Emma C. Davis, 89, passed away suddenly Friday, June 28, 2013. She was born Sept. 24, 1923, in the Springhill area to Jasper and Constance McGuire.
Emma was a fourth-generation Montanan and the descendant of both Irish immigrants who fought in the Revolutionary War and of Swedish pioneers who came up the Missouri River to Fort Benton in 1867.
She was the second of three children and graduated from Belgrade High School as the valedictorian of the Class of 1942. She was in the local 4-H club for more than a decade and was the Gallatin County winner in 1940 and 1941 in Dress Review and the Montana State winner in 1941, winning a trip to the national 4-H Congress in Chicago. She would forever remember that, on the train ride back to Montana, the conductor announced that Pearl Harbor had been attacked.
She went to work for the Chemistry Department at Montana State College back in the day when the department was also the State Crime Lab. She shared her first-hand stories with her family of the various ways that Montanans could murder their spouses. She was pledged as an honorary Electron, an organization of women majoring in Chemistry. She also had plenty of stories about the College Ag Department, particularly in the 1940s when weather stats were skewed because someone installed rain gauges in a field full of sheep-who were busy drinking out of the gauges!
Emma also worked for George Y. Patton, one of Bozeman's more colorful attorneys, infamous for his outbursts and for dancing on courtroom tabletops during his arguments.
She met her future husband at a Grace Gospel Tabernacle (now Grace Bible) Hay Ride. Robert Davis, a Bridger Canyon farm boy and a U. S. Army Sergeant, had just returned from the World War II European Theater. The Army lost his duffel bag and he was forced to show up to church in his uniform. It was love at first sight and the start of a 54-year marriage. They were married in Bozeman on Dec. 20, 1947. They moved all over the west following his career with the U. S. Deptartment of the Interior. Three daughters were born in Great Falls, Portland, and Coulee Dam.
She would later work in the Bay Area for the Marin County Clerk of Court. She remembered being at work the day when there was an attempted jail break for revolutionary Angela Davis, who was being held in the county jail.
The family returned to Montana in 1976 to run her parents' Springhill farm. She spent the last 36 years of her life at the place where she started.
Emma was a member of Grace Bible Church and in every town she lived in, she was active in her church and in her faith.
She continued on as a 4-H leader in Washington and California. Over the decades she would pile up multiple sweepstakes and blue ribbon awards at the Washington and Montana State Fairs, and the Montana Winter Fair.
She loved the Lord, her family, her pets, and anything to do with pigs.
She was predeceased by her parents, her brothers, Joe and Ed, her husband, and her daughter, Sheryl.
She is survived by her daughters Karen E. Davis of Belgrade and Linda G. Davis of Oakland; and granddaughter, Maya Davis Patil, also of Oakland.
Visitation will take place Tuesday, July 2 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Dokken Nelson Funeral Service. Services are set for Wednesday, July 3, at 10 a.m. at Bozeman's Grace Bible Church in the Fireside Room.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, PO Box 4527, New York, NY 10163; Grace Bible Church, 3625 S. 19th Ave., Bozeman, MT 59718; or Montana Food Bank, 5625 Expressway, Missoula, MT 59808.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com