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1928 Martha 2023

Martha Davis

November 10, 1928 — March 26, 2023

Martha Brown Davis, 94, of Dillon, passed away peacefully surrounded by her four children on March 26, 2023, after a short illness. She was born November 10, 1928, in Bradenton, Florida to Eunice and Firman Brown. She grew up with her brother Firman and sister Tempie in Florida, New Mexico, Arizona, and Montana, often on tribal reservations as their father worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She graduated from the University of Montana, and taught school briefly at the Pablo Schools.

In 1950 Martha married Carl Davis from Dillon and spent the rest of her long life as a vital member of that community. She was active in her children’s schools and activities, including serving in various roles at the Presbyterian Church. She also was a member of the Barrett Hospital Foundation and Hospital Auxiliary Boards. She greatly enjoyed friendships from over sixty-five years of membership in PEO Chapter AD, and many women in this region will remember her as a tireless and inspiring Girls Scout leader and volunteer. Martha and Carl were awarded the University of Montana Community Service Award in 2010, and supported countless other causes, organizations, and individuals near and far who were committed to shaping a better world. Martha’s generosity and her remarkable ability to just get things done touched many people’s lives.

Martha loved books. Inspired by her mother Eunice who set up libraries in the small communities wherever they lived, Martha volunteered at the Dillon Public Library for over fifty years, served on its board, and was appointed by the Governor to the Montana Library Commission. As Martha and Carl explored almost every remote canyon across their beloved Beaverhead Valley in their jeep camper over many decades, she always set up a lovely creekside campfire or picnic to read while Carl fished. In almost every conversation, Martha could pull down a book -- or ten -- from her big library to share with her family and friends. She passed on to her large family the joy of reading as a portal to ideas, events, and opportunities both at home and around the globe.

Foremost, Martha cared deeply about family and served as a north star for her large extended one. She was always the careful listener, wise counselor, inquisitive provocateur, event planner, and project manager, and multiple generations of her family especially enjoyed the calming sanctuary of her elegant living room and the meaningful conversations there full of stories, laughter, aspirations, and wisdom. Her grace, intellect, integrity, and love of family, friends, community, and life will be deeply missed.

Martha is preceded in death by her husband Carl; infant son Loren; parents Eunice and Firman; parent-in-law Florence and Loren Davis; brother Firman (Bo); sisters-in-law Dorothy Anne Forester, Hazel Marsh, Lillian Davis, Millie Davis, Carlene Davis, and Margery Brown; and brothers-in-law Bill, Lloyd, and Raymond (Buzzy) Davis, Roy Forrester, John Husted, Hewitt Martinell, and Bill Flynn.

Martha is survived by her daughters Susan (Bob) Briggs and Alice (Dan) Huttunen; sons Carl Jr. (Sara) and Steve (Bob); sister Tempie Ray; sister-in-law Delores Husted, and brother-in-law Melvon Ankeny. She is also survived by grandchildren Anne (Mark) Fuller, Loren (Kalin) Briggs, Emmalee (Rick) Briggs, Madeline Davis, Spencer (Kirsten) Davis and Ben Davis Evans; great-grandchildren Lisa (Jacob), Rob, Emma (Austin), and Cody Fuller, and Carter, Jamison, Molly, and Holden Briggs; and numerous nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.

Special thanks are extended to all the doctors, nurses, and caregivers in Dillon for their compassionate care of Martha.

A memorial service and reception will be held in the STC Great Room at University of Montana-Western in Dillon on Monday, April 3, at 11:00 am.

Memorials can be made to the Dillon Public Library, the Carl & Martha Davis Scholarship Fund at the University of Montana-Western, or a charity of choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Martha Davis, please visit our flower store.


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