Kumen Burt Davis

3 Feb 1948 - 12 Mar 2003


Kumen Burt Davis

3 Feb 1948 - 12 Mar 2003
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Grave site information of Kumen Burt Davis (3 Feb 1948 - 12 Mar 2003) at Larkin Sunset Gardens in Sandy, Salt Lake, Utah, United States from BillionGraves
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Life Information

Kumen Burt Davis


Larkin Sunset Gardens

1702 E 10600 S
Sandy, Salt Lake, Utah
United States

Headstone Description



July 24, 2013


June 22, 2013

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A jumble of memories about Dad (Kumen Burt Davis) by his favorite son (Rob)

Contributor: katyasmith Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

In 2012 at Father's day time we were all sharing memories of Dad via some email conversations. My memories below are based on the original message I sent to my siblings at that time, with some updates added. - Dad loved to have his legs and feet massaged as he relaxed in the recliner after a long day. I thought I was the one who always had to give dad leg rubs, but it turns out several of us thought we were the "designated" masseur / masseuse! I guess he was shopping around more than I realized. :) - I never did get into the bread and milk thing, but I was a big fan of milk and graham crackers which Dad also loved. Once on my mission I whipped up a bowl of bread n' milk since there was nothing better around to eat and started chowing down. My Mexican companion walked by and said "that looks like something you'd feed a dog." Thanks a lot, Elder. - Dad always wanted us boys to have a razor straight part in our hair, which, needless to say, was not "in" when I was growing up in the 1980's and '90's. Most Sundays he would lean me under the faucet, thoroughly soak my hair, then squeegee the water out with a comb as he made The Part. I remember him combing so hard it hurt my head. I also remember trying to make my hair look "cool" before leaving the house by messing it up a bit, but not so "cool" that Dad would notice and give me The Part again. I think Laurie took pity on me once and helped me cool things up a bit. - Dad kept a small comb and a hanky in all his pants pockets so he'd never be without one. One of the suits I inherited from Dad still has both. He always wanted his boys to have a hanky on hand at all times - as any gentleman surely would - and I remember pulling a handkerchief out of my shorts pocket in 5th or 6th grade to the astonishment of my friends when a boy in my grade cut his hand on a chain link fence and had nothing to stop the bleeding. - Until we moved to California in 2009 I had the Utah driver license I got when I was 16. The picture of me looks like I just rolled out of bed (I probably did), and I still remember Dad sighing and wishing that I'd combed my hair when he first saw it. I'm surprised at the restraint he showed later when I shaved my head for the football team (wow - ugly city!) and also when Julie made little poky pig tails all over my head while we were on vacation and bored in the back seat of the Suburban. He was slightly less restrained about the pig tails, but still fairly good humored about the whole thing, considering. - Like several siblings I remember lying in the suburban for a long time pretending to be asleep so Dad would carry me inside. It didn't work, unfortunately, but since I can remember it I was definitely old enough to walk in myself. (Or maybe Dad was just too tired after carrying in James and Julie, those fakers.) - I remember the night we went to buy the Suburban for Family Home Evening. It was a very special experience, although I'm sure it wasn't easy for Mom to contain all 7 of us indoors on a rainy night at the dealership while Dad signed the papers. Hopefully we didn't incur too much damage playing around the new cars there. I also remember wiping the fog off the window with my hand on the drive home and getting tattled on. :) It is a great joy to use the Suburban for our own family trips now (in 2017), as well as for service projects and work on our property, etc. Just a week ago today I drove up to Seattle in the Suburban with a small crew of volunteers in order to buy a used piano and haul it home in a rented trailer. The Suburban, and the Acura, both of which Dad purchased new, are great blessings to our family now - as was the Neon, which Dad purchased when James and I lived together at BYU, and which I drove to work for years when we first lived in Washington. (Hey, give me a break - I'm a musician and a teacher. Perhaps someday I'll buy a car from someone other than Mom. . . maybe.) - If there ever was a phrase Dad loved to hear when starting to drive in the Suburban with all of us in back, it was: "Turn it to rear control!" - As a youngster I often thought family home evening was a tad boring and "lesson-y." I longed for more "rod of iron" lessons in the back yard with a long string, blindfolds, and licorice representing the joys of the Tree of Life. Now I'm so grateful to remember Dad's clear and direct testimony of the Savior and the Gospel, which I know he shared with us often at those times. Whenever I hear General Authorities suggesting things Dad's should do with or for their kids (like interviews, blessings, sharing your testimony with them, teaching them the gospel, teaching them to work, etc) my thought is usually - "Dad used to do that." (And Mom, too, of course) - One FHE that probably didn't go as planned was when Dad unexpectedly started tossing out cash to those who answered questions. I think the lesson plan had to do with tithing, or perhaps learning to save, but I mostly just remember fighting over whose hand was up first and who got the money. :) - Once Dad and Uncle Alma (probably others, too) gave my brother Jon a blessing in Arizona to help him recover from and ear infection when he was very small. I was awed when he immediately stopped crying. What an example of the priesthood in action! - I think it was neat how hard Dad and Mom worked on planning and executing family vacations. I'm pretty sure that if I had 7 kids of my own I'd just give up on the idea altogether. - The boat that Dad inherited from Grandpa Davis never quite got its sea legs. I remember rowing it around Lake Powell in the dark of night with the sickly sweet smell of anti-freeze flavoring the smoke pouring off the engine, and Dad trying to navigate us to a campsite before it totally died. - That same vessel later became a boat of a different kind when Dad traded it to a mechanic for an old, low riding Lincoln Mark VIII. :) - Other great Lake Powell memories include a desperate dash to shore in the foundering Party Barge, complete with instructions on abandoning ship from Captain Dad (one of the pontoons had been filling with water the whole time we vacationed and the barge listed dangerously when fully loaded with people and gear for our return trip to the dock), dutch oven bread that failed and got frisbee'd instead of eaten, and James climbing up too high on a cliff and needing to be rescued by Dad, who used water ski tow ropes as climbing gear. And water-skiing behind the P Barge turned out to be quite an adventure, too! How did anyone ever get up behind that behemoth? - My first flight in an airplane was with Dad to Phoenix, AZ, where we met uncle Morgan to borrow the Party Barge from him. I remember being impressed as Dad described the maneuvers of the airplane during takeoff and landing, then astonished by the heat as we walked out of the cool airport into a brutal Arizona high summer. We then towed the Party Barge to Lake Powell, where we met up with Mom and the rest of the family (What a good sport Mom was in all these adventures!). The van did not have air conditioning and the heat of the engine and transmission added to the already sweltering conditions inside, though the wind coming from all the open windows helped keep the heat down a bit. I had to keep my feet off the floor of the van it got so hot, and I remember nearly burning my