Frances K. “Francie” Davis passed away December 30, 2008. Born Mary Francis Killion to Mary Margaret (Shannon) and Claude E. Killion on July 16th, 1932 in Las Animas, Colorado. Raised in southern Colorado in a ranching life, Francie was the first Spanish Peaks Fiesta Queen in 1946. The family moved to the Greenhorn Mountain Ranch in 1950. She graduated from Huerfano County High School in 1951 and attended Colorado A&M (CSU), Fort Collins for one year, before returning to Huerfano County and a position in the telephone office as an operator. She started dating Marvin Davis after losing a political bet to him over the projected outcome of the 1953 county sheriff’s race.
Francie and Marvin were subsequently married in the Methodist Church of Walsenburg on June 6, 1954. She continued in her telephone operator position while Marvin ranched with his father, Arthur Davis, east of Walsenburg. Their first child, Gena Sue, was born in April of 1955. The family purchased and moved to the current farm and ranch headquarters, east of Walsenburg, in 1956. Jill Ann was born the same year. Claudia Gaye joined the crew in 1958 and Jesse Scott followed in 1960.
Francie spent the ensuing years in partnership with Marvin raising their family, managing the farm and ranch operations, and becoming renowned for her baking and cooking abilities. There was never a stranger at the Davis table. A place was set and guests were treated to a fare that was unequaled and unforgettable. The question was not whether you wanted pie for dessert, but what kind of pie. Francie would take special orders for Pecan Pie, her specialty, Chokecherry Jelly and… the list goes on and on.
For a number of years, Francie was an aide and secretary in Walsenburg schools. She served throughout her life in the community helping to form the Huerfano Fire Protection District, supporting school district functions and church activities. Always a proponent and vocal advocate of the ranching life, she served as secretary/treasurer of the fair and rodeo association, leader and fund raiser for the county 4-H and a lifetime member and officer of Cowbelles. Recently her energy and attention were spent closely following the political wrangling surrounding the proposed expansion of Fort Carson’s Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site and its impact on the ranch.
Although her courage and strength were challenged with a battle with leukemia, Francie’s sense of humor and approach to life was never lost.
She was preceded in death by her father, Claude Killion in 1957, her mother Mary Margaret “Madge” Killion, in 1986, her sister, Jeanette Salmon Jackson Wright and her brother, Billy Scott Salmon.
She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Marvin J. Davis, children Gena (Lyle) Kenner of Linton, North Dakota; Jill Davis Homerding, C. Gaye Davis and J. Scott Davis of Walsenburg; four grandchildren, Katelin Renee Davis, Denver; Kelsey Michelle Davis, Colorado Springs; Hallie Ann Homerding and Billy Scott Carruth, Walsenburg; a nephew, Larry Scott Jackson, Sonora, California; special brother and sisters-in-law, cousins, extended family and a lifetime of friends.
A memorial service was held Wednesday, January 7, 2009, 11:00 am, United Church of Walsenburg, Main and Kansas. Contributions, in lieu of flowers, can be made payable to the Francie Davis Memorial Fund. Donations will benefit the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center, Pueblo and may be sent to Boies-Ortega Funeral Home, 115 E. 5th St., Walsenburg.