James Davis Death, Obituary – James Luther Davis Jr., resident of Portland, Oregon, passed away while his wife was by his side. James is survived by his wife, Sally Loomis, daughter Risa Davis Colistro, son-in-law Joe Colistro, grandson Miles Colistro, siblings Fred Davis (and his wife Betsy George) and Peggy Kent (and her husband Dan Kent), nephew Alex Kent, and nieces Molly Kent, Amy Davis, and Maggie Davis. Also surviving are James’ parents, Fred Davis and Peggy Kent. James is the firstborn child of J. Luther Davis and Natalie Young Davis. J. Luther Davis is the elder of the two.
His upbringing in the Sonoran desert by his doting parents instilled in him a deep appreciation for the region’s abundant natural beauty and cultural traditions. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which celebrated the region’s indigenous flora and fauna, played an important role in James’ professional development. James received his education at Green Fields School in Tucson, the Webb School in Claremont, Duke University, and UC-Santa Barbara, the latter of which is where he became involved with Zero Population Growth. Because of this, she served on the National Board of Planned Parenthood for a number of years.
It was announced in 1999 that he had been given the Honor Alumnus Award by the College of Natural Sciences at Colorado State University–Fort Collins. James’ earliest passions were for the outdoors, music, and photography. James got his start in the workforce in California, where he was in charge of zoo outreach and also taught biology. In 1982, following Lani Miller’s completion of her medical residency in Portland, Oregon, he wed her. James was the first person to hold the position of Education Director for the Portland Audubon Society. During his time there, he was responsible for establishing a large number of programs and leading a significant expansion. He had been playing the rhythm guitar for about two decades when he discovered a community of musicians.
James cherished his role as a parent and chose to work part-time so that he could devote more time to his family. His work at Audubon and Marylhurst University resulted in the development of a curriculum for the scientific instruction of Head Start teachers. He is the author of The Seasonal Guide to the Natural Year: Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, which was published in 1996. After James’s divorce in 1998, his dedication as a father got stronger. In the year 2000, James made her acquaintance. They wed in 2004, and their hobbies include listening to music, spending time outdoors, eating delicious food, and gardening.
As a full-time nature educator in Portland, James was instrumental in co-founding and coordinating a large number of high-profile annual events on behalf of the Metro Regional Government. James’ book, “The Northwest Nature Guide,” was published in 2009. In 2012, James suffered a stroke, and in 2015, he was diagnosed with vascular dementia. In the year 2022, the illness became more severe. In memory of James, please make a contribution to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.