Gary Davis

Gary Davis

OREGON-Gary Allen Davis, PhD., age 75 of Oregon, put down the burden of carrying the cross of cancer on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020.

Gary was born to Jim and Berna Davis on July 17, 1944, in Great Falls, Mont.  He was raised in Fairfield, Mont. on a barley farm just miles from his beloved Glacier National Park.

Gary attended Montana State University in Billings, pursing a degree in Agricultural Economics. While a student there he met and married Susan Smith. He was nearing graduation when a Dean asked if he was interested in obtaining an MBA in a joint program. Billings continued to be their home until he graduated and received a scholarship to a PhD program at Michigan State University. After completing his Doctorate, he took a post with the USDA in Washington. This began a lifelong career in agricultural marketing, spanning the USDA to a professor of marketing to the export marketing director for the cherry industry.

Along the way Gary and Sue had their three children, Burton, Cindy and Kristy. Gary started a second chapter when he met and married Kathy Petta after bumping into her with his shopping cart in the grocery store. That fact was always disputed.

Throughout his lifetime, both work and leisure provided Gary with international travel and adventures. He never imagined that a boy from Montana would be negotiating contracts with Asian and European markets. In his words, “how the heck did I get here?” In retirement he and Kathy continued to travel exploring the US and the world. Often the trips included sites with mountains so Gary could compare them to his beloved Rockies. After seeing the Swiss Alps and the Canadian Rockies he finally decided that the mountains in Banff are the most beautiful.

Gary loved playing golf, especially with his snowbird friends in Orange Beach, Ala. and Evansville Country Club. He made his own wine and designed stained glass gifts for family and friends. His love of chocolate was so strong his grandson, Rhett called him Coco. Gary put his spare time into the flowers in his yard, which never ceased to bring awe from visitors.

Gary was a loving father, stepfather and grandfather.

He is survived by his wife, Kathy; children, Burton (Sue) of Milwaukee, Cindy Taylor of Portage, Kristy (Sean) McCue of Wausau; and stepdaughters, Jody Medeke of Madison and Jenny (Tony) Medeke Bugher, of Canton, Ga. Gary is also survived by his loving grandchildren and great grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at HOLY MOTHER OF CONSOLATION CATHOLIC CHURCH, 651 N. Main St., Oregon, at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, with Father Gary Wankerl presiding.

A visitation will be held at GUNDERSON OREGON FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 1150 Park St., Oregon, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, and also at the church from 10 a.m until the time of the Mass on Friday.

Throughout Gary’s long journey with cancer he was surrounded by family and supportive friends. In his last months, Agrace HospiceCare members were the family’s right hand. A special thanks to everyone who walked along on the journey and were able to witness his strength.

Special thanks to his oncology physician Dr. Joshua Lang, who honored Gary’s every decision. Gary will be remembered forever for living and dying with humor and dignity.

Gary was a supporter of communities, schools and making sure every child had a chance in life.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to Friends of Oregon School District via check at Friends of Oregon School District, 401 Medinah St, Oregon WI 53575 or Paypal at

God looked around his golf course and found an empty place.
He looked down upon the earth and saw your tired face.
He saw that the fairways were getting rough and the hills were hard to climb.
So, he closed your eyes lids and whispered, “Peace be thine on the back nine”.

Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson Oregon
Funeral & Cremation Care
1150 Park St.
(608) 835-3515