James H Davis
Nov 11, 1934- Nov 21, 2020
The Gem State has lost its brightest gem: James H. Davis, 86, of Weiser, passed away suddenly November 21, 2020, in his home - ten days after his 86th birthday. “It’s not the birthdays,” he would joke, “but the number” that was the problem.
Jim was born November 11, 1934, in Weiser, Idaho, to Ed and Gertrude Davis. As the youngest of three brothers during the Depression, he got to be the first to use the bath water on their farm on the Sunny Side area of Weiser. He walked everywhere and made a few dollars here and there gathering and selling asparagus and hunting. He spent his youth (and adulthood) hunting and fishing to his heart’s content. He often said that the only thing he would have done differently in his life would have been not to waste valuable hunting time by going to school past the eighth grade, but his dad promised to get him a new rifle if he graduated from high school, so he stayed in school.
Jim and his parents then moved into a house that his oldest brother Frank built for them on a patch of land at the end of River Dock Road above the north bank of the Snake River. Jim fished off a boat dock that Frank built for him and fed the family with the game that he captured. It was a time when money was scarce, but the pheasants and ducks were plentiful and the river was clear and full of fish. When he was older, he started to race hydroplanes (wearing the most expensive, top-notch, high-tech life jacket he could find at that time because, as it turned out, he couldn’t swim!). He soon covered the shelves in their tiny family room with boating trophies.
Jim was a jokester and got his entertainment by playing tricks on anyone who would dare to cause him grief. Of course, he always kept hunting and fishing in the hills and reservoirs that surrounded Weiser. Jim’s claim to fame was being an area hunting guide for celebrities like Bing Crosby and George Peppard.
When in his early forties, this confirmed bachelor married Sue (Georgiana) Welch and taught her and her two sons, Ray and Wayne, the fine art of hunting and fishing. Jim and Sue spent a lot of their time together fishing in Brownlee and Mann Creek Reservoirs. The couple lived in (and at one time helped manage) the Pioneer Village Mobile Home Park in Weiser until Sue’s passing in 2018. Jim and their dog Mickey were still living there when he took his last breath: the day of his and Sue’s wedding anniversary.
As a longtime employee of the Weiser Irrigation District, Jim could still be seen almost daily - even up to a few weeks ago - driving either his little gray truck or Sue’s red car around the Weiser Flat (with his pooch on his arm) checking the pipes, gates and ditches. He had just gotten his driver’s license renewed and was looking forward to using it for another four years.
Jim was an award-winning member of Weiser’s Citizens on Patrol. He made a point of being kind and helpful and was a natural at being a good-natured friend and storyteller. He loved to laugh, to make others laugh and to laugh when others laughed. Rarely was anything too serious to worry about. “Some days you get chicken; some days you get feathers.”
He will be so very missed.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his wife (Georgiana “Sue”), his brothers (Frank and George Davis), and a niece (Ella Davis Kingsley). He is survived by his nephew and nieces, (Doug Davis, Ruth Davis-Smith and Dawn Davis Hammer), his step-family (Marty Garner, Wayne and Ray Welch and their family members and extended families), his dog Mickey, and many, many lifelong friends and coffee buddies.
There will be no services at this time.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to any cancer foundation (as he was a survivor of colon cancer) or the Weiser Senior Center. He cared deeply for this place where he and his friends could gather for weekday lunches and monthly breakfasts.