hand when I touched the bottom of our large water cooler in picking it up for a drink. - I also remember a borrowed camper that konked out before we drove very far, causing us to abandon our vacation one summer. I remember laying in it back in our driveway, sulking and crying in disappointment. Dad came out and told me that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. (I didn't appreciate the advice then, but I sure cherish the memory now.) - I was a big boy for my age, so Dad had visions of me being a great football player. Too bad I was too tenderhearted to ever really care for such a rough game. :) But I doggedly played all the way through high school, probably to impress girls, though that seems not to have worked very well! Dad also tried to get me into baseball, and once we played catch in the front yard. He threw the ball to me harder and harder, so much so that by the time Mom came out to watch at his proud invitation I was basically ducking and throwing my hand up in hopes of a catch, much to his chagrin I'm sure. - James used to tease and beat up on me, even though I was bigger than him, and I remember one time when Dad basically insisted that I retaliate and hit him back, to which I tearfully responded that I couldn't. - We had a saddle in the basement for years since Dad always dreamed of having a pack horse. We did have a horse once for a while, a really mean one that didn't get along with the rest of the herd. I was too old and sophisticated for such things, so I made sure never to ride or do anything with the horse in order to get out of having to care for it. I remember Dad riding it around the pasture a few times, but we never did pack anywhere with it. - I wish I could go back and enthusiastically do all the things Dad wanted to share with us when we were young or teenagers, instead of being kind of mopey about everything. To think that he had to drag me (us?) up the mountains to ski, hunt, shoot, camp, see national parks, etc, is really embarrassing now that I have grown to love all of these things so dearly. Well, maybe not the hunting. . . - A great adventure we boys enjoyed with Dad was climbing Angel's Landing in Zion National Park. I think it was a little more intense and dangerous than Dad expected - he was pretty worried about us the whole time, and with good reason! - I remember being stricken with terror to be on a city bus with only James and Laurie, riding into town to meet Dad for lunch when he worked in Salt Lake City (probably at the Small Business Development Center). Maybe it's because I was the youngest of the group and hadn't been entrusted with directions on when to pull the cord that would ding the bell for a stop, etc., but I was sure we'd be lost forever - or worse. I'm really impressed that Dad trusted us enough to let us take on those kinds of grown up responsibilities and encouraged us to be self-sufficient. (But then I also remember being too shy to go into the gas station once to change a dollar for some quarters, and making Dad do it himself. I was probably almost teenager and he wasn't overly thrilled with my lack of gumption. Tee hee) - Once James and I gave Dad a push down the driveway to get the little blue car started (I guess the battery was dead so he had to pop the clutch). I marveled at Dad's bravery and wondered who was going to give him a push when he needed to drive home. - I can't think of a field of knowledge that Dad didn't know something about - or lots about! In addition to gardening, I've often wished I could ask Dad about car repair, construction, tools, investments, politics, history, etc, but I'm grateful that he helped me build the confidence that I could learn to master any skill or field with enough work. - Not long before Dad was diagnosed with cancer I started to wonder when he would be called as a general authority. At the time I think he was the 11-year-old scout leader in our ward. :) - I remember being so proud when Dad was sworn in as Mayor of Draper. Wow. He was even on the news! I was over at the Howell's house when it came on, and Brother Mark Howell took a moment to emphasize to me what a great man Dad was. I about burst my buttons, but of course without verbally responding to him or making eye contact (scary!). :) When I digitized the family audio cassette tapes it was fun to discover a few tapes of Dad on the Dough Wright Show on KSL. He sure was a well-spoken guy. - I loved how friendly and outgoing Dad was. Once we went to that big electronics store in Sandy that's now a Costco and he said with a big smile to a woman he didn't know, "Are you taking your incredible children to Incredible Universe?" I was mortified then, proud now. - Dad was always reading biographies of great people - often some huge tome that he was barely able to hold up in bed. I was impressed when a book about Galileo that I needed for an undergrad science course turned out to be in his library. - And how about those technical books on ballistics? Somehow I think anyone else reading that kind of stuff would have seemed very nerdy. Dad just seemed extra cool. And speaking of not nerdy, how did he make those big glasses look so good? - It was always special to go to priesthood conference with Dad. Once a black African general authority gave a talk and Dad told us afterwards about the experience of hearing the news that all worthy males could receive the priesthood. I felt guilty because all I'd been thinking about was how hard it was to understand that brother through his thick accent. - Once Mom told me that our neighbor Garret Daw found a lady Dad had taught on his mission (he served in the same one Dad did). Mom called Dad at work to tell him and said that he became so emotional he couldn't speak for a few minutes. Just hearing that story second hand brought tears to my eyes, too. Actually, it still does. - When I was about 8 I broke my ankle on Grandpa Richard's glider swing at a Thanksgiving party. I remember sitting on Dad's lap looking at pictures from a National Geographic to distract me from the pain until Grandpa could take me into his clinic. I thought it was neat to have Dad's full attention, even though it stunk to have a broken ankle and to have been seen crying by all my cousins. I even remember that we looked at an article about a deep sea submarine called ALVIN. - Working on projects with Dad was always an adventure, mostly because it involved sitting around until he needed a tool, then panicking when I couldn't find it, then timidly reporting that it wasn't there, then watching while Dad went and found it, usually just where he'd said it would be. My superpower is apparently to NOT see the thing I need on a crowded shelf. Many were the times I heard Dad say, "If that was a snake it would have bit you!" - I remember really enjoying "Special Nights" with Dad. I think we went to an ice-cream parlor called Carousel once, and I was excited to go back someday. I even won a free sundae coupon to that same shop in a ward party raffle, and it never even occurred to me that I could go with someone other than Dad. The place closed down before we could go back, but I still saved that coupon for a long time afterward. - I loved going in each night to say goodnight to Dad and Mom and finding him reading in bed. I would always lean down and lay on him for a minute while I gave him a hug and he'd tell me how much he loved me and how glad he was that I'd come to say goodnight. - I spent a night sitting up with Dad while he was comatose in his hospital bed in the family room just before he died. Without intending to, I started talking to him, hoping he could hear and understand me. In what felt like no more than an hour or two the whole night was gone. I really don't remember what I said, but I know I told him how much I loved him, that it was ok for him to go, and that we'd make it through even though we'd miss him terribly. Suddenly the sun was coming up behind the beautiful spring mountains, and I told him that I'd think of him whenever I saw them.

