ASTORIA — A husband, father and friend, 81-year-old Jerry Davis died March 7 at home, surrounded by his family. The funeral Mass was held at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church here.
A man of faith and heart and humor, he could be seen around town walking hand-in-hand with his wife, riding the bus, playing bocce or talking with a friend. He could often be found at his desk, writing letters, designing envelopes, enclosing articles — all matched to the interests of his hundreds of recipients — people he had known for seventy years or had just met. Everyone was equal in Jerry’s heart.
Born in Port Townsend, Washington, he was the son of Elmer Davis and Kathleen Harker Davis. He bounced around before landing in Mount Angel, Oregon, he attended Mount Angel Seminary High School. In 1955 he professed vows at the monastery where he took the name Brother John. At the Abbey he tended the grounds and the animals and eventually moved to the print shop, which prepared him for his future work at the Daily Astorian. Later, at Star of the Sea Parish and School, Mr. Davis began in custodial and maintenance work where his knack for squirreling things away led to a great collection of treasures and highlighted his belief in sharing, renewing and making things available to anyone in need. In 2006, the liquidation of his 40 years’ of collections became known as the “Sale of the Century” and preceded his retirement.
He is survived by his wife of almost 49 years, Sharon Davis; his children Marco, Ken, Steven, Lisa, and Emily; his grandchildren Ventell, Julia, Anna, Ava and Hayden, as well as brothers John Davis and Neil Willestoft and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations can go to St. Mary’s Memorial Fund, Astoria Warming Center, St. Mary’s Choir Trip to Barcelona, or to the charity of your choice.