Alvon Davis
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Alvon Hale Davis (1933 - 1968)

Alvon Hale "Alvaughn, Vaughn" Davis
Born in Paicines, San Benito Co., CAmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Father of and
Died at age 34 in Elfrida, Cochise Co., AZmap
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Profile last modified | Created 31 Oct 2017
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Alvon Davis is a Military Veteran.
Served in the United States Navy 1954-1957



Alvon Hale Davis packed many experiences into his 35 years, creating lasting family memories, beautiful oil paintings, and serving his community.

Early Life

Alvon was born on Christmas Day in 1933 in Paicines, San Benito County, California at the home of his Aunt and Uncle, Fred Davis and Phyllis Lorraine (Buck) Davis. He was the second son of Walton Davis and Edna (Workman) Davis.[1] Alvon lived in California throughout his childhood and attended school in San Benito County.[2][3][4] For several years the Davis family lived on eighty acres outside of Hollister at 3761 Fairview Road and raised hogs.

A man and a woman stand with their two sons, about ages six and seven in front of a house.
Leslie Davis, Edna (Workman) Davis, Alvon Davis and Walton Davis at the Old Curtis Place near Hollister, San Benito County, California, about 1939

They moved to town in 1946. Von and his brother Les were active in 4-H, attended church camp in the Sierra Nevadas, and worked in the family business, the DeSoto dealership and garage, when they were teenagers.[5][2]

Alvon Hale Davis Graduation Photograph, 1951
Von’s brother Les remembered that Von got into some trouble while attending Hollister High School when a classmate tried to blow up the probation officer’s car and blamed it on Von. Les also recalled that Von and another friend broke into the high school and stole some surplus military equipment for an electronics project. They spent a couple of weeks in reform school.[6]

Von took his cousin to the Hollister senior prom as his date. After the dance (at about 1 AM), the two teenagers woke up their grandmother, Nana, May (Hilton) Davis, then in her seventies, for a drive to the family cottage 50 miles away in Capitola on the California coast. Unfortunately, the car broke down during the trip and they had to wait until a garage opened to complete their journey.[7]

Von graduated from San Benito County High School on the 15th of June, 1951 and moved to Polson, Montana with his parents the same year.[8][2]

Military Service and Marriage

Alvon enlisted in the Navy in 1954 and was stationed in Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Alaska.[9]

Wedding photo of Alvon Hale Davis
and Gladys Oletia Johnson, Hernando,
DeSoto County, Mississippi, 8 October 1955
When he enlisted, he discovered that his name on his birth certificate was not spelled “Alvaughn” as he had used all of his life, but “Alvon” so he changed the way he spelled his name to match the information on his birth certificate.[1][9] He met his wife Gladys "Oletia" Johnson of Dyersburg, Dyer County, Tennessee while stationed in Tennessee at the Memphis Naval Air Station, the largest inland Naval Base.[10] After their marriage on 8 October of 1955 in Hernando, DeSoto County, Mississippi, Von was transferred to Kodiak Island in Alaska, so the young couple drove to Arizona and through California so that he could introduce Oletia to his relatives.[11] Von preceeded Letia to Kodiak and she traveled on the family transport a couple of months later. The Navy operated the naval base on Kodiak Island from 1950-1972.[12] Alvon was discharged after 3 years of duty as a media specialist and trainer. Alvon and Oletia lived in Arizona and Washington (Ritzville and Colfax) after his discharge, joining his father and brother in the crop-dusting business which operated in the two states. In about 1960 Von learned to fly at the Safford, Graham County, Arizona airport.[9]

Family Life

Von Davis with his two children, 1961
Alvon, his wife, and their two children moved to Colfax in 1960. They purchased a two bedroom house on the south hill near the mobile home park and Von improved the house over the following years. (The street is now called South Hillcrest Drive.)[13]

Alvon maintained primary responsibility for the Washington business, and his brother Les oversaw the Arizona branch. During seasonal peaks in business, the Washington crew would temporarily relocate to Arizona, and at other times, the Arizona crew would travel to the Palouse country of Washington.[9][2]

Alvon was always fond of parakeets. He had become acquainted with them through a close family friend, Helen Hall. Throughout his life he enjoyed having a dog and he and his dog Lucky appeared in the local paper in about 1967. Lucky always rode on top of the gas tank in the back of the pickup with his paws resting on the cab of the truck, surveying the world from his high perch.[9]

Von Davis with Lucky in Whitman County, ca. 1966

Von had always been interested in art and his school and military training notebooks are filled with sketches. He took up oil painting and built his own paint supply box. Most of his paintings were inspired by photographs in Arizona Highways magazines.[14]

Von's other interests included hunting, fishing, camping, and rock collecting. His daughter Connie remembers going out in the 4WD pickup exploring the hills and dry washes in southeastern Arizona or the backroads of Eastern Washington. Oletia would sometimes get out and walk because she couldn’t believe he could drive a vehicle where he did. Sometimes the family would borrow someone’s airplane and fly to a nearby community for breakfast or tour the countryside. He also enjoyed boating and took his family rafting and boat camping. He built and refinished furniture and made toys for his children.

Alvon volunteered in his community and belonged to the Colfax Jaycees and was Vice President, State Director, and President of the chapter and outstanding member in 1966. He was also a member of the IOOF, Elks, American Legion, and served as a volunteer firefighter. His daughter remembers his firefighting boots with overalls inserted into the boot tops standing at the ready by his bedside. He managed the Whitman County Airport and was instrumental in improvements in the mid 1960's. He also demonstrated the use of crop dusting airplanes in fighting grain fires.[15]

A friend stands with Von and Letia Davis, June 1968
In late June of 1968, Von, Oletia, and two of their friends flew to Phoenix to attend the national Jaycees convention. Von either rented or borrowed the Piper Comanche, as he never owned a passenger plane, only crop dusting planes. After arriving in Phoenix, Oletia recalled that the weather was extremely hot and Von amused the crowd by frying an egg on the pavement. On the flight home in early July, the group stopped in Las Vegas to refuel the plane and Von told the attendant to make sure he filled both tanks. As they neared Lewiston, Idaho, the plane ran out of fuel and Von radioed the airport to let them know he was coming in under no power. He landed the plane without incident. Oletia also noted that on this trip or another, they encountered a storm and Von flew the plane at the height of the telephone poles to fly under the storm.[9]

Death and Legacy

Von was killed in the crash of a crop-dusting plane in late August 1968 when he was 35 years old.[16][17] Davis Aerial Service had purchased a new plane and after loading another pilot's plane with fertilizer, Von took the new plane up for a test flight. During the flight, Von saw his co-worker returning to the airport earlier than expected. According to witnesses, he stalled the plane when trying to return to the airport to be ready for the pilot.[18]

Von is buried near his parents at the Colfax Cemetery in Colfax, Whitman County, Washington. The cemetery, high on the Palouse Hills surrounding Colfax, is a fitting place for someone who loved exploring.[19]

Von left behind beautiful oil paintings, a toy horse trailer he welded for his daughter, two desks he made for his children, bolo ties, furniture he rescued and refinished, a rock collection, and fond memories for all who knew him.


Father and mother confirmed
“DNA match” for Connie Davis, (MyHeritage : accessed 14 February 2022), estimated relationship 1C, genealogical relationship 1C with [Private] descendant of Les Davis sharing 993.8 cM across 30 segments (largest segment 96.7 cM), MRCA Walt Davis and Edna (Workman) Davis.

Paternal relationship is confirmed by an autosomal 23andMe test match between Connie Davis and Meredith Montgomery, her 3rd cousin . Their most-recent common ancestors are William Davis and Sarah Ellis, the great great grandparents of both Connie Davis and Meredith Montgomery. Predicted relationship from 23andMe: 3C, based on sharing 149 cM across 7 segments.


  1. 1.0 1.1 California State Department of Health Services, birth certificate, state file no. 33-075046, (1933), Alvon Hale Davis; Department of Public Health, Vital Statistics, Sacramento, original in files of Connie Davis.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Edna (Workman) Davis, “Memories,” handwritten manuscript, before 1980, Steptoe, Whitman County, Washington; privately held by Connie Davis, [address for private use], Hope, British Columbia, 2022.
  3. 1940 U.S. Census, San Benito County, California, population schedule, Tres Pinos, enumeration district (ED) 35-13, sheet 6A (penned), household 112, Walton L. Davis; digital image, FamilySearch (FamilySearch Image: 3QS7-L9MT-X4TY : accessed 28 August 2021); citing NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 00287.
  4. Board of Education, San Benito County, 1952, "Vaughn Davis Eighth Grade Diploma," original held by Connie Davis.
  5. 1950 U.S. Census, San Benito County, California, population schedule, Hollister City, enumeration district (ED) 35-2, sheets 1-2 (penned), family 10, Walton L. Davis household; digital images, NARA (search link : accessed 9 April 2022), citing NARA microfilm publication T628).
  6. Les Davis, interview by Connie Davis, 25 March 1999, Sanger, Fresno County, California, notes privately held by interviewer, [address for private use], Hope, British Columbia, 2022.
  7. Susan Geffert, “Davis Kith and Kin,” Vol. 1, Issue 2, January 1999, family newsletter edited by Norma Mastin and published by Phyllis Kaltenbach.
  8. San Benito County Schools, California, Board of Trustees, 1951, "Vaughn Davis High School Diploma," original held by Connie Davis.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Oletia Simpson, St. John, Washington, multiple interviews by Connie Davis in the years prior to her death in 2021, [address for private use], Hope, British Columbia, 2021.
  10. "Memphis Naval Air Station, Millington," Tennessee Encyclopedia (Encyclopedia : accessed 6 November 2022).
  11. “Alvon H. Davis and Oletia Johnson marriage certificate,” 8 Oct 1955, Hernando, DeSoto County, MS, Book 112, page 581, original provided held by Connie Davis.
  12. "About Kodiak MWR," Kodiak MWR (link : accessed 6 November 2022).
  13. Satellite image, Google Map coordinates 46.872740, -117.371773 (link : accessed 24 November 2022. Note the house in the center of the image with a circular drive.
  14. "Alvon Davis notebooks and sketches" one box archived material held by Connie Davis
  15. “Service set Friday for Alvon H. Davis,” obituary, The Colfax Gazette (Colfax, Washington), 5 September 1968, page 3, column 1.
  16. Arizona Department of Health, death certificate 68-008037 (1968), Alvon Hale Davis; Division of Vital Records, Phoenix; original in files of Connie Davis.
  17. “Aviation Database,” Final Report #LAX69F0142, Elfrida, Cochise County, Arizona, 30 August 1968, database, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB : accessed 9 January 2016).
  18. Brian Davis (Glenwood, New Mexico) to Connie Davis, email, 13 July 1999; privately held by Connie Davis, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Hope, British Columbia, 2021.
  19. Find A Grave, database and images (Find A Grave: Memorial #113085693 : accessed 30 August 2021), memorial 113085693, Alvon H. Davis, (1933-1968), gravestone photographed by khdahl, citing Colfax Cemetery, Whitman County, Washington.

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Alvon by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Alvon:

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