Herbert Gayle Davis, 62, of Princeton died Dec. 28 at Oregon Health & Science University Hospital in Portland.
Davis, the first of five children, was born Jan. 25, 1949, in Ontario, where his brother and sister Joe and Louise were also born. Later, his father, Herb, sold the dairy in Vale and moved to Homedale, Idaho, where his brother Tom was born.
The family then picked up and moved to Princeton, where Davis’ youngest sister, Barbie, was born.
Davis grew up on the farm helping out wherever was needed and being a mentor to his little siblings. At the age of 14, he worked out on other ranches in the summer months, starting with the Spurlock Ranch then on to Gerard Perkins over in the Double O country. He started a permanent job for Western Union working all over Oregon, California, Idaho and Washington taking down old power lines.
While working in Albany, Davis met the love of his life, Valorie Currieri, and in August 1967 they were married.
Herb was then drafted into the army. He was recognized for his ability in pole climbing and was promoted to SP4. He instructed other men in how to climb poles and install communication lines. Davis was transferred to Germany, where he and Val resided until 1970.
Davis went to work for Harney Electric Co-op as a lineman in Orvada, Nev. While working there, he and his wife became the parents to two sons, Herbert Michael and John Benjamin, and were involved in a community church.
Davis’ dream was to farm. In 1977, he and his wife moved back to Princeton and joined the partnership with the family. Herb Davis and Sons purchased more property and developed the land and built a bigger cow/calf operation.
In the spring of 1997, Davis was bucked off his horse at a branding, breaking his back. With Davis’ dad also recovering from an aneurism the partners decided to put the place up for sale.
When the ranch sold in March 1998, Davis was ready to slow down. He and his wife bought property and installed one pivot and built a shop. All the neighbors benefitted from his knowledge of farming, electrical work, and mechanics. They could go to Davis, and he would help them. During this time he enjoyed helping his son Herbie start his farming career and teaching his grandsons to run the equipment.
Davis began a new adventure in 2008. Jim Gilmour bought the property next to Davis and the two of them joined together in the raising of mint. Davis was excited about bringing this new crop to Harney County, and it was very successful.
Davis was very active in the community. He served on the Harney County Farm Bureau from 1986-1990. At the time of his death, he was president of the Harney Electric Board and the Crane Cemetery Board. He also served on the Greater Oregon Federal Credit Union board.
Davis was preceded in death by his parents, Herb and Jennette Davis, nephew Jesse Davis and brother-in-law Gary Colvin.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Valorie Davis; sons, Herb and wife AnnaRuth and John and wife Helen; grandchildren Dustin, Hayden, Shae Lynn and Sierra Davis; sisters Louise Colvin of Portland and Barbie and Tim Carr of Fergus Falls, Minn.; brothers Joe and Sharon Davis of Hines and Tom and Julie Davis of Princeton; stepmother Bernice Davis of Meridian, Idaho; stepbrothers Larry and Arlee Coppinger of Boise, Idaho, and Norman and Debbie Coppinger of Davis, Calif.; stepsister Glenda and Rick Schultz of Twin Falls, Idaho; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Contributions in Davis’ membory may be made to the Crane Cemetery Fund in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, Box 488, Burns, OR 97720, or www.lafolletteschapel.com