Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Steve Davis 'Celebration of Life' 4/29/2014 at Linfield

Steve Davis honored with decal on back of Linfield football 2014 helmets.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

'No one was more loyal than Steve ... as an athlete, ... a supporter, ... or ... lifelong friend.' - Ad Rutschman

Linfield athletic fixture Steve Davis dies at 63

Article includes slight editing by Wildcatville

By Paul Daquilante 
McMinnville News-Register 

Steve Davis, who went from kicking extra points and booming field goals for the Linfield College football team in the late 1960s and early 1970s to spearheading major fundraising projects for Wildcat athletics, died Tuesday of complications related to treatment he was undergoing for leukemia. He was 63.

Davis, who lived in McMinnville with his wife, Marilyn, graduated from North Salem High School before enrolling at Linfield. He was part of former head football coach Ad Rutschman’s first Wildcat recruiting class after he left Hillsboro High School to lead Linfield’s storied program.

“Losing Steve is a huge loss for Linfield and McMinnville,” Rutschman said. “No one was more loyal than Steve, whether it was as an athlete, as a supporter or as a lifelong friend.”

Davis served as a student volunteer with the McMinnville Fire Department while attending Linfield. After graduating in 1972, he went to work for his family’s business, Cherry City Electric, in Salem. He later worked for McMinnville’s Farnham Electric. Most recently, he worked for Daktronics, a manufacturer and installer of electronic scoreboards and signage.

He served as a regional sales representative for the South Dakota-based company, and helped select and install outdoor scoreboards for various Linfield athletic venues. He also played a major role in the design and installation of athletic field lighting on campus.

Davis’ volunteer work at the college began as a sports information director and carried on in various capacities until the time of his death.

He helped launch the Wildcat Open, a golf tournament played annually. Initially held at Michelbook Country Club, it's the Linfield Athletic Department’s top fund-raiser. He headed Open tee sponsorship sales in recent years.

In 1986, Davis got together with Ron Davison and Jeff Kizer to build the concession and restroom facility adjacent to the baseball, football and track and field complex. He helped coordinate operation of the concession stand on days events took place.

“We were good friends and worked together on a lot of projects at Linfield,” said Davison, a McMinnville businessman. “He and I built and took care of that concession stand. I helped, but he pretty much ran it by himself later on.

“He did a lot for Linfield,” Davison said. “He did a lot for kids.”

Davis involvement in the McMinnville High School softball program included serving as the school's head coach of that sport in 1995.

In 1988, Davis was honored with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ District 2 Distinguished Service Award. That same year, he received the college’s Alumni Service Award. He was inducted into the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame for meritorious service in 2003.

Athletic Director Scott Carnahan said Davis’ role within the athletic department always focused on providing service, and he was never too busy to assist when called on.

“When I think of Steve I think of the great service he provided for so many years to our football concessions, to the Wildcat Open and as an integral member of the Hall of Fame Committee,” Carnahan said.

He characterized Davis as someone who could never say no whenever his help was needed, almost to a fault. He helped make the most challenging projects easier, according to Carnahan.

Rutschman agreed, saying, “Steve just gave of himself for anything that was ever needed,”

Current head football coach Joe Smith said Davis’ spirit, passion and intensity were infectious. He brought those qualities to everything he was involved in as they related to the football program, Smith said.

“He just made everything better, whether it was a team banquet, a practice session or a fundraiser,” the coach said. “He just made it go.”

Smith said his coaching staff continually speaks with players about “being men of action and doing the heavy lifting in life.” That described Davis perfectly, he said.

“He was a tremendous example for our coaches and players to follow,” Smith said.

Davis was one of many sports information directors who have served Linfield athletics over the years. Kelly Bird is the current SID.

“My favorite memories of Steve are the frantic times before or during home football games when things were going haywire in the press box,” he said. “After Steve listened to all my frustrations, he would step in and help resolve the problem.”

Bird said Davis was a mentor, someone who understood the challenges of his job.