The time that Dad tore his ACL in the middle of nowhere

Contributor: katyasmith Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

We took a family trip to Spirit Lake in the Uintah mountains of eastern Utah in the late 90's. After spending few days in a cabin there, the girls headed home with Mom and the boys headed into the wilderness for a backpacking adventure. I think we hiked about 10 or 15 miles into the Uintahs (maybe less) and made camp for a few days near a small lake. Nothing exceptionally memorable happened until we were preparing to break camp and head for home. While Dad was attempting to break a limb from a dead tree, perhaps to burn some paper trash before we left, the limb unexpectedly gave way causing him to fall awkwardly and land on his knee. (Tearing his ACL, we would later learn.) He was in great pain and couldn't walk without help. Though I was only 14 or 15 years old at the time and didn't fully grasp the gravity of the situation, I still noted Dad's worry about being able to make it safely out of the wilderness. We said a very sincere prayer before heading out, and I believe the decision was made right then for James to try and lead Rich and Jon (the youngest) back to the Spirit Lake Lodge for help, while I assisted Dad. He fashioned a splint for his injured leg from 2 small pine boughs - I remember how sap leaked all over his jeans and the strips of cloth tied tightly around his leg in several spots - and was able to hobble along by using the splint posts as a sort of crutch. It was very slow going for us, and I can only imagine the worry that must have been weighing on Dad though he never showed it, and at the time I had perfect confidence that everything would turn out all right since he was there and in charge. In order to pass the time I suggested we play a game I had recently learned about: we would take turns naming US states, and the first letter of each new state had to be the same as the last letter as the state before it. I was delighted when Dad enthusiastically jumped into the game and seemed really pleased about it. At one point we passed within a stone's throw of a moose, and there were some tense moments when we wondered if it was a mother and if we had inadvertently come between her and a calf we couldn't see. But we passed safely in the end. We passed a few hikers, and Dad asked anxiously after the other boys. I don't think they had seen them, but they gave Dad some Tylenol with codein for the pain in his leg. I had never heard of such a thing at the time, I remember wondering what codein was and doubting that Tylenol would do anything to help such a serious injury. :) Later in the afternoon we passed another individual who may have been hunting. In any case he had a weapon and fired off three shots in order to signal our plight to anyone who might be in a position to help. I think he stayed with us and helped us work our way back to the lodge, which was very kind. I don't believe he had seen the other boys, either. We made it back to the lodge in the late afternoon or evening. I think we were met by help along the way and didn't have to walk the entire distance on our own. This was a great relief as I think we didn't have much sustaining food to speak of, not planning to take as long as we did on the return trip, and we had probably long since finished off our trail mix and other snacks. I have a vague memory of either riding behind someone on a horse, or perhaps walking alongside while Dad did - though I can't imagine how he could have ridden in his state. Perhaps I walked along while he balanced on the back of a slow-moving four-wheeler? Help was sent out for my brothers, and I don't remember ever feeling overly concerned about their safety. Once again, Dad was there and I knew that everything would turn out fine as a result. The lodge owners were ever so kind to us, and they seemed quite the competent rescuers, so that was comforting as well. I'm quite sure they sent out riders on horseback to round up the 3 lost boys, who, as it turns out, had become turned around on the way back and had gone far out of the way. We were all tired, but none the worse for wear, especially after they kindly fed us some of the most delicious soup I had ever eaten - some kind of corn chowder that seemed impossibly delicious after such a long day. In gratitude for their help Dad gave them the canoe he had just barely purchased for the trip. Mom had come on her own to retrieve us, and probably ended up making arrangements for someone to watch the girls at home since we didn't get back on the road until late at night, and still had to stop at the ER on our way home. As Dad was healing after surgery to repair the ligament, which healing took a long time, I once accidentally bumped his foot as I walked past the recliner. Oh, I felt so bad to hurt him! And one early Sunday morning I woke up to some loud noises to find that Dad had slipped and fallen down the stairs on his way to an early stake leadership meeting of some kind. We worried for a time that perhaps he tore the ligament again, but it turned out to be a fortunate accident and actually helped free up some scar tissue around the wound without causing further damage.

