Monday, September 22, 2014

Leland Delano Davis 1935 - 2012

Leland Delano Davis

Obituary
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1935 – 2012

Leland Delano Davis, age 77, passed away Sunday, October 21, 2012 at Henry Mayo Memorial Hospital, Valencia, CA. He was born May 23, 1935 in Kinston, North Carolina. Leland was a resident of Valencia for over 20 years.

He joined the United States Marine Corp and was honorably discharged in 1956. After attending college and taking advanced acting courses, Leland was an educator by profession teaching English and Drama. A skilled actor, he was a member of SAG with numerous credits for his work on stage, television, and as a professional Santa Claus.

Leland was a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and served as a volunteer in the Los Angeles Temple for many years. He was an ordained High Priest in the LDS Valencia 1st Ward.

He is survived by his wife Linda D Davis (married December 7, 1990); his son Stephen P. (Nancy) Davis; grandchildren Ashton and Havdn Davis; his daughter Jolene (John) Knight. He was preceded in death by his son Brantly Davis in 1985.

A viewing will be held 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Friday, October 25, 2012 with Funeral Services at 11:00am at the LDS Stake Center, 24443 McBean Parkway, Valencia, California 91355. Burial will follow at Eternal Valley Memorial Park and Cemetery, 23287 Sierra Highway, Newhall, California 91321.
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Leland Davis is my friend.  When I first met Leland I thought to myself; that man looks interesting. So I made myself his home teacher.  The first month I told him I would be visiting him every month.  He said, "No you won't"  I said, "Oh, yes I will."  From that day on I visited him once a month and sometimes many times a month.  I took Brett and Ryan M along and they enjoyed our chatting as much as I did.  When we visited Leland he asked what our favorite soda was and dashed to the garage to get us a frosty can.  When UPS or USPS or workers were on his street, he hunted them down, learned their names and found out what soda they liked.  He loved people and people loved him.

Leland was born 23 May 1935 in 23 May 1935 Kinston, Lenoir, North Carolina and had relatives there he visited during the summer.  That included his mother Swannie Belle Humphrey (Davis) who lived to 1999.  Swannie was baptized when she was 19. He was proud of his upbringing and his roots in North Carolina. 

His father was baptized when he was 9 and was born and died in Deep run. If I remember correctly the family raised tobacco and other crops.

Leland had a number of collections including a knifes, a Civil War book collection and his prized pocket watch collection which I think was quite valuable.  I once found a number of prized Civil War books at a garage sale and donated them to him.

Sometimes I walked out the front door of my house to find some strawberries or veggies on the doorstep with a note from Leland.  What was even better was going cherry picking together.  We'd stroll out to the old VW bug where I jumped into the passenger side.  He pulled his bottom onto the driver's seat and swung his stiff arthritic legs around, pushing himself into position.  He really wound up that green VW.  We'd drove out to Leona Valley and  ate and picked cherries until we were almost sick.  

At other times we'd go to his favorite restaurant in the SF valley for lunch or just hang out in his backyard and he'd tell stories of relocating squirrels to the yards of people he didn't like.  Actuality he liked everyone.

He talked about how proud he was of his family and in particular of his son, daughter in law, daughter and grandchildren.  Leland missed his son Brandley, who died in an unfortunate motorcycle accident after his mission.  Leland told me that the goodness of his won motivated him to be good enough to be with him in the next life. That may be the reason he served in the LA Temple weekly.  He told me how much serving meant to him and how he looked forward to his weekly visit to the temple and to his daughter, son and grandchildren. 

At his funeral I stood next to Terry Young who said, "Kent, Leland Davis was God's gift to me in my old age."  I felt the same way.  The funny thing about that statement is that in spite of his rheumatoid arthritis and the toll alcohol had taken on his body I always viewed him as young, even youthful.  He had an enjoyment of life and a love of people that was infectious.  When you went to a restaurant with him he always knew the waitress and the owner and would introduce them to you.  I love Leland and look forward to catching up in the next life.  Kent Gardiner 2014
 

Obituary: 
Leland Delano Davis, age 77, passed away Sunday, October 21, 2012 at Henry Mayo Memorial Hospital, Valencia, CA. He was born May 23, 1935 in Kinston, North Carolina. Leland was a resident of Valencia for over 20 years.

He joined the United States Marine Corp and was honorably discharged in 1956. After attending college and taking advanced acting courses, Leland was an educator by profession teaching English and Drama. A skilled actor, he was a member of SAG with numerous credits for his work on stage, television, and as a professional Santa Claus.

Leland was a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and served as a volunteer in the Los Angeles Temple for many years. He was an ordained High Priest in the LDS Valencia 1st Ward.

He is survived by his wife Linda D Davis (married December 7, 1990); his son Stephen P. (Nancy) Davis; grandchildren Ashton and Havdn Davis; his daughter Jolene (John) Knight. He was preceded in death by his son Brantly Davis in 1985.

A viewing will be held 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Friday, October 25, 2012 with Funeral Services at 11:00am at the LDS Stake Center, 24443 McBean Parkway, Valencia, California 91355. Burial will follow at Eternal Valley Memorial Park and Cemetery, 23287 Sierra Highway, Newhall, California 91321.





Deep Run, North Carolina:

The village of Deep Run was incorporated in 1925 thru 1928. The mayor of the town was Mr. Johnny Blizzard. At one time, the town was called Red Town, due to the number of houses with red tin roofs. A once thriving town, the town's charter was canceled by the North Carolina General Assembly in the 1970s, as the town failed to meet municipal standards. Today, Deep Run is still an agricultural area, with several businesses and light industries. The community provides a fire service, water and sewer, banking, and a postal route. The main thoroughfare through the area is the North Carolina Highway 11 Bypass. The town is a quiet town with no stoplights, three churches, Pleasant Hill Masonic Lodge #304, a few small businesses, and South Lenoir High School.







Name: Leland Delano Davis
Event Type: Birth
Birth Date: 23 May 1935
Birth County: Lenoir
Parent1 Name: Bland Franklin Davis
Parent2 Name: Swannie B Humphry
Roll number: NCVR_B_C059_66001
Volume: 22
Page: 256



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Birth index for North Carolina:





1940 census














The cowboy is Leland Deleno Davis and the man with his hands in his pocket is George Washington Davis

LtoR back Bland, Ivey, Beatrice, Cecil, George Washington Davis, front, Leland, Louise Tindell, Joseph, Bobby Dean, Burnice.

Left Patricia Ann Davis middle - Swannie Belle Humphrey (Leland's mother who died in 1999) right- Leland Deleno Davis


























Funeral



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Thinking of you Leland and Linda.  Kent

