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Ralph Preston Davis, 93, passed away in the comfort of his home and family on Saturday morning, October 13, 2012. Born at the family home in Duxbury on November 15, 1918, he was the son of the late Ray T. and Ethel M. (Preston) Davis. On June 5, 1945, Ralph married the former Helen Burbank in Hyde Park.
Ralph attended Duxbury schools and was a 1938 graduate of Waterbury High School. He continued his education at the Vermont School of Agriculture (now Vermont Technical College) in Randolph. Following graduation, Ralph followed in his family’s foot steps and worked on the Davis farm that had been in the family for over 150 years and dated back to one of the first settlers of Duxbury. In addition to dairy farming, Ralph was also a logger, maple sugarmaker and egg producer, sold firewood and often helped other farmers and exchanged work.
Long active in the town of Duxbury, Ralph served as selectman for over 30 years, tax collector, justice of the peace and truant officer and had been a participant and vocal advocate on many issues from the age of 18 at the annual Duxbury Town Meetings in March up until two years ago. His other memberships included Waterbury Grange #237, where he served as a member for over 50 years and was past master, served as an officer of Pomona Grange, was a member of the State Grange and National Grange, a member of ACP, an organization that provided information on agriculture, soil improvement, self reliance and sustainable agricultural practices, was president of the Washington County Farm Bureau, a member of the Washington County Field Days Committee, a 4-H leader, president of the Graves Cemetery Association in Duxbury and a member of the Waterbury Congregational Church.
Ralph is fondly remembered for his kindness and compassion, for his love of his wife, children and their families, the generosity of his time to visit friends who were ill or in nursing homes and the simple pleasures and joy of just riding the back roads with Helen after Sunday morning worship services.
Ralph is survived by his wife of 67 years, Helen Davis of Duxbury; their children, Ethel May (Davis) Montuori and her husband Dominick of White River Junction and Ralph Charles Davis and his wife Marsha of Duxbury; his grandchildren, Heather Hansen and her husband Kristoffer of North Pomfret, Sarah Montuori of Glendale, AZ, Jennifer Bombard and her husband Christopher of Duxbury, and Charles Davis and his wife Beth of Duxbury; his great-grandchildren, Kyle and Lilia Hansen, Cheyenne Borthwick, Connor and Jordan Bombard, Daniel Beede, Logan and Natalie Davis; as well as nieces, nephews and extended family. Besides his parents and his stepmother, Marion Peasle Kimbel, Ralph was predeceased by a daughter, Gloria Ann Davis, and a sister, Doris M. Flanders.
Funeral services were held from the Waterbury Congregational Church on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, at 11 a.m. where friends called from 10 a.m. until the hour of the service. A reception followed the funeral in the church dining room. Interment took place in the Graves Cemetery in Duxbury. The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorial gifts would be appreciated to the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org). The Perkins-Parker Funeral Home in Waterbury is assisting the family. To send online condolences visit www.perkinsparker.com and Facebook.