Berkeley Lowell “Pat” Davis, age 85, died at his sweetheart Ellen Garver’s house in Walla Walla, Washington, on the 19th of January 2016, when he lost his battle to cancer.
Born March 17th, 1930, in Walla Walla, Washington, to Berkeley Anthony and Mildred Rogers Davis, he graduated from Pendleton High School and later enlisted in the United States Air Force where he achieved rank of Second Lieutenant. Upon returning home, B.L. attended Oregon State College where he was a member of the rowing and football team. With his father having a sudden heart attack, B.L. was forced to return home to take over the family Ranch in Adams, Oregon.
On August 24, 1952, B.L. married his high school love Marlene Lieuallen. To this union, three children were born: Susan Marlene Davis, Berkeley Francis Davis, and Roger Lieuallen Davis. They made their home on the family ranch in Adams, Oregon.
It was at this time B.L. started to build the family legacy, continuing to purchase land and grow the family business. In 1957 he incorporated the business into what is known today as B.L. Davis Ranch Inc. B.L. farmed and managed a vast amount of land and cattle over the years of which he gained recognition and several prestigious awards from the Umatilla County Wheat Growers Association and the Soil and Water Conservation District. B.L. was a pioneer in the farming industry, leading the way to stop soil erosion with such techniques as no-till farming and using combine stripper headers. B.L. combined livestock operations from calving to finish feeding with the production of grain and new crop varieties.
In later years, B.L. procured the title of acting president of Rogers Walla Walla Canning Company, assuming responsibility for the business that his grandfather L.L. Rogers created in 1935. B.L. remained president, overseeing operations through the business transition to Rogers of Walla Walla until 1987, when he sold the business to American Fine Foods.
With the desire to expand B.L. Davis Ranch Inc., and no land available for sale in the area in 1970, B.L. purchased a significant amount of land in Union County.
In the early 1990s, B.L. purchased two Case International Harvester dealerships, one in Walla Walla and one in La Grande, which he ran successfully for the next 12 years.
B.L. always had a passion for rodeo and roping. He spent many hours roping in his arena at the ranch. He competed in PRCA Rodeos in team roping as well as steer roping. One of his favorite rodeos was the Pendleton Round-Up, where he served two terms on the board of directors. In his later years, he enjoyed traveling the senior circuit, roping with old friends. He roped up until 2012 at age 81.
B.L. enjoyed many hobbies throughout his life that included football, snowmobile racing, skiing, roping, hunting, and flying. He was an honorary lifetime member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and in later years a member of the National Senior Pro-Rodeo Association. He was also a member of the Northwest Quarter Horse Association. B.L. was an avid helicopter pilot and a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association. He served as president of the Tollgate Homeowners Association. He was a member of the Pendleton Elks Lodge. B.L. was inducted into the Pendleton Buckaroo Football Hall of Fame in 2008. He served on the board of the Umatilla County Soil and Water Conservation. In 1969, he was awarded the Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Accomplishment for Soil and Water Conservation.
Survivors include his three children: Susan Davis Ely, Berkeley F. Davis and Roger L. Davis, all of Adams; his 11 grandchildren: Erin Ely, Abby Ely, Claire Ely, Haley Davis, Tiffany Davis Eckroth, Marlene Bodmer, Cloe Davis, Jeffrey Davis, Chelsea Davis, Shelby Davis and Mason Davis; and three great-grandchildren: Paisley Primus, Harper Primus and Berkeley Eckroth. Also, survived by Ellen Garver, his girlfriend of Walla Walla. B.L. was preceded in death in December 1984 by his late wife, Francis Marlene Lieuallen.
Services will be held at Pendleton Pioneer Chapel, Folsom-Bishop at 2:00 p.m. Friday, January 29, 2016, followed by burial at Olney Cemetery in Pendleton.
Memorial contributions are welcome at Pendleton Foundation Trust, Pendleton Round-Up Hall of Fame and the American Cancer Society.
Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.pioneerchapel.com