Edward W. “Pete” Davis

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Edward W. “Pete” Davis completed his journey on earth on Dec. 30, 2021. After almost 90 years of hard work, faithfulness and love, Pete began his next journey, assuredly in Heaven, with family at his side.

Funeral services for Pete will be Saturday, Jan. 15, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Guttenberg. Visitation with family will be from 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. The funeral mass will take place at 11 with a lunch to follow. Inurnment with full military honors, and a celebration of life will be set for a later date. Honorary pallbearers are Sean Rork, Kassie Patzner, Shannon Knaack, Mark Davis, Nick Davis, Jordan Davis, Collin Even and Ellie Davis – all grandchildren of Pete.

Pete Davis was born Edward William Davis, to Flora Belle (Palmer) and Glen Haven Davis on Jan. 25, 1932, in Wisconsin. He joined two sisters, June (Maurie) Pierce and Glee (Bob) Kuempel.

As a teenager, Pete spent many summers in Guttenberg helping at his brother-in-law (Maurie Pierce’s) lumber company and coming to love the small town. During his youth and throughout his life, Maurie was a huge influence, guide, mentor and friend to Pete. “Like a father,” Pete used to say. One of those summers involved a bicycle trip from Janesville, Wis. Pete’s children loved to hear the story of that adventure! Pete moved to Guttenberg with his mother, who opened an ice cream shop. He attended St. Mary Catholic school where he met Lois Elsinger, who would become his sweetheart. Pete also worked for a time as a deckhand on the Mississippi and for a bit at the Dubuque Packing Co. before joining the Navy.

Pete joined the United States Navy in 1951. He and the love of his life, Lois, joined in marriage on Dec. 27,1952. For 69 years they lived and loved, traveling for the military, raising eight children and eventually coming back to Guttenberg. Pete and Lois found themselves in Germany, Washington, D.C., the Philippines, Hawaii (twice), San Diego, Calif., Pensacola, Fla. and Pete was aboard ship for one year, crossing the equator to Africa. He retired Master Chief Petty Officer Edward W. Davis, CTOCM, in 1974, moving back to Guttenberg. He drove school bus for a while as well as worked at the Ford garage. Eventually Pete went into farming, buying acreage in Johles Hollow, in 1976. At some point, early in his military career, Pete’s dream to farm started to grow. With a lot of help, guidance and laughter from his Elsinger in-laws he got his farm up and running. In 1990, Pete partnered with his son, Richard, forming the Double D Ranch, where they ran a cow-calf operation until his second retirement in 2001. 

Pete’s life was dedicated to his family and God. He was an innovator - could find a solution to any problem, communicator - “pick a bone” over any concern, intelligent, hardworking and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and uncle to many - like a second dad to some. Pete’s faith was strong and deep. His love of God and country undeniable! Pete and Lois raised their children to be the same and encouraged them to be their best at whatever they wanted to do. Pete and Lois instilled in their children very strong ethics – work and personal. As busy as he was with being husband, father, provider, Pete loved to hunt and fish and passed that on to his kids and grand-kids, playing cards and cribbage with family and he enjoyed his wife’s cooking - especially her homemade tacos and frijoles!

There isn’t enough paper and ink to tell of all the things Pete taught others, the stories he told, the laughter he evoked and the love his family felt!

He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Lois (Elsinger) Davis; his eight children, Jacqueline L. (Wayne) Boardman, Bernita A. (Larkin) Rutledge, Barbara J. (Gary) Arthur, Kenneth F. (Kim) Davis, Andrew G. (Diane) Davis, Richard J. (Sheila) Davis, Theresa M. (Jody) Spann and Franklyn T. (Julie) Davis; 20 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Pete was preceded in death by his parents; mother and father-in-law; sisters; brothers-in-law; sister-in-law; two nieces and two nephews and other, more extensive family and all his beloved dogs.

The family of Edward W. Davis share their most heartfelt thanks to the nursing and care staff at the Guttenberg Care Center, with a special thanks to the St. Croix Hospice nurses. The family asks that flowers be sent to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 518 S. 2nd St., Guttenberg, IA 52052 and memorial donations to St. Mary’s School, PO Box 847, Guttenberg, IA 52052 and St. Croix Hospice,101 Elkader St., Strawberry Point, IA 52076. 

When asked, at age 81, ‘How would you like others to remember you?’, Pete’s response was:

‘A man with a wonderful family. A man who loved his country enough to spend 22 years serving her, though not necessarily proud of all those who helped govern her. An individual who would help others to the extent possible.’

And that he was.

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