Damon Andrew Davis of Hines died Oct. 28.
He was born June 1, 1986, in Redmond. He was welcomed home from the hospital by his parents, Joe and Sharon Davis, and his big brother, Nick.
Damon was a happy, outgoing and energetic child who loved everyone and assumed that they loved him. From the time he started walking at nine months old, nothing could slow him down. He had a lot of life to live and was anxious to get at it.
Sports were a big part of his school years, starting with T-ball and culminating in varsity football and basketball. Although he played all sports, football was, by far, his favorite. After his first taste of flag football in grade school, he was hooked and couldn’t wait to play varsity football in high school under Coach Graham. Playing high school football was among the highlights of his life. Damon was a life-long Chicago Bears fan and was thrilled when he had the opportunity to visit Soldier Field in Chicago and get the signatures of some of the players. He was also an avid Oregon State Beavers fan.
Damon’s faith was also a very important part of his life. At the age of seven, he chose to give his life to Christ and was baptized when he was in high school. He attended church with his family at Faith Baptist Church and actively participated in Sunday School and the AWANA program. Many of his lifetime friendships were cultivated through these church activities. In high school, he participated in youth group and Young Life. He had great memories from his times at Young Life camp and a Mexico mission trip.
The first summer out of high school, Damon went to work as a firefighter for the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. That experience set in motion his college curriculum path and, ultimately, his career. He attended Oregon State University and graduated in 2009 with a bachelor of science degree in natural resources. Although the academic work was not his favorite part of the college experience, he worked hard in his field of study.
Damon possessed the strength of character that helped him achieve many goals in his short life. He was determined to: play varsity high school football, get his college degree, graduate from college without any debt and get a full-time, permanent position with U.S. Fish & Wildlife at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. All of these goals he achieved. Along the way, he made many friends that he remained close to.
Damon loved the challenges of fighting fire and the wide variety of tasks around the refuge. Work on a fire was hard and the hours were long, but he enjoyed pushing his body and seeing a fire contained. Over the eight years that he worked at the refuge, he fought fires in Georgia, Minnesota, Wyoming, Nevada, Washington and a number of places in Oregon. Damon had many close friends at the refuge, and they always made the work fun. The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and Steens Mountain were home to Damon, and nothing made him happier than to spend his days off hunting and fishing on the Steens. The last week of his life was spent hunting for elk with good friends.
First and foremost, Damon treasured time with family and friends. Damon was a son who would make any parent proud. As a young person, he was always glad to have his parents around and treated them with love and respect. Before he was permanent and full-time at the refuge, in the off season, he worked for his dad in his construction business, along with his brother Nick, and they have many great memories of those times. In 2010, he spent two weeks touring Italy and Spain with his parents. Whenever he was in town, Wednesday nights were reserved for dinner with his parents and his brother Nick’s family. Damon and Nick loved to go goose hunting or watch a ball game together. All of the holidays were spent with family, and he really enjoyed the extended family gatherings. When Nick and Christy had twins in 2010, Damon discovered the joys of being an uncle, and Sadie Belle and Fielder adored him. He carried pictures of them with him in his pick-up.
Damon had many cherished memories of Memorial Day reunions, calf brandings and holidays spent together with family. He brought so much humor and love to those occasions. Ground-squirrel hunting, riding four-wheelers, wrestling matches, football games; he looked forward to it all.
Those who really knew Damon and considered him a friend, know that friendship was very important to him. He valued all of his friends and wanted to spend time with them. Damon was intensely loyal, never afraid to give a hug and willing to do anything to help a friend.
Damon is survived by his parents, Joe and Sharon Davis; brother, Nick Davis and wife Christy; nephew, Fielder Lee, and niece, Sadie Belle; grandmothers, Mary Teague and Bernice Davis; uncles and aunts, Jack Nelson, Jim Teague and wife Terri, Bill Teague and wife Debbie, Valorie Davis, Louise Colvin, Tom Davis and wife Julie and Barb Carr and husband Tim; and numerous cousins, great-uncles and great-aunts.
He was preceded in death by his grandfathers, Claude Teague and Herb C. Davis; grandmother, Jennette Davis; aunt, Neva Nelson; uncle, Herb G. Davis; and cousin, Jesse Davis.
Contributions in Damon Davis’ memory can be made to Faith Baptist Church, Malheur Refuge Associates and Young Life of Harney County in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720. Condolences can be sent to the family at: