February 4, 1932 — July 25, 2018
Don “Bud” Davis, 86, of Corvallis passed peacefully on July 25 from natural causes while surrounded by loved ones.
Born in El Centro, California in 1932, Don’s family moved to rural Marion County, Oregon in 1938 and established a dairy near St. Paul. He spent his early years attending schools in Canby and Hubbard, working on the family farm, and engaged in a wide range of extracurricular activities including competitive sports and Future Farmers of America.
He attended Oregon State College where he earned letters in Crew and Wrestling. An officer of Acacia Fraternity, he graduated in 1954 with a degree in Agriculture - Animal Husbandry. The highlight of his college years was meeting Nancy Lee Pace (Alpha Delta Pi) of Portland, whom he married in 1955. The couple initially settled near St. Paul and later Woodburn before returning to Corvallis in 1965, where they have lived ever since.
After a short, happy career as an Oregon dairy farmer, Don worked in sales for agribusinesses R. M. Wade of Portland and Moore-Rane of Corvallis. In 1967, he and Nancy founded Beaver Buildings, Inc. which they owned and operated until the 1980s. Their company managed more than 850 construction projects and manufactured prefabricated metal buildings for markets throughout the U.S. and several foreign countries.
Later in his career, Don partnered with IMF Development, building churches in several western states. As much as he enjoyed creating things of beauty that were built to last, he was especially proud of his role creating hundreds of living wage jobs that enabled employees to work hard, provide for their families, and give back to their communities .
Don was active, in and volunteered for many community based organizations including Jaycees, PTA, Elks, Kiwanis, Habitat for Humanity, Oregon Home Builders Association, Coast Guard Auxiliary, CARDV, Acacia Fraternity, and Scouting. His work as Acacia’s alumni advisor earned him their highest international honor, the Order of Pythagoras.
He was a member of Calvin Presbyterian Church since shortly after its founding, serving in several leadership roles including their building committee. His public service included a stint in the U.S. Navy Reserves, where he acquired a love of open water and an honorable discharge.
Don’s hobbies included travel, sailing, fishing, hunting, and flying. He loved the outdoors and was most happy getting up early and getting outside, year round. He was a maker at heart and always had a project going.
In the course of building three family homes in Corvallis and two cabins in Central Oregon, he was known to draft floor plans in order to satisfy city planners and building inspectors, then set the plans aside and build things as they should be built, often from memory . Some of his local projects included expansions to Acacia Fraternity and Calvin Presbyterian Church, and building the iconic Altrusa Elephant Ears trailer.
Don is survived by Nancy, his wife of 63 years; children, Phil (Kathy) of Bountiful, Utah, Jeff (Diane) of Corvallis, Chris (Catherine) of Davis, California and Kelly (Tim) of Salt Lake City; grandchildren, Jack, James, Wynton, Sophia, Nicola, Alex, Ian and Elliot; great-grandchildren, Charlie and Lily; sisters, Marion Piper of Woodburn and Annette Smith of St. Paul; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Newton and Harriet Davis; and brother, Joseph Davis.
The family is especially grateful for the care provided by the dedicated personnel of Willamette Springs, Samaritan Health Services, and Lumina Hospice organizations.
McHenry Funeral Home is coordinating services. A private graveside service will precede a celebration of life at 3 p.m. on August 3, hosted by Calvin Presbyterian Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Calvin Church Building Fund, 1736 NW Dixon St., in Corvallis.
Online thoughts and condolences may be shared at www.mchenryfuneralhome.com.
Son, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather, Brother, Entrepreneur and Friend. Our one-of-a-kind Don was loved and respected by many, and will be missed.