Our father Orval Davidson was a self made man who worked hard, loved well, was committed to and lived out his faith and enjoyed life to its fullest. He was born Feb. 8th, 1927 on a farm in Blue Hill NE. He was the third of 5 children of Delma and Ellis Davidson who farmed outside of Douglas NE. Dad’s childhood was where he learned to work hard as he helped farm and do all that go along with farming. He told us about rounding up the cattle, driving the tractor in the fields at a very young age, carrying water from the well into the house since they didn’t have running water and filling their boiler with corn cobs to burn to warm the house in the winter. This is where he learned to work hard and that later served him well. From sharing his life with us over the years we learned that rode his horse to school, skipped 2nd grade because he was so bright, drove his sister, who was his teacher, to school, and played all the sports all 4 years at his high school. One distinctive thing about him was that he was missing most of one of his index fingers. When he was 18 months old he stuck his hand in the wringer washer and it took off his finger! It never stopped him from doing whatever he wanted to do—except when he first enlisted he couldn’t serve in the Army because he was missing his trigger finger!
The United States had entered WWII and upon graduation in 1944 he immediately enlisted in the Merchant Marines. He had many experiences in the South Pacific including being in a kamikaze attack which hit the ship next to his. At the end of the war he enlisted again and was sent to Japan as part of the part of the occupied forces.
He met the love of his life, Junette Derowitsch, on a double date going out dancing. They married on Nov. 30th, 1946 and were married for 72 years. They both loved dancing and danced every opportunity they had which included years of square dancing.
After having several different jobs he purchased a Conoco service station which was a successful business for many years. Years later he sold his business and moved from Lincoln NE to Shreveport LA to become a Penney’s auto center manager and later a regional manager for them.
At the age of 52 he moved back to Lincoln where he started his last and final business which was an insurance agency. When he retired they lived in Lincoln NE, Sun City AZ and eventually settled in Bella Vista Ark. Dad was an avid golfer and had at least one hole in one. He became quite a good golfer and played well into his eighties.
My mom and dad loved to travel and went many places around the world. Our dad loved to be on the water which was satisfied to a degree when we had a cabin on a sand lake where we spent much time water skiing, swimming with him driving his boat.
Five years ago he and our mom moved to Shreveport and moved into The Oaks.
He loved to have fun and joked constantly. Some of the nieces and nephews considered him their favorite uncle because he was so fun loving.
He was an accomplished bridge player and a voracious reader almost to the time of his passing away. He believed it was important to keep your mind active and challenged.
He and our mom were deeply committed to each other and were married for over 72 years. He is survived by his wife Junette, 2 daughters, Debi Alexander and Linda Reid and her husband Jon, 7 grandkids and 12 great grandkids.
Our dad has left us all a great legacy. We’re grateful for his investment, modeling of what it means to be a good husband, father and godly man. And most of all we’ll always be grateful for how well he loved us and others.