Baker City, Oregon
Carl M. Davis, 89, a longtime Baker City resident and businessman, died Nov. 27, 2004, at the Wallowa Valley Care Center in Enterprise.
His funeral will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Baker City Church of the Nazarene at Cedar Street and Hughes Lane. Pastor Ralph Holcomb and Jack Pittman will officiate. There will be an honorary military graveside burial at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Friends are invited to join the family for a reception afterward at the Nazarene Church.
Visitations will be until 8 o’clock tonight at Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave.
Mr. Davis was born on Oct. 13, 1915, at Vale to Melville Evan and Mary Jessie Dee Davis. He was raised in the Rock Creek area and completed all 12 grades at Muddy Creek School west of Haines. He graduated in 1933.
He completed 14 months of business and bookkeeping studies at Baker Business college in 1935 and 1936. He completed three correspondence courses with the American Institute of Banking over the next two years.
In 1937, he met Illa Lorraine Hunt. They were married at Weiser, Idaho, on May 21, 1938. They had four children: Ronald, Marilyn, Richard and Michael.
Mr. Davis went to work for Baker State Bank in 1939 as an assistant teller. He enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in July of 1942 and served his country in and around Ketchikan, Alaska, until his honorable discharge in September 1945 as a radioman 1st class.
After his discharge, he returned to continue his banking career in loan processing and insurance a the Baker State Bank. As he worked his way up at Baker State Bank, he again was called to active duty for a short time in 1950.
He returned to continue at the bank until he was offered a position at Pioneer Federal Savings in 1953. He spent most of the next 30 years of his life leading that company to become the premier mortgage lending institution in Eastern Oregon with offices in several communities and several dozen employees.
Pioneer Federal Savings grew to more than $350 million in assets by the time of his retirement.
During his banking career, he was state Jaycee of the Year in 1948, served several years on the Baker County Fair Board, was chairman of Gov. Mark Hatfield’s campaign twice, served several years on the Executive Committee of the Oregon Savings and Loan League and as its president in 1958. He served several terms on the Legislative Committee of the U.S. Savings and Loan League in Washington, D.C., and served as chairman of the St. Elizabeth Hospital Fund Drive.
He was also a member of the Elks Lodge and was active in the early organization of the Baker County Historical Society and active in and a past president of the Baker County Chamber of Commerce.
After his retirement in 1980, he and his wife, Illa, were able to spend summers in Baker City and winters in their place in Yuma, Ariz. He continued to enjoy his love for the outdoors of Eastern Oregon with his family and especially with his grandchildren.
He and Illa spent the last few years in Joseph being loved and cared for by their daughter, Marilyn Suarez, and her husband, Tom.
Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Illa L. Davis of Enterprise; son, Ronald E. Davis, and his fiancee, Joyce McDannel, of Baker City, and grandson, Layne P. Davis, and wife, Paris, of Phoenix, Ariz.; daughter, Marilyn E. Suarez, and her husband, Tom, of Joseph, and grandson, Cuyler Lighthall II and his wife, Kate, of Redmond, Calif., and great-grandchildren, Tate and Parker Jane; son, Richard Davis and his wife, Melissa of Wilsonville, and grandsons, Nick and Ryan; son, Michael Davis, and his wife, Jan of Wilsonville and grandsons, Justin, Aaron and granddaughter, Emma; sister, Valeta Lamment of Portland and nieces, Marden Anderson and Laurene Peterson, and nephew, John Lamment Jr.; sister, Vina Schultz, and her husband, Elmer, of Portland, and niece, Flora Wade; niece, Mary Ritch of Baker City; niece, Sharon Bednarz and Arlene Persons of California; sisters-in-law, Doris Hunt of Baker City and Alene Hunt of Pendleton; and several other nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Jessie Coleman; his father, Melville Evan Davis; and sisters, Eleanor Snyder and Lula Rich.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Parkinson’s Research Fund or the Baker Christian Church Building Fund through Gray’s West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, December 3, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor