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Richard Lee Davies

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Richard Lee Davies Obituary

Richard Lee Davies, 74, passed peacefully at his home in Yuba City, February 6, 2015.

Dick was born in Frankfort, Indiana to Alvin and Leona (Sheets) Davies on October 12, 1940, the third of four children. Raised on a farm, he attended Rossville High School (Class of 1958), then Purdue University where he graduated with a degree in Agricultural Engineering and a commission in the United States Air Force.

After completing his Air Force flight training, he was assigned to the first squadron of RF-4s and shipped out to Vietnam, beginning a career in reconnaissance. Dick was then assigned to Alconbury, England, where he flew the Phantom over Europe, married Mary Nell Higgins and had their twin daughters, Lisa and Dina. In 1970, Captain Davies joined the U-2 program then at Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona and soloed on his first flight on April 16, the 260th pilot to fly the aircraft. While in Tucson, son, Tom, joined the family.

Following a staff tour at Ramstein AFB, Germany, the Davies' came to Beale AFB and settled in Yuba City. Dick continued to fly the U-2 all over the world, including several temporary assignments in Thailand before the end of the Viet Nam war. Major Davies retired from the Air Force in 1984 and went to work for Lockheed/NASA flying the ER-2 for several years.

Dick cared for his wife until she lost her own battle with cancer, then joined the team that was contracted for the U-2 training program as a pilot instructor and Subject Matter Expert (SME), maintaining his connection to the reconnaissance community. He pursued his love of aviation with the Beale Aero Club, flying Cessnas and serving as the club Safety Officer for fifteen years. He was also actively involved with the Daedalians, a fraternity of military pilots.

In 1999, Dick met Becky, who became his "new old wife" in 2003. Together, they traveled by car, RV, airplane and cruise ship.

Dick is survived by his wife, Becky; children, Lisa (Tracy), Dina Webber and Tom (Sammy); grandkids, Emily and Jared Webber, Kayla and Bella Pobuda and Harrison Davies; brothers, Charles (Rita), Maurie (Barb); sister, Sue (Fred) Resner; parents-in-law, Tom and Lucille Livingstone; and innumerable cousins, nieces and nephews.

Dick's life and service will be celebrated on the Flight Line at Beale Air Force Base on February 20, 2015 at 3:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Save the Redwoods League.

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Published in Appeal Democrat from Feb. 13 to Feb. 15, 2015
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