The time that Dad hurt his leg with the tiller

Contributor: katyasmith Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Once when I was quite small (perhaps 6 or 7?) Dad was walking back to the house with a rear tine tiller, holding the still-turning tines in the air to keep them off the grass of the lawn. Something happened to accidentally get his leg in contact with the tines, and I remember him dropping to the ground in pain. He may have even asked me to go get Mom, but I remember being pretty scared by the whole thing. He had to wear a special sock for a long time after that when he went to bed. He told me it was to keep blood clots from forming in his leg. I asked him what a blood clot was, and pretended to understand his explanation. :)

Memories of Dad, by Julie Davis Radmall

Contributor: katyasmith Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Photo: Kumen and Julie, circa 1988 in Draper, UT -Dad was very patient and rarely got upset. I’m sure that took a lot of self-control, with seven busy and noisy kids! When we would start to get a little too rowdy, Dad would tell us, “At ease! At ease!” In my mind, I thought it was one word: “Adeez.” I didn’t know the real military meaning of that until I was grown up. I just knew it meant for us to settle down. Dad would also ask for a “Skosh” of something he wanted a little more of, like a drink. I came to realize he probably picked that up when he was stationed in Japan when he was in the Marines. -Every Sunday for dessert, we would have ice cream. Someone would get a few half-gallons from the outside freezer, then Mom would dish up the flavors we chose. Mom and Dad were good at helping remind us not to eat until everyone had been served. Dad’s favorite icecream was Burnt Almond Fudge. At Dad’s request, we always had a jar of Malt powder, and I really liked the taste of that mixed in with my ice cream. One of Dad’s specialties was making banana milkshakes, sometimes with Malt powder. They were delicious! Watching him, I couldn’t believe it would take a whole carton of ice cream to make that little milkshake. As much as I loved the banana milkshakes, I couldn’t choke down plain bananas (they still gag me sometimes). My kids love to hear the story about when I was sitting next to Dad at dinner as a kid, with several banana slices on my plate. I tried to eat them, I really did, but my gag reflex took over and I inconspicuously spat them into my napkin. I excused myself to the bathroom, banana-napkin in hand, and stealthily flushed them down the toilet! I loved sitting next to Dad at dinner. When I would pass him in his chair, walking to my seat, he would give me a squeeze around the middle and say something sweet to me. Occasionally, he would ask us to kneel down by our chairs at the dinner table and we would have a special kneeling prayer. -We also said family prayers at night before bed. Mom and Dad would kneel up straight and tall while us kids flopped and leaned all over the place during those prayers in the family room. Then Dad would give an astonishing number of kids a shoulder/piggy back/foot ride to the stairs to get us to bed. -One night, I woke up from a noise coming from the garbage can by my bed. I was positive it was a frog. I tiptoed into Mom and Dad’s room, where I told Dad that there was a frog in my garbage can. Dad came into my room, and found, not a frog, but a mouse! To this day, I have no idea what he did with it (maybe he set it free outside?), but he took care of it and tucked me back into bed. -If I felt scared in the night, I would go into Mom and Dad’s room for some comfort. Dad slept closest to the door, and it was too scary to go over to Mom’s side, so I’d gently nudge Dad awake. He would either scoot over on the bed and give me 6 inches to try to lay next to him without falling off the bed, or have me lay in the recliner where I was sure I could see ghosts and spooky things around their shadowy bedroom. His methods of keeping me a little uncomfortable in his bedroom helped me learn to stay in my room at night. -Once I was feeling very sick in the night. Dad gave me some aspirin, crushed and dissolved in a spoonful of applesauce. Needless to say, the applesauce did not disguise the bitterness of the medicine, and I very unwillingly choked it down. I’m sure Grandma Nina administered medicine to Dad like that when he was a boy! -Dad would take one child at a time on a “Special Night.” Dad let each child know that they were important to him. I chose to go to a Carousel ice cream parlor, and I think to Draper Theater to a movie once. Draper Theater had a little icecream shop in front, and I remember choosing Bubblegum or Superman icecream the couple of times we went there, to Dad’s chagrin. Lots of my memories of Dad are about food, aren’t they? :) -After getting us out of the tub, Dad would blow us with a warm blow-dryer while we were wrapped up in our towels. Aaaaaah! Another time while Dad was giving me a bath, I soaped myself down with some soft, colorful soap that was in little cups in a pallet like a painter would use. He warned me about not getting it in my eyes, but of course it got in my eyes. He rolled his eyes a little, but still very patiently helped rinse it out of my eyes. I don’t think I ever saw that soap again! -Dad always looked good. He was always slender and fit, and he took pride in being neat and tidy. Remember that black oval bristle brush Dad used? His hair was always combed neatly, even when he was going out to work in the garden. -Speaking of garden: Dad was a master gardener. Now that I’m a mom with four little kids and the business that comes with parenting and life, I am totally amazed that Dad kept such a perfect (and huge!) yard and garden. Admittedly, I didn’t have to do as much yard work as my big brothers. I remember taking Dad a big cup of lemonade one blistering summer afternoon, and felt a little guilty walking back inside after he graciously drank the whole cup. I did have to help weed, plant flowers in the front flower beds, and harvest the ripe produce. I never liked husking corn from our garden for fear of giant caterpillars and bugs. Dad grew the most juicy, red tomatoes. He taught me to love soggy tomato sandwiches. You spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on each slice of bread (preferably white bread), then cover one slice with thick tomato slices, then sprinkle on salt and pepper and close the sandwich. Wait a bit, then eat it. Yum! Often, our summer dinners would consist of tomato slices, cooked zucchini, corn on the cob, and sometimes cantaloupe or watermelon from our own garden. -After a hard Saturday of working outside, we would all take a bath, then enjoy rootbeer floats before watching a movie as a family. Dad loved a good movie—especially a western. His favorite was True Grit, starring John Wayne. He was kind enough to let his kids choose the movie most of the time, though. We would drive to Draper Video and spend a long time, looking through the rows and rows of VHS tapes. Once, when it was my turn to choose, he let me rent a Strawberry Shortcake cartoon, much to the chagrin of my three older brothers. It meant a lot to me that he respected my opinion, and let me take a turn. -One outside responsibility I had was mowing the lawn when I was a teenager. We had the riding John Deere lawnmower, and Dad was sure to give me safety pointers each time I went out to mow. I have fond memories of Dad, in his bathrobe and sick from chemo treatments, come outside and stand on the sidewalk close to the house, motioning for me to “SLOW DOWN!” as I mowed. - Before I had my driver’s license, Dad took me driving several times through the neighborhood and city. As I watched one of our neighbor’s get picked up in a limo to go to a school dance, Dad told me I should be careful to stay focused on safe driving. :) He taught me that a good driver never affects other drivers on the road. Soon after I had my license, I was asked to drive our big suburban to deliver a few newspapers (our family had a newspaper route for many years). After dropping off a newspaper, I backed up the suburban too far, and dinged the side of a truck. I immediately drove home to get Dad. It didn’t even occur to me to take care of the problem myself. He was in his bathrobe, very sick from cancer. I told Dad what happened, and he calmly got dressed and we drove back to the truck. He went to the front door, explained what had happened, and worked out the situation. He never got upset. Another time as a new driver, I backed the suburban out of the garage a little crooked, and hit a big sprinkler in the aspen mound. Dad was outside, watching, and again—he asked me to be more careful, but he didn’t get mad at me. That big suburban was a little tricky for a short 16 year old to drive! -I remember Dad standing Carrie and my niece Savanna Stevenson on the kitchen table in front of himself when they were babies. He would chant this while he moved them around: “Swing ‘em to the left; Swing ‘em to the right; Stand up; Sit down; Fight, Fight, Fight!” He also chanted this, as he touched their faces and ended in a tickle: “Head of hair, forehead bare, here’s an ear, it can hear, eye winkum, tom tinkum, nose smeller, mouth eater, chin chinny-chin-chin!” -Dad taught me how to ride a little red two-wheeler bike when I was around 5 years old. He held on the back of the seat, and ran with me while I pedaled hard down the sidewalk in front of our house. He eventually let go and I kept pedaling and stayed upright! It was an exhilarating feeling! A couple years later, I was riding my bike with a friend when I crashed into a fence after going over a curb. I cut up my knee, which took a whole summer to heal. The day we took all the bandages off my knee, I went for a bike ride with Richard. Dad walked with us. We rode down Cindy Lane, which was mostly gravel. I slipped on the gravel, and fell and cut my knee in the exact same place. Dad calmed Richard and my panic, and tied a handy handkerchief around my bleeding knee, then slowly walked me and my bike back home. I have a scar on that knee in the shape of an 11 now. -Sometimes on Sunday afternoons, we would all go for a drive in the Jeep. My favorite part of Dad’s old green army jeep was the gas pedal in the outline of a bare foot. Dad would drive, Mom would sit in the passenger seat with a baby on her lap, and the rest of us would sit around the back and hold on. I remember driving down Cindy Lane when there were lots of dirt hills from construction, and Dad would see what we could drive over in the Jeep. I also remember when Dad and Mom drove us over to our neighbor’s house, the Shurtleffs, to confront the neighbor kids to see if they had taken the toads out of our window sill. We must have felt that those toads were our pets, because we wanted them back! -Dad came home from work early one afternoon with a big surprise for us: a golden retriever puppy! It was officially a gift for Richard, who named him Jacob Redd of Draper, or Jake for short. Jake was adorable with his red-blonde fur. We gave him a bath in the laundry room sink that day. He was officially an outside dog, but he did sleep in the garage sometimes in the winter. Sometimes it still smells like Jake in the garage to me on wet days. Dad loved Jake and took care of him more than anyone