Elmer Davis, of Mora, passed away at his home on Saturday, June 5, 2010. He was 80 years old.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 AM held on Thursday, June 10 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mora.
Visitation will be from 5:00-8:00 PM on Wednesday at the funeral home with a prayer service at 7:30 PM, plus 1 hr. prior to service on Thursday at the church.
Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Mora, MN.
Elmer O. Davis was born in Dell Grove Township, a small rural community near Sandstone, MN on August 17, 1929 and died on June 5, 2010, shortly after he was diagnosed with melanoma. He was the youngest child of Oscar and Hilda (nee Engstrom) Davis who had immigrated to the United States from Sweden. Elmer had many adventures growing up on the family farm and while attending Friesland School, a two room Grade 1-8 school. He continued on to Sandstone High School, where he graduated in 1947. Later that year, he joined the U.S. Air Force and was sent to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas for basic training and then moved on to Fort Warren, Wyoming for further training as a heavy equipment operator. Eventually he became an instructor in that field, attaining the rank of sergeant before his discharge in 1950. From 1950 to 1956, he worked on a variety of road construction jobs including his favorite assignment, working on the construction of the Gunflint Trail.
In October of 1956, Elmer married Alyce Shultz of Hinckley, MN and they moved to Minneapolis where Elmer attended the Minnesota School of Business to study Accounting and Business Law. Upon completing school, Elmer began his career with the State of Minnesota at the Department of Corrections in St. Paul. In 1962, he was appointed as the Business Manager at the Home School for Girls in Sauk Centre, MN. In 1966, he transferred to the Department of Human Services and began work as the Business Manager at Brainard Regional Human Services Center. Later he became Assistant Administrator and then the Administrator of the Woodhaven Nursing Home on the campus of BRHSC. He served in temporary posts as the Acting Administrator of Ah Gwa Ching Nursing Home in Walker in 1975 and in 1987. Elmer served for six months as the Administrator of the Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis at the request of the state commissioner. He retired in 1991, after nearly a thirty three year career with the state. Twenty five of those years were spent at Brainerd.
In 1995, the family moved to Mora, MN to be closer to relatives in Hinckley and Sandstone area. With his Swedish heritage, Elmer especially appreciated the Swedish culture of the Mora community. He enjoyed playing cribbage with friends and meeting with his Wednesday morning “Words of Wisdom” coffee group. As an avid reader, he favored reading novels of the American West and books on American History, including biographies of historical figures. Elmer spent many fun-filled days deer hunting, camping and fishing with his sons, friends, and relatives. With his family and relatives he enjoyed vacations to all parts of the U.S. and Canada. Trips to Alaska and Sweden were special highlights of his retirement years. In Mora he was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, the Dala Heritage Society and the American Legion. While living in Brainerd, he was a member of St. Andrew’s Catholic Church and served as a Eucharistic Minister for twenty years. He was also a member of the Rotary Club, served as a volunteer for Camp Confidence in its early days and was a member of the Golden K’s as a retiree.
Elmer was preceded in death by parents, Oscar and Hilda Davis; his father-in-law and mother-in-law Frank and Elsie Shultz; sister, Violet Davis; brother, Everett Davis; brother-in-laws, Dutch Eitens, Jim Pavelka, Doug Pulkrabek and Bob Shultz; sister-in-law, Kay Pavelka; and nephew Carl Laursen. He is survived by his wife, Alyce; sons, Dirk and Daniel; daughter, Denise (Nate) Nygren; grandsons, Davis and Erik; sister, Elsie Eitens; brothers-in-law, Frank Shultz and Arne Johnson; sisters-in-law, Ruthanne Pulkrabek, Jean Johnson, Shirley Davis, Gerry Shultz and Sharon Shultz; and many nieces, and nephews. Elmer was a man of integrity who was always kind, gentle and caring. He will be greatly missed.