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Hubert Ray Davis

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Hubert Ray Davis (Ray) was born in Corning, California in 1923, and was shortly thereafter adopted by his maternal grandparents, John and Addie Ann Davis. After graduating from Corning Union High School in 1940, he was employed in one of Corning's olive canning plants, and later became a bookkeeper and a teller with Bank of America, working in Corning, Redding, and Willows.

In 1942 Ray enlisted in the Army Air Corps at the Chico Army Air Base. A member of the 454th Bomb Group, Ray completed a tour of thirty-five missions as a B-24 lead navigator flying European bombing missions out of Italy with the 15th Air Force. After pilot training, he flew fifty-five combat missions as a B-29 pilot during the Korean police action. He holds the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross as well as numerous other decorations. Over the years Ray held a number of Air Force staff and command assignments including being commander of a B-52 squadron. Under Air Force operation bootstrap, he graduated with honors from the University of Omaha in 1965. His final Air Force assignment was as Assistant Deputy Directory, Command and Control, Strategic Air Command Headquarters. Colonel Davis retired from the military in 1969.

Ray bought a home in Paradise, and spent two years as production manager with the now defunct Diamond International Finished Wood Products in Chico. He later taught real estate at Butte College, operated a real estate brokerage office in Orland, and bought and renovated older properties throughout the county. He served as president of the Glenn County Board of Realtors, and later as president of the combined Glenn-Colusa Counties Board of Realtors. Ray is a past president of the Valley-Ridge Chapter, Military Officers Association of American, and was at one time a member of the national Disabled Veterans of America. He served as secretary of SIR branch 43 before it folded, and then became assistant secretary of branch 82. In 2003, he became a member of the Paradise Police Department Volunteers in Police Services serving in the patrol unit, and as a coordinator of the department's neighborhood watch program.

Ray passed away on April 5, 2008 after a prolonged battle with lung cancer. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, the former Maxine Wilson of Orland, California. He will be remembered with love, respect, and gratitude by his three children, Rebecca Davis, Lauren Davis Todd, and Kent Wilson Davis, and by his four grandchildren.

Ray's family and friends can take comfort in the fact that after forty years on the ground, Colonel Davis is once again back in the wild blue yonder, climbing high into the sun.

A viewing will be held on Wednesday, April 9th from 5:00 to 8:00 at the Brusie Funeral Home, 626 Broadway in Chico, California 95928. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 on Thursday, April 10th, at First Christian Church, 5738 Pentz Road, Paradise, California, 95969. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Paradise Hospice, 1289 Billie Road, Paradise, CA 95967.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Apr. 8, 2008
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