else. Jake was too scared of loud noises to be a good hunting dog, but he was a friendly companion for Dad. Not that Dad needed another responsibility… -Dad and Mom took us on some pretty amazing and memorable family trips! Dad always had his can of smoked almonds, and his favorite chewing gum: Beeman’s Cloves, to keep him alert while driving. We often drove to Mesa, Arizona to spend Thanksgiving with Dad’s side of the family. As much as I loved and remember Grandma Nina’s orange rolls at those Thanksgiving dinners, I also remember Dad and his brothers holding onto the edges of a quilt, tossing kids (like curly-haired little Jon Jon) high up in the air after dinner. Once when I was probably 13, Mom and Dad sat us down and let us help choose between a family trip to Disney World, or a trip to Church History sights back East. We chose Disney World. :) It was an exciting vacation, and we had such a fun time together as a family. I was able to go on that family Church History trip several years later, when Dad had cancer, but was feeling well enough to travel. It is amazing to me that he had the capacity to take a trip like that, with his declining health. We had many special experiences, including attending the Hill Cumorah Pageant, going to the Sacred Grove and seeing Joseph Smith’s childhood home, going to the John Johnson Farm, Newell K. Whitney’s store, the Kirtland Temple, and many other faith-building locations. -Our most-frequented family vacation spot was the Davis family cabin in Fairview, Utah that Dad and his brothers built. We would spend time exploring and going for walks to the reservoir, four-wheeling or snowmobiling, shooting arrows toward balloons attached to bales of hay, and spending one-on-one time with Dad, shooting .22s. He really enjoyed shooting, and it was important to him that all of his kids learned gun safety and how to use guns. Dad and my brothers would often go pheasant hunting with his brothers around Thanksgiving time. Now, a rogue pheasant roams the yard in Draper and I am sure Dad would have loved to see that! For his last Christmas with us in 2002, I made Dad an official-looking certificate of my completion of Hunters Safety. -Mom and Dad rarely dressed up for Halloween. They made it a fun holiday for us by helping us get into costume, and taking us trick-or-treating, but I don’t think it was their favorite holiday. One time, though, Dad came home from work to take Mom to a Halloween party. He even brought costumes for them to wear. Mom wasn’t feeling like getting all gussied-up and wearing the beautiful yellow ball gown, so Dad dressed up as Belle, and Mom was the Beast. It was hilarious! Dad even wore pink lipstick! -Dad loved getting his legs massaged. My specialty was the karate chop up and down his calves, which he seemed to really love. I think his favorite bedtime routine was to have one or more of his kids rub his legs while he laid in bed with the lamp on, then to watch a 10:00 pm episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation or to read a biography of a historical person he admired. -Dad loved eating nuts, and that was one of his most appreciated gifts at Christmas time. I remember eating a handful of nuts with him one evening, after having a big slice of cheddar cheese, and he mentioned to me about the high fat content of both cheese and nuts. This shocked and alarmed me, as it was the era of low-fat dieting, and I was a plump child. I also remember helping Dad make apple pie a few times on a Sunday afternoon. Mom was too busy making three meals a day for nine people (!) to spend much time baking desserts, so pie was a special treat. -Dad was a partner, then owner of Northern Outfitters, a cold weather clothing company. He sponsored the Iditarod champion, Martin Buser, and went to Alaska several times for work. Once, Dad brought back fresh salmon from Alaska, and was excited to share it with us. I love salmon now, but as a kid, I wasn’t familiar with it and didn’t want to try it. My parents urged me to just try it, over and over. They also warned us to be alert for little bones that may not have been picked out. As I grumpily stared at my salmon, I saw a little bone… that moved! It was actually a tiny worm! I was relieved to get out of having to eat that salmon! -Dad took Jonathan and me fishing at Paradise Pond when we were little. I remember Dad’s tackle box and fishing reels, and we had gone fishing in rivers occasionally before, too. After I caught a fish at Paradise Pond, Dad took us into an indoor room with a table and sink to clean the fish. He cut the fish, then pulled out the little purple-gray beating heart and placed it in my hand. I will never forget that! I was a little grossed out, but also amazed. As much as Dad enjoyed hunting and fishing, he had great respect for animals, and was sure to teach that to his children. -Every Mother’s Day, Dad presented Mom with a beautiful corsage to pin to her dress, to wear to church. It was a sweet tradition. I can honestly say that I don’t remember seeing Mom and Dad ever get in a big fight. That’s pretty amazing! -I remember the time when I was around 5 years old that a truck backed all the way up our driveway, and Dad helped a man unload a trampoline! It was very exciting. James took to doing backflips and aerials when it was his turn. I, in my favorite green flowered dress, preferred to jump while holding Dad’s hands. He bounced me really high, and I couldn’t stop giggling. Which reminds me of the one time I got in pretty serious trouble: I couldn’t stop giggling at the dinner table and was excused until I could settle down. :) -Dad was so GOOD. He was a righteous, Christlike man. He served as the Bishop when I was a baby, after having recently moved to Draper. Attending church together as a family was a priority, even when we were on vacation. Dad gave us Father’s Blessings in the study every year before school started, and at other times when we requested it. He was a wonderful neighbor and friend. Everyone knew and loved him! He loved the scriptures, and he would often bear a special testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith. Dad’s testimony and desire to raise a righteous family guided every choice he made. Probably one of the best measures of the kind of man Dad was, is how he taught his sons to be righteous dads themselves. My four brothers amaze me with their strength and gentleness, how much they help their wives and spend time with their children, and what righteous priesthood holders they are. -On the day that my brother Richard graduated from Alta High School in June 2001, there was a chaperoned all-night party in the Pepperwood neighborhood in Sandy. Richard and I went with friends, and Mom and Dad came to help. When they left around 11 pm, Dad having a headache, I remember thinking how I was so young and energetic, and my parents were getting old and tired early (Dad was 53 years old). The next afternoon, Dad called Mom. She got off the phone in tears, and called the four kids at home in to talk to her. She told us that Dad had gone to the doctor with a headache that wouldn’t go away. He’d had an MRI, which showed a large brain tumor. He was on his way home from the doctor. We knelt down and said a prayer, all feeling tense and worried. I sat in the back of the car later that day, going to the University Hospital with Mom and Dad. I wondered what the future would hold for Dad as I looked out the car window. Dad underwent brain surgery soon after, to remove the baseball sized tumor. The surgery was successful, but we learned that it was a malignant tumor, and that Dad had melanoma. It took time to recover from the brain surgery, and it was difficult to see Dad in pain in a hospital bed, with staples all down the side of his shaved head. The following months were full of chemo and radiation treatments at the University Hospital. Despite the nausea and pain he was experiencing, Dad was able to stay optimistic and cheerful. He bore his testimony as often as he could when he was able to come to Sacrament Meeting on fast Sundays. His suits were becoming looser as he lost weight, and he had to walk with a cane up to the podium, but he wanted to make sure that his family and ward family knew his testimony of Jesus Christ and the gospel plan. When Richard and I danced in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics, Dad braved the cold and came to the dress rehearsal to see us perform at the Rice Eccles Stadium. In his last several months of life, Dad made sure to spend special time with each child, letting us ask questions about his life as we snuggled by him on his bed at night. He showed us the mementos and treasures he had kept throughout his life, and he gave us special father’s priesthood blessings. One morning, I remember waking up early to get ready for school (I was 18 years old, a Senior at Alta High by this time). There was some commotion in Mom and Dad’s room, with their lamps on and door open. Dad was somewhat paralyzed and in a great deal of pain. Instead of going to school, Carrie, Jon, and I went with Mom and Dad to the hospital. They discovered tumors down his spine and in his lungs. Chemotherapy and radiation were no longer viable options for stopping the spread of the cancer. We knew things were grim. From the hospital room, Mom called Richard’s mission president in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. I think by some miracle, Richard was able to get to the phone and he spent a few minutes talking to Dad. I don’t think Dad was completely coherent from the pain and the effects of the cancer, so it may not have been as difficult of a conversation for him as it was for us to listen to, and for Richard. Richard was so brave and faithful. He stayed on his mission through Dad’s passing and funeral, knowing that he would not see him again in this life. After a short stay in the hospital, Dad came home for hospice care in our family room. We knew his time was short, and many close friends and family members came to say their goodbyes. Despite the anguish of the moment of his passing on March 12, 2003, and the grief we all felt at the funeral and in the following weeks and months, there were also many tender mercies that happened as well. A while after the funeral, I went in to Alta to pick up some school work. I remember feeling like nothing really mattered anymore. It was so strange that the world kept turning and people kept doing their normal thing, and kept caring about small things, when something momentous and incredibly sad had happened. After many months, I started to feel a little more normal. But I will always miss Dad! It is hard to get married, have children, and raise a family without him. Every holiday, Father’s Day, and birthday, I think about him and wish I could talk to him and spend time with him. I think my husband Nelson has many of the same interests as Dad, and would have loved to know him personally. Dad was so fun with kids, and I wish he could be here to play with his grandkids. And I especially know how deeply Mom misses him. I know all of these memories are positive and happy recollections, which may seem like I’m not portraying who Dad fully was. But he truly was this good and righteous. I can’t imagine a more wonderful Dad! It’s amazing how much I learned from him in only 18 years!

