James R. Davis

James R. Davis

10/22/1939 — 3/2/2022

James Riley Davis went to be with his Lord and Savior Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Though it leaves a painful hole in our family, we take comfort knowing he is with our loving heavenly Father. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”

James was born Oct. 22, 1939, to Thomas and Thelma Davis at Norfolk Naval base in Portsmouth, Va. His family relocated to San Diego, where he completed high school in 1957, graduating from Mission Bay high school. He later attended Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston and earned bachelor degrees in secondary education and social science.

He was a man of deep integrity who devoted himself to God, family, and country. His investment into all three produced great personal riches. He loved God with all his heart, and that love gave him an internal moral compass and a strong faith. Because of that faith, he said he did not fear death.
Our family has a tradition of our dad telling the Christmas story every Christmas Eve before the presents are opened. The children, grandchildren, and now, great-grandchildren, sit at the foot of the nativity and place the pieces as they are mentioned. He was able to do that one final time this last Christmas, as he spoke about eternity and God’s greatest gift to humankind through Christ’s humble birth. He is now a part of that vast eternity of heaven.
He leaves behind, for now, his wife, Barbara. They had been married for almost 59 years. Throughout their life together, he was her greatest cheerleader, and they were spiritual and intellectual best friends. Our mom said she would often find something interesting in a book and bring it to our dad who would put down whatever he was doing and listen intently and engage her in deep conversation. She will greatly miss those moments, and their adventures.
He was, indeed, the rock of the family, and we all looked to him for wisdom in our times of crisis. He was that rare combination of moral strength mixed with grace, forgiveness, and a Christ-like love.
He was also deeply devoted to our country. He served in Vietnam, once in the Gulf of Tonkin. After Vietnam, he went on to a long and well-decorated career in the Air Force, from which he eventually retired, and moved back to LewistonHe had memorized the Declaration of Independence and would recite it to the family and be moved to tears. He believed in the greatness and promise of our country, risked his life to defend it, and never doubted its founding principles.

He was also a lover of the wilderness and would venture out to the remotest spots in the Bitterroots or, when he was in Alaska, to the remote regions around Mount Denali. He was a frontiersman and adventurer at heart, and loved to explore the majesty, and most untouched places in nature.

Perhaps, the most unusual thing about our dad was his humility. In a time where everything is shared on social media, he was content to exist quietly in the corner of the world God had placed him. He never sang his own praises or asked to be lauded, but his presence was strong, steady, and comforting to those whose lives he touched. We all hope to carry on that rich inheritance of faith, hope, humility, and love he has left to us.

James Riley Davis is survived by his wife, Barbara, children Lori (Joe) Nesbitt, Linda (Mike) Reznicek, James (Christina), Daniel (Natsue), Matthew, and Rebekah (Tony) Picchena, 11 grandchildren, and their spouses, and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Thelma Davis, and is survived by one sister, JoAnn (Rick) Nelson, two nieces, one nephew and their families.

James Davis will be laid to rest with military honors at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery at Medical Lake, Wash.

Service Information

Date & Time
Tuesday, March 15, 1:00 PM
Washington State Veterans Cemetery
21702 W. Espanola Road
Medical Lake, Washington 99022

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920 21st Avenue
Lewiston, Idaho 83501
(208) 743-6541 or 800-584-8812