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Elaine Gething Davis


1927 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Elaine Gething Davis Obituary
Elaine Gething Davis

1927 ~ 2018

Elaine died surrounded by close friends after a short, unexpected illness, ready to join Phil, her beloved husband of 58 years. Born on her aunt's farm on the Oregon coast, her parents always encouraged her to get an education, not that common for rural girls. When they moved near a military base, the whole family would run outside to watch planes fly over. After WWII her father bought a surplus plane, and everyone took flying lessons. Elaine decided to pursue aeronautical engineering at Oregon State College. Her professors encouraged her, though she was the sole woman in mechanical engineering. The returning vets turned out to be supportive, but some of the younger ones said she was only there to get married. That made her mad enough to study even harder, receiving the Student Branch Lecture Award from The Institute of Aeronautical Studies her freshman year. After graduation Boeing employed her as a clerk, performing data reduction on a calculator for the new wind tunnel. A former professor arrived to consult at Boeing and challenged them for discriminating against a woman with an engineering degree. She was reclassified as an aerodynamist and began a career that, after the wind tunnel, included classified work planning trajectories for missiles and putting things in orbit. She described her mostly male co-workers as like family. She thought her work was lots of fun and always interesting. Honored with an Employee Achievement Award, she retired in 1992.

Elaine always lived with joy and excitement and liked a party as much as solving engineering puzzles. She and Phil belonged to Seattle Yacht Club and sailed the San Juans. Truthfully, Elaine didn't like boating much, but she loved the Women's Group, the Drama Group, the prayer group and tap dancing into her eighties. She was President of the Women's Group at SYC and twice President of the Women's Interclub Council, where she served as historian and photographer for decades. Besides photography, she painted, read constantly and loved learning new things.

A healthy and independent woman, she lived in her houseboat well past her 90th birthday. She and Phil met dancing at the Trianon Ballroom and enjoyed musicals, plays, the Symphony and jazz. Elaine had a tender heart and gave generously to help animals, environmental groups, children, the poor, those suffering injustice, veterans, Oregon State, church ministries and many other causes. She said you have to do your part, but everyone's life depends on the help of others. She felt blessed and expressed her deep Christian faith in word and deed. She's survived by a host of loving friends.

A service will be held at

St. Luke's Episcopal Church,

5710 22nd Ave. NW, Seattle at

1:00 pm, Wednesday, February 7.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Elaine Gething Davis Scholarship c/o the Oregon State University Foundation, 850 SW 35th St., Corvallis, OR 97333.

Please sign Elaine's online Guestbook at www.Legacy.com
Published in The Seattle Times on Feb. 4, 2018
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