Monthly Archives: May 2011

Memory #2: The Prom King of Real Life

Everybody likes you. No really, it’s true! I have never met one single person who didn’t. We had to build an extra ten minutes into our grocery store trips just to make sure we had time to chat with the sample cheese ladies, and it seems like everywhere we went, we (you!) made new friends left and right.

This was especially evident when I went with you to Idaho Springs, for your 50 year high school reunion. We arrived at the outdoor pavilion and there were several groups of old friends sitting at tables, drinking lemonade, and catching up. I waited to see which group of friends you would join as we approached, when one of your friends spotted you. Immediately, everyone was buzzing that Dick – class president, head boy, and all around good guy – had arrived! It was the kind of welcome movie stars and royalty would dream of. You were the prom king of real life. The man of the hour.

After a few hugs and introductions, we flitted (can a 75 year-old man flit?!) from group to group, catching up with everyone. It demonstrated to me that you weren’t just my favorite person in the world, but that everyone, from cheese ladies to high school classmates, thought just as highly of you as I did.

I love you so much, Grandpa! Thanks for teaching me the importance of kindness, how to be sociable, and – most importantly – the fine art of the flit.

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Memory #1: Whoppers

I have never been tall. We know this. In fact, I’m pretty sure all of my LITTLE cousins are taller than me now, except for maybe Joy…hmm… But I have always been scrappy, and a pretty good detective, which is how I found out about the Whoppers.

You thought you had hidden them, but I saw you, every once in awhile, getting something chocolately and delicious out of the top cabinet in the hallway between the kitchen and dining room. And so, after much speculation about chairs and drawers and angles, I pulled out all the drawers below, scrambled up onto the counter (who needs a step stool?!) and felt around and found a carton. I pulled it down, shook it and heard its hollow rumble, and knew I had struck gold. I popped open the top and the balls came streaming out into my hands. I crammed several into my mouth, before I could get caught, and was just about to stash the evidence and wipe the chocolate off of my face when I heard that distinctive Grandpa chuckle. I looked up to see you standing there, smiling at me, shaking your head and cracking up. You had been watching me the entire time.

Busted.

Better luck next time, Harriet the spy.

I love you so much, Grandpa! I’ll see you in eight days! It’s almost birthday cake time! I wonder if we can make a Whopper flavored cake? YUM!

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For Grandpa

My sweet Grandpa passed away last week. He was 88. In addition to his many accomplishments, awards and honors, he was also just the best guy I know.  He and I had a very special relationship. I already miss him.

I will be posting some of the memories I’d been mailing to him, so everyone can share in his wonderfulness. In the meantime, if you’d like to read his official obit and leave a comment below, please do. He loved so many people, and I know his bright spirit lives on.

We love you, Grandpa!

Richard Everett “Dick” Davis, 88, was born on May 1, 1923 near Idaho Springs, Colo. at Floyd Hill to Margaret and Shelby Davis. He often liked to say that he arrived in a May Day basket with his twin brother, Bob.

He attended Idaho Springs High School, where he was a natural leader, popular student, and active Boy Scout. He was elected both Class President and Head Boy his senior year, and graduated in the spring of 1941. Dick would remain devoted to Idaho Springs for his entire life, serving as president of the Idaho Springs High School Alumni Association from 1994–2005, and continuing as an active member of the board until his passing.

Dick enlisted with the Army Air Force in January of 1942. He served as a 2nd lieutenant bombardier with the fourth army air corps until the war ended in 1945, when he returned home to attend college at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

At CU, Dick was a dedicated student, a proud member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, the university’s hiking club, and the civil engineering society, which he led as president his senior year. He also played co-ed intramural volleyball and was a long-time admirer of his teammate, Dee.

They married on August 27, 1950 and were married for 61 years.

Dick was hired by Rio Grand railroad in 1952 and was steadily promoted through a variety of positions. The Davis family moved between Utah and Colorado before settling permanently in Arvada in 1969. He retired in 1985 as Superintendent of Engineering, overseeing structures, buildings and bridges. Davis Road in Salt Lake City still leads to the superintendent’s office as a testament to his 34 years of service.

Dick was passionate about so many facets of his life. As a volunteer, he devoted his retirement years to many causes, including tutoring at Stott and Vanderhoof Elementary, volunteering for the PBS Channel 6 auction, chairing the CU class of 1950 reunion committee, and participating in Boy Scout activities with his sons and grandsons. Dick was a recipient of the Silver Beaver award in 1974, the Denver Area Council’s highest honor for Boy Scout volunteers. He was so proud that his four sons and one grandson obtained their Eagle Scout, scouting’s highest rank.

He also traveled widely, visiting 48 states, Europe and Asia with Dee during their life together.

He was a loving father and grandfather to his five children and 13 grandchildren, and he instilled in them a love of service, respect for nature, and a deep appreciation for family.

Dick passed away on May 4, 2011. He is survived by his beloved wife, Dee; his son Kirk and his wife, Lorna; his son Kip and his wife, Lynn; his son Kelly and his wife, Michelle; his daughter Heidi and her husband, Keith; his son Kerry and his wife, Jani; and 13 grandchildren: Eric, Hilary, Grant, Morgan, Ali, Hope, Ian, Kanessa, Kaylan, Faith, Grace, Joy, and Hannah.

Donations may be made to:

Denver Area Council

Boy Scouts of America

10455 W. 6th Avenue, Suite 100

Denver, CO 80215

Clear Creek Alumni Association

65 Brentwood Street

Lakewood, CO 80226

OASIS Institute

In memory of Richard Davis, Jefferson  County, Colorado

7710 Carondelet Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63105

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