arrived in Machu Picchu Pueblo and purchased tickets for transportation to Machu Picchu which was an old school bus repurposed to transport visitors up the side of a mountain by way of a dirt road to the Machu  Picchu entrance.  We arrived about four hours prior to the expected arrival of our hikers.   Kim, Francine and I took advantage of this time to do a leisurely tour of the Inca ruins named Machu Picchu.  The ruins are fairly extensive but walking the ruins was not particularly difficult as there was not much elevation change on the site itself.  The elevation of Machu Picchu is 8000 feet.  Some of the ruins were in the process of being restored to the original construction.


Francine, Jim And Kim In Machu Picchu

Our Hikers Ready To Descend Into Machu Picchu*

 *Note the switchback road in the background to the hiker’s right.  That is the dirt road from Machu Picchu Pueblo to Machu Picchu which the old school bus brings visitors to the Ruins



Our guide was in telephonic contact with the guides with our hikers which enabled them to alert us as to when the hikers became visible to us as they were descending from about 9000 feet on the trail into Machu Picchu.  We greeted them at the Sanctuary Lodge a very nice hotel at the entrance to the ruins.  We  checked into the hotel and did a second tour of the ruins with our hikers.  After cleaning up we all had dinner in the Sanctuary Lodge.  Most of our group did an early morning short hike up a steep trail to a high point called Intipunku which offers spectacular views of the sunrise over the Andes and the gradual lighting of Machu Picchu by the rising sun.  After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel, boarded the bus to return to Machu Picchu Pueblo.  From there we boarded the train to Cusco where we stayed one more day before returning to Lima and our flights back home.  It was another  great family trip. 


In September Francine and I travelled to the Oregon coast immediately west of Portland to join my  brothers and sisters and spouses for a long weekend of reconnecting.  We had decided when we gathered for Bob’s funeral that we needed to have a “1st Generation Reunion”.   This was it.


We rented a house near the beach where we all stayed.  We walked the beach, played cards, ate too much and generally “hung out”.  Justin and Jamie who lived not far away came and spent time with us and were our official photographers. 


L to R:  Nancy, Janie, Dick, Beverly And Jim


L to R:  Francine, Janie, Beverly, Dick, Judy, Jim, Neal, Nancy and Allan


In October we visited Lindsey in NYC.  Francine and I spent several hours in the 9/11 Memorial & Museum which had opened a few months earlier.  It is a popular attraction for NYC visitors and is difficult to acquire tickets on short notice.  The Museum was especially well done.  It had many articles from the destroyed Twin Towers.  The tour was particularly moving and  should be visited by every resident of the U.S.  Lindsey again visited us in Scottsdale to celebrate Thanksgiving.


Francine and I hosted my family for Christmas.  We celebrated with an outing including the Princess Fairmount Hotel magnificent Christmas display and Christmas dinner at The Estancia Club and memorialized it with the following picture.

L to R:  David, Brett, Ellen, Kim, Courtney, Andy, Mandy, Kevin, Jackson, Kyle, Veronica,

Janice(Veronica’s mother), Francine, Jim, Tabatha (Adam’s friend), Adam, Brad and Brian



Click HERE to go to Part XVI