In addition to his wife, Davis is survived by daughters Rori Hartzell and Rhonda Davis-Thompson.

A viewing will be held at Macy & Son Funeral Home on Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. and Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. A celebration of life is set for Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Linfield’s Wilson Gymnasium, with reception to follow.

Steve Davis on sidelines of Cal Luth at Linfield Nov. 22, 2010, Maxwell Field, NCAA football playoff game. Wildcatville photo


 Obituary from Macy & Son mortuary, McMinnville, Ore.

Steven Edward Davis
June 14, 1950 - April 22, 2014
Resided in McMinnville, OR

Steven Edward Davis, 63, of McMinnville, Oregon went home to be with Jesus on April 22, 2014. He died from complications of leukemia following a bone marrow transplant while at OHSU hospital.

Steve was born in Clarkston, WA, on June 14, 1950 to Lorne and Virginia Davis. 

Steve grew up in Salem, Oregon. Following graduation from North Salem High School (68') he attended Linfield College where he graduated (72') with a Bachelor of Science degree in business. 

While at Linfield he was a record setting field goal kicker and his favorite career play was a game winning field goal against rival P.L.U. In addition to studies and football while at Linfield, Steve enjoyed his years as a live in student firefighter and long-term volunteer firefighter in McMinnville Fire Department. This association earned him the nickname "Sparky". 

Some of his fondest memories while at Linfield were of his teammates, coaches, the "Bar West" group, and being a part of the original Riley gym "South Forty". In 2003 Steve was inducted into the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame for Meritorious service, an honor he held in the highest regard. Also, he has been selected as an inductee into the McMinnville High School Athletic Hall of Fame in May 2014 for his many years of volunteer contributions to area youth softball programs.

Steve met and married his wife of 43 years, Marilyn Fay King, in his junior year at Linfield. They settled and made a life in McMinnville. Upon graduation from Linfield he worked as intern Sports Information Director for The Portland Trailblazers later moving onto sales and project management for Eoff Electric, Cherry City Electric, Farnham Electric, and lastly Daktronics Scoreboard sales.

Steve's life was defined by his unconditional love of family and friends and his tremendous servants heart. If a need was evident he was the first to respond with unending selflessness. Steve was a role model and mentor throughout his life. He was active in community, volunteerism at Linfield, and coaching girls softball for many years. His love and care of those girls far exceeded the softball field. Those who knew Steve well knew him as "MacGyver" a handyman who could fix anything with a roll of duct tape and a screwdriver, a man who loved details, and appreciated schedules. Steve was also a gifted storyteller.

Steve is survived by his wife Marilyn, their two daughters, two son-in-laws, and 8 grandchildren. Family includes daughters Rori Davis Hartzell, Ryan Hartzell, and their children Molli, Mason, Judith, Kerby and Mark. Rhonda Davis Thompson, Ron Thompson and their daughters Hannah, Lotti, and Sophia. Steve is also survived by 3 siblings; Jim Davis, Donna Marr, and Craig Davis all of Salem, Or. He is preceded in death by his parents Loren and Virginia Davis.

A viewing will be held at Macy and Son Funeral Home on Sunday, April 27 from 3:00-6:00 pm and Monday, April 28, 2014 from 4:00-7:00 pm. Steve's Celebration of Life is Tuesday April 29, 2014 at 4pm at Linfield's Wilson Gymnasium with reception following.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Remembering Steve Davis: 'He’s on my short list of the all-time great people...'

By Chuck Charnquist

My first connect with Steve was during his Linfield student days in the early 1970s. At the time I was Lewis & Clark’s SID, one of three in the NWC with full-time staff positions. Bob Woodle at Willamette and Jim Kittlsby at PLU were the other two. The summer of 1971 I invited the SIDs from Oregon’s NWC schools to lunch and an afternoon of meetings to help build a professional trust that would pay dividends for us all as the sports seasons unfolded.

