1933 – 2017
Longtime Taft resident Gene E. Davis passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 19th. Gene was 84 years old. He was born on June 4, 1933, in Commerce, Oklahoma. Gene believed that growing up in a small town with a loving family afforded him a very happy childhood. His first job was working at the Coleman Theater in Miami, Oklahoma, as an usher. After graduating from Commerce High School in 1951, Gene had big dreams of seeing the world, but he needed a job. The Air Force provided both so he enlisted. He went to basic training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. He served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War, stationed at the K-8 Air Force Base, Kunsan, Korea. Gene was a 2nd Class Airman in the 3rd Bomb Wing, 8th Bomb Squadron. He was the Crew Chief on a B-26 Invader. He received the Korean War Silver Medal, U.N. Service Medal, and the National Defense Medal. After the conflict was over, Gene was selected as part of an elite group to serve in the Strategic Air Command, or SAC, at Hunter Air Force Base, Georgia. He served on several missions that took him to Japan, Bermuda, The Azores, England, and North Africa. After being honorably discharged in 1955, he went home to Oklahoma to start his life. Unable to find work there, he moved to Taft, California, to look for work and live with his Uncle Richard and Aunt Hope. The move to California reconnected him with his high school sweetheart, Reba Anderson. They were married in 1956. They lived in Taft, CA, where they raised their three children: Danny, Terry, and Kathy. Gene was hired by Standard Oil Company shortly after moving to Taft and began a 35-year career in the oil business working in the Taft area, Kern River, Avenal, and Cymric. Gene loved Chevron and the many people he worked with over the years. He retired from Chevron in 1989.
During his retirement years, Gene and Reba enjoyed many trips to Oklahoma to see family and friends. They took family trips all over California and Las Vegas. Gene fulfilled a lifelong dream when they built a cabin in Bass Lake, California. It was a labor of love and provided the family countless opportunities to spend quality time together. He especially enjoyed golfing, hiking, fishing, and going for boat rides watching the grandkids ski.
He was preceded in death by his father, Clyde F. Davis; mother Lillie V. Davis; brother, Clyde F. Davis Jr.; wife, Reba L. Davis; grandsons, Kenneth Gene Davis and Stephen William Davis. He is survived by his children and their spouses: son, Danny (Janice) Davis of San Luis Obispo; son, Terry (Lisa) Davis of Bakersfield; daughter, Kathy (David) Krugh of Bakersfield; niece, Sheila (Carl) Shaw of Orangevale. He leaves behind eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A very special thank you to Hoffmann Hospice Home and their incredible staff. The dignity, care, and love they provided for our dad and the entire family was uplifting and appreciated beyond measure. Gene was an incredibly generous person, freely giving of his kindness, time, and monetary gifts to various causes and charities throughout his lifetime. The family is asking in lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity or to the Hoffmann Hospice Home in his memory.
A funeral service will be held in the West Side District Cemetery Mausoleum Chapel, Taft, on Saturday, October 28, 2017, at 9:30 a.m., and burial following the chapel service. There will be a Celebration of Life and luncheon held at the Taft Fox Theater following the services. For condolences, please visit www.GreenlawnM-C.com