Joelene (Davis) Knight Memorial to her Dad, Leland Delano Davis
I wanted to begin today with a witty and charming quote, something that would describe my dad in a few simple sentences. I found none that could even begin to describe the man that you are all here to honor. My dad was one of the most interesting people I have ever known. My dad had a zest for life that could only be described as magical. It takes work, adversity, humility and courage to have the adjective "magical" attached to your name. My dad had a colorful past before I came along. I once asked my dad what were some of the jobs he had before he became a teacher. He paused, and a week later showed up with a list of over 15 different jobs. Among them were, dog catcher, bike messenger, security guard, post office worker, ambulance driver and of course being an actor. This was his greatest love, being on stage. My dad discovered that with his charm he could create a stage wherever he went. One of my dad's joys was being able to work as Santa. He was the perfect Santa. I would watch children's eyes light up as he walked down the street, true to his character he would take the time to ask them if they were listening to their mothers and fathers and if they were going to be on his nice list. Although he never reached the acting success that he once desired he became a celebrity by just being himself. When I was a kid my dad's idea of a consequence was to have me read lines for what ever Shakespeare play he was doing at the time, Othello, King Lear, Hamlet to name a few. At 8 years old I read Shakespeare to him while pleading in tears to make "to be or not to be" stop. What I didn't know at the time was that my dad's love of literature would be ingrained in my psyche forever. My dad found some very creative ways to live life. One day my dad said, "grab your roller-skates, we're going to Pierce College." "Yes!" I said. I grabbed my skates with the porn porn's, fixed my hair and climbed threw the window, because the door was smashed in of my dads 1954 dirt brown Plymouth with a bungee cord holding the trunk together. We were a vision. When we arrived at the top of the hill at Pierce College I put my skates on ready for some serious skating when my dad reached in the backseat and handed my a large black trash bag. Confused, I asked him what the bag was for. He then shared his plan. "Start at the top Joelene and roller-skate to all of the trashcans, go through the trash cans and collect aluminum cans, I'll be waiting at the bottom of the hill and after we cash them in we can go buy junk food." This was one of many antics my dad got us into. Just for fun my dad and me would hitchhike across the San Fernando Valley. Now this was 70ties and times have changed, but back then my dad believed it was a good way to meet different people. My dad was a bit of a vigilante too. After he was diagnosed with arthritis he got handicap sticker for his car. If we pulled into a parking lot and someone was parked in the handicap space without a sticker my dad would park his car behind theirs blocking them in. We would be in the grocery store and over the PA I would here, "Would the owner of the brown, dodge or Plymouth or whatever it is, with bungee cords please move your vehicle, your blocking a car in." My dad would smirk and continue his grocery shopping. Once outside he politely suggested that maybe they shouldn't park in a handicap space if their not handicap. I wonder how many people have stopped parking in those spaces because of my dads cause. I remember a time when my brother Brantley was getting ready to go to a church dance. His friend had come to our house to pick him up. While they were standing in the living room getting ready to leave my dad walked out in his underwear, no shirt on but a tie around his neck.
"I'm ready to go to the dance," he said. Mortified Brantley tried to laugh it off, and said to his friend," my dad's teasing us, let's go." No sooner did they walk out the front door and my dad was on their heels chasing after them, calling them to wait for him. With rubber burning the car sped off down the street. It's no wonder that when me and my dad were out of gas hitchhiking to church one Sunday, Brantley drove right past us. When we saw him at church later that day, he acted like he hadn't seen us standing on the side of the road. Life was never dull with my dad.
I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with him growing up and although it was not always an easy road we managed to find our rhythm. My dad became the best version of himself when he met and married Linda. Linda was my dad's perfect match, she held her own and gave my dad a life that he deserved. Linda or Nana as we call her took such good care of my dad and truly inspired his greatness.
My dad had many regrets and made a commitment to repent and change his life entirely. He found strength in his challenges and moved through every obstacle that was put in front of him. You would never hear my dad complain about his arthritis or the pain he was in. He always said there was someone else who had it worse than him. My dad was the type of man who made everyone he met feel special. He made sure to stock the favorite sodas of his mail carrier, ups driver and any other person that happened upon his street. He took the time to ask peoples name and to look them in their eyes. That was my dad, eager to lend a hand and extend himself to those in need or sometimes those who just needed a hug. My dad always wanted to share what he had. If he heard that you liked tomatoes he would gather every catalog on tomatoes and then order them for you. If tissue was on sale he would buy 20 boxes and leave them on my front porch. I'm sure some of you have in your pockets today a pocket knife that my dad gave you. He wanted people to feel special and he did that with his consideration and kindness. Each year I would ask my dad what he wanted for his birthday, the answer was always the same. Time. He valued his time with that he loved and that's what he wanted most as a gift.
My dad had such an incredible sense of humor. A few years ago my dad asked me to lunch and we ended up at a casket store. He thought it would be fun for us to look at caskets before lunch. He saw one that had an inscription that read "return to sender" on the side. He thought this was the greatest thing ever and giggled at my mild disturbance of this outing. He took it upon himself to trap all the local squirrels and raccoons that were eating his vegetables, for fun he put them in the back of his truck and bring them to my house and announce that he was going to set them free in my backyard. The more flustered I got the more tickled he became. I could never be too sure if he was serious or not. I would spend days after his visit searching the backyard for stray animals.
Leland Delano Davis had 3 children, myself, the youngest and only girl, my brother Stephan and my brother Brantley who died in 1985. He was the granddad to 6 grandchildren, 5 boys and 1 girl. My sons Riley and Connor had the priveldege to experience the magic that was my dad. He loved being a grand father and had the patience and tolerance to play hours upon hours of submarine, star wars, legos, and space and space ship battles. My sons did not see my dad as a 70 something year man but rather a playmate. He showed up every week with little treasures he had collected for the boys. Sometimes it was a handkerchief or a rock that he found. Whatever it was didn't matter, what mattered was the time and energy he put into his life. Their favorite day of the week was when granddad and nana came to play. Some of my more recent memories are of an annual trip that my sons and husband took with my dad and nana. Each year after Christmas we would pick a location and go stay overnight and explore the town as a family. We picked cherries and apples at local farms. We saw plays together and celebrated life. I had so much fun with my dad; he made me laugh and reminded me to not take life or myself too seriously.
So much of who I am and who I aspire to be is from my dad. He instilled a sense of character and integrity. Creativity and humor. Tenacity and courage. Life and charm.
In the final days before my dad died, I had the distinct privilege of talking to him, listening to his life's journey, laughing as he told the elders to stay out of his pockets, telling him how much I loved him and ultimately saying good bye. I cherished the time that I got to witness many of you bid my dad farewell. Everyone should be so lucky as to see the impact ones dad has on the world. He was magical, and his absence in our lives is profound. The day before my dad died, I was reading, what else but Shakespeare, I felt him looking at me and I asked him what he was thinking, "he said, "I'm just taking you in" I think we have all taken a little bit of my dad in, and it is my hope that we carry him with us.






















































































Linda comforted by Rick Patterson, family friend.









































































Research:

Brantley Philip Davis

11 June 1962 – 1 January 1985


Leland's birth: 23 May 1935; Deep Run, Le Noir, North Carolina, United States
death: 21 October 2012; Valencia, Los Angeles, California, United States

Relationship to child: Joelene Lynn Davis Note: She is the biological child of Laura Ann Savko, who was the 2nd wife of Leland D. Davis. (Contributor: DavisLelandDelano1) 

Name of Deceased: Leland Delano Davis
Gender: Male
Age at Death: 77
Death Date: 21 Oct 2012
Obituary Date: 26 Oct 2012
Newspaper Location: Santa Clarita Valley, California, USA
Birth Date: 23 May 1935
Birth Place: Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Residence (at time of death): Valencia, California, USA
Spouse's Name: December
Childrens' Names: Jolene (John) Knight
 





Name: Leland D Davis
Birth Date: 23 May 1935
Address: 7105 Glade Ave, Canoga Park, CA, 91303-3017