Steve was one of the student SIDs who came. Bonding with Steve was instantaneous. Initially, I had a hard time believing a student who played football also could handle the sports information ropes as well. Davis proved me wrong. When he worked in that role on and on for the next decade, it was a great connect as we helped each other accomplish our tasks---whether it be football, basketball or the spring sports.

A side note: Does anyone know that for one summer, Steve was a “part timer” (they now call them interns) in the Portland Trail Blazers’ sports communications office?  I think Steve was the first college student ever to fill that role for the Blazers---probably in the summer of 1971, the team’s second season. Steve was one of the Blazer publicist John White’s all-time favorites. White’s daughter, Cheri, now a vice president for the Blazers but then just a teenager, remembers Steve fondly.

When I went to work for Linfield in 1987 as the college’s director of information services (also wearing the hat of sports information director), Steve was one of my best confidants. He was a big, big help in my transitioning into the World of the Wildcats. I watched with amazement when Steve, Ron Davison, Jeff Kizer and other Wildcat alums rolled up their sleeves, emptied their wallets and built over the summer of 1988 Maxwell Field’s great concession-ticket office pavilion. A vintage Steve Davis commitment to his alma mater.

Later on, I reconnected with Steve when he was at his dad’s Cherry City Electric Company in Salem, one of the subcontractors in the building of The Rose Garden in the early 1990s. By then I was working full time for the team. We got together for lunch a couple of times when he was up checking on the work going on.

Fast forward a few years when Steve was investing his passion for sports in the stadium and arena electronic signage business---Daktronics.  When he was up meeting with Trail Blazers arena management, he’d call and say “let’s have lunch.” He would meet with the front office people then we’d go to lunch.

The last time I saw him was at a Blazers game one night about five years ago. He gave me his card, and said, “let’s have lunch.”  Sadly, I didn’t make it that time.

He’s on my short list of the all-time great people I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside---Portland State, Lewis & Clark, Linfield, Trail Blazers, wherever.

Photo of Steve from 1969 Linfield Oak Leaves yearbook

Information below based on a 4/25/2014 posting at Oregonian website

Steven Edward Davis, 63, was born June 14, 1950, and died April 22, 2014. A service will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at Linfield's Ted Wilson Gymnasium, McMinnville. A viewing will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 27, 2014, and 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 28, 2014, at Chapel of Macy and Son. For more information: www.macyand son.com

Thursday, April 24, 2014

We remember Steve Davis at Linfield's Maxwell Field, one of his favorite places

Wildcatville photos taken 4/24/2014 show:

  • part of the WILDCATS football endzone with the concessions building, where he spent many hours serving Linfield fans, in the background.
  • corner of the football scoreboard made by Daktronics, the video display firm for which he worked.

Read more about Steve, here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rest In Peace Mr. Linfield Wildcat, Steve 'Sparky' Davis, 4/22/2014

A memorial service for Steve Davis will be held beginning 4 p.m., Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Ted Wilson Gymnasium on the Linfield campus in McMinnville.

Past Wildcatville postings:

Facing major health challenge

Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame member

His 'Sparky' nickname 

A former Linfield SID

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

7 o'clock evening kickoffs: 'Cat football's first two (southern California) games of 2014

Click here to see Linfield 
2014 football schedule.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

.Campaign to re-turf Maxwell

Maxwell Field has been the Linfield Wildcats’ home football venue since 1928. It was the Northwest Conference’s first grass field.

Before Maxwell, Linfield (and McMinnville College prior to the college's name change in 1922) played its home games on a dirt field elsewhere on campus.

The late Al Beeler, Linfield super fan, saw a 1925 Wildcats game on the dirt. Al told Wildcatville the field's grandstand was on Blaine Street facing Pioneer Hall. (Blaine runs next to T. J. Day Hall, previously called Northup Library, which opened in 1936.) Another source says the field was adjacent to Pioneer.

In 2004, the grass was removed and replaced with artificial turf. Now, that turf is worn and needs replacement.

