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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Obituary: Davis, Lawrence Spalding

Age 81

DAVIS, Lawrence Spalding

July 27, 1934 - March 6, 2016

Larry was 81 when he passed away from Alzheimer’s disease.

Born to Mary and Kenneth Davis in Missoula, Montana he was the oldest of his siblings, Lenore, Charlotte, and Richard.

He grew up in Missoula, Alexandria, VA, and then Ann Arbor, MI.

While he did well in math and geography, Larry was driven by another passion.

Any spare time would be spent fishing, tying flies, exploring and camping.

He was planning to be a fisherman when he grew up.
Larry got his bachelor degree in Forestry at the University of Michigan.

By 1957 he volunteered for the draft and served for the US Army in the Philippines.
In 1959, Larry found himself working as a forester in Macon, GA.

While the “Damn Yankee” may have been a bit out of place in Georgia he met a “Southern Belle” that in short order became his wife.

Larry married Claire Hammond in September of 1959.

Their adventures brought them to Berkeley, CA where Larry earned a PhD in Agricultural Economics in 1964.

The couple became a family and grew by two.

Accepting his first professorship at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI), the family was packed up and drove cross country to Blacksburg.

During this timeframe their third child was born.

Larry’s professional aspirations brought him to Utah State University, the University of Georgia, and full circle to the University of California, Berkeley where he retired in 1997.

He was an influential Forest Economist and authored many research papers and a textbook that, in its fourth edition, is still use today; Forest Management.

He loved his students and teaching.

He enjoyed past colleagues and friends in 2012 when honored for his lifetime of professional achievements as a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters.

His children, Lawrence, Kathy, and Alex, continue to place him in high regard for achievements dearer to their hearts.

Larry was an amazingly kind, strong, and patient man who we aspire to model.

He always seemed interested in what we were doing, willing to listen to our ideas even if they may have differed from his.

Lively dinner conversations with our parents were the norm, be it politics, social justice, or religion.

In his subtle way he encouraged us all to think for ourselves.

He wasn’t just book smart, he practiced common sense and street smarts; yet was so humble about his own abilities.

Dad was generous with his time and prioritized participating in our lives.

From coaching, playing music, organizing birthday party games, to attending our concerts, performances, and athletic events.

He could fix nearly anything and built some beautiful pieces of furniture that now grace our homes.

He didn’t know the meaning of boredom and rarely sat idle.

His hobbies ranged from cooking (legendary at barbequing and creating special holiday treats), woodworking, gardening, playing guitar and singing (bluegrass and folk spoke to him most), camping, training his dog, spending time with friends, traveling abroad to many countries with his wife, to playing with grandchildren.

Perhaps he was most content when casting a fly along a beautiful trout stream in Idaho or Montana.

He also readily accepted opportunities to fish off boats in the ocean.

He had memorable stories of trips with friends and family to Alaska and reeling in a feisty halibut or salmon.
We may miss him most for the lasting values he embodied.

With a strong work ethic, giving to community, commitment, humor, honesty, and kindness consistently demonstrated.

He was a one of a kind man, loved by many.

His presence will be missed on this planet.

We love you, and raise a glass of 12 year old scotch to you Dad.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents, sister Lenore, and wife of 53 years, Claire.

He is survived by his son and wife, Lawrence and Kimberly Davis of Aurora, CO, daughters and their spouses Katharine and Robert Linford of Spokane, WA, Alexandra and Anthony Botello from McCall, ID, and grandchildren; Connor, Lindsay, Emily, Ellie, Camille, and Anna as well as his brother and his family Richard Davis of Bryn Mawr, PA and sister Charlotte Kasl of Missoula, MT.

We express our deepest thanks to his dedicated and loving caregivers at Touchmark on the South Hill, and then at Brookdale-Nine Mile.

We are blessed they were in our lives.

The family will be holding a family memorial at a later date this summer and asks that instead of flowers, donations can be made to the Inland Northwest Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Foundation, , or plant a tree in his honor through the Arbor Day Foundation Memorial Fund,
To view Larry’s online memorial, please visit

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