Linfield Athletics is conducting a campaign to re-turf Maxwell. Learn how you can donate to support it in the Linfield Athletics' newsletter Spring 2014 issue. Go to the link to a PDF of the issue here. Read the stories on pages 2-3.

Wildcatville photos taken at Maxwell Field 4/17/2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

1965 in Midland, Texas: Things (did) Go Better with Coca-Cola for football ‘Cats after beating Sul Ross

Here's a Coca-Cola connection more than 48 years ago which seems to bless Linfield’s spring 2014 conversion from Pepsi-Cola to Coke.

In the evening of Saturday, Nov. 27, 1965, in Midland, Texas, the Paul Durham-coached ninth-ranked Linfield Wildcats played the second-ranked Bobcats of Sul Ross State College (of Alpine, Texas, about 165 miles from Midland on the southern plains in the state's western area) in a NAIA national football championship playoffs semi-final game.

In an upset, Linfield won, 30-27. After the game, in its Midland Memorial Stadium locker room, Linfield team members celebrated by drinking bottles of Coke. Wildcatville research has not been determined why a case of Coca-Cola was in the room.

This posting's larger photo -- that’s #20 Leroy Fails -- was taken by Linfield student Dennis Burkhart. It appears in the 1966 Linfield Oak Leaves yearbook and in the McMinnville News-Register the same year.

The Oregonian’s Dick Fishback traveled to Texas and reported on the game in the newspaper’s Sunday, Nov. 28, 1965, edition. He wrote, “Linfield engineered a modern-day miracle” Read about the game in the 1965 Wildcat football team's Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame enshrinement write-up.

Fails’ game memories:

  • “Yes, a case of bottled Coca-Cola was provided in the locker room. I don't know whether or not the company was a sponsor, just that we had it (there) after the game,” he said.
  • One of Fails’ Linfield teammates was Dean Pade. One of the fans attending the game was Pade’s mother. So excited after the win, “she came into the locker room to hug the guys. You should have seen their expressions because they were in various stages of undress,” he said. Someone asked about her locker room visit. She responded, "I have seen it all before."
  • There's "Friday Night Lights" connection to the Linfield vs. Sul Ross game, said Fails. Indeed, the game site -- Midland Memorial Stadium -- is connected to the book "Friday Night Lights," upon which the movie and TV show is based. The book followed a 1988 Odessa, Texas, high school football team, the Permian Panthers. (It’s about 20 miles from Odessa to Midland.) Permian's sports opponents in District 2-5A are Midland’s high schools, Midland and Midland (Robert E.) Lee. Up until 2002, the Midland schools played their home football games in Midland Memorial Stadium.

Photos: Football locker room 1965 by Dennis Burkhart in 1966 Oak Leaves. Softball concessions sign 2014 by Wildcatville.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Slideshow: Willamette at Linfield Softball 4/12/2014

Photos in this slideshow from first game of a NWC softball doubleheader on sunny Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Linfied's stadium. Linfield won, 4-1. In second game, Linfield won, 2-1.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Photo helps show 'How Catball is Made'

Behind every Linfield athletic team is much not often seen. For example, practice. The Streak provided this photo and calls it "How Catball is Made." This is the same photo, top is original and second is tweaked and cropped. It was taken 5:31 p.m. Friday, April 11, 2014, during Linfield Softball practice at the Wildcats' stadium. This shows some of the hard work behind games, the next of which for this team were April 12-13. In original photo is view (beyond the outfield fence) of the Kevin Mosely Batting Practice Facility.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Linfield connection to downtown Spokane's Knitting Factory music venue/concert house

Link to story posted June 2008 at Wildcatville:

Maxwell Field morning of 4/9/2014

Linfield football spring practice -- held parts of three mornings a week -- is underway at Maxwell Field. With Memorial Stadium in the background and field lights on, Wildcatville took this photo at 6:27 a.m. 4/9/2014. Click on photo for a larger version.