Night-time surprise for two kids (James and Robbie)

Contributor: katyasmith Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Robbie and I (James) went to deliver something to a neighbor one evening in the winter. It might have been a "12 days of Christmas" type thing where we were to drop it, ring the doorbell and run away. But we were walking back home through the vacant lot that was later turned into the Jepson's house (SE of our home); the Alan's house (due S) may have been built by then (?). So we were walking up and over a large mound of dirt when Dad popped up and yelled something like "AAH!" to surprise us. I recall we were indeed quite surprised and gave quite the yell/scream ourselves. It was a bit more than I think Dad expected and we must have been a bit tramatized (maybe some tears?) because I remember that he felt pretty bad afterward. He had wanted it to be more of a joke but felt bad that he'd scared us so much :-)

reading in bed at bed-time

Contributor: katyasmith Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

I recall that I (James) would often find Dad reading in bed before it was time to turn the lights out. He would have the bed-side lamp on and would be propped up with some pillows. I recall several bullet reloading books he would be going through, as well as some good non-fiction, like autobiographies. I believe on was of Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer, who saved his stranded crew in dire circumstances. At the time, I don't think I thought they were very interesting as I was reading all sorts of fiction, but I appreciate it now. I also appreciate the fact that his time was limited and this was a time that he would squeeze in some time to sort out reloading details or take in some good books.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Contributor: katyasmith Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

One of my (James) favorite times with Dad was watching episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation with him before bed. It came on at just the right time (maybe 9pm) and I think I saw pretty much every episode for some time running. It's hard to say if my initial interest was driven more by the show itself of the time spent sharing it with Dad, but I think that it must have had some element of natural coincidence between my liking it and being interested for what it was as well as being old enough to also enjoy the time spent watching with Dad :-) My like for the show / series still continues on. I find it interesting now that it was one of Dad's favorites. I don't know that if I knew him casually I'd see that in him, but I think he saw some things in that particular series that resonated well with him - and not just the "futuristic" stuff, although that likely was part of it - but also the teamwork and camaraderie of the crew as they fought a common battle or struggle. I remember this was also my first exposure to the "cliff-hanger" episodes at the end of the season that made it an agonizing wait until the next season would start and reveal more highly anticipated information. Good thing there were always re-runs to keep us going :)

too scared to play catch with Dad

Contributor: katyasmith Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

I (James) remember that Dad was excited to play catch with me as I got a bit older. Unfortunately I wasn't much of an athlete in my youth and didn't take to it much. I'm sure he was not putting much speed on the ball, but I mostly remember that I was effectively quite scared of the ball and had a hard time wanting to play catch, probably mostly for that reason. Looking back, I wish I could do it again, maybe with a better start where I could build some confidence, because that would have been a fun memory and I know if would have meant a lot to Dad, especially with his love of baseball. I don't think I knew until later that he had been a great little league player in his day. I can't say whether I was never told or whether I didn't remember it being said (perhaps it was said more in passing and I didn't connect the dots at the time). But now I try to play catch with my own boys :-) Even though we didn't get to play catch much when I was young, the memory has actually stayed with me. When my boys did their first little league baseball games this last year, I couldn't help but buy myself a mit and a set of ball for us all to use together :-) I think that's a bit of a common theme with some of my memories with Dad: I wish I could go back and do them with him. Well first just to do them with him and spend time with him again, but second to actually take advantage of the opportunity that it was at the time. We didn't have a lot of time to do those things, or probably I was not actively seeking them out and could have done more than I did. Probably both played a part. But I certainly wish I could have tried harder and not been so scared of the ball to play catch with Dad!

"Turn it to rear control!" or The Advent of the Suburban

Contributor: katyasmith Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

I am amazed at how patient Dad was with us kids. I (James) appreciate this even more so now that I have 6 young kids (with one on the way) of my own. I can see there were moments when small things would bother him, but even then he always seemed to be able to handle it with more aplomb than I do. Of course as we got older sometimes these moments or recurring scenarios would be brought up in jest and were good for a laugh. One night for FHE we all loaded into the car. Imagine our surprise when we turned into a car dealership. I think it may have taken me longer than some to figure out what might be happening. I seem to recall that I was confused as to why we would be turning in there. What could we be doing here? Did we need to pick something up? Was Dad running an errand? I'm still not entirely sure when I really grasped the moment, but I do remember when a fancy shiny car was brought around the front. We all clambered into and around the vehicle and quickly found all the bells and whistles so mesmerizing and enticing. I think we were all especially blown away by the fact that the rear area of the car had its own temperature system with its very own control knobs just in front of the middle row. We quickly discovered that this could be controlled from the front seats but there was a setting of the knob/dial that would pass the control to the rear knobs. This, of course, was instantly our desire - to have full control of the knobs and dials. We could turn it hotter or cooler. We could change it from "feet" to "head" plus at least four settings in-between with some mix of the two. Not to mention the different blower speeds that were also now potentially under our command! Well our judgement may not have been as sound or perhaps there was a bit of bickering as we all collectively attempted to manage our rear knobs both verbally and physically. So control seemed to be passed back, er, taken back, quite frequently to the front. But I think it was on that first ride home that we all started clamoring for control: "turn it to rear control!" And then anytime afterward when we would go out, it was always an immediate call for "turn it to rear control!" This was the name of the setting on the front dial, "rear control". One additional notable point (among many more :-) ) was the lights in the back. There were several of these reading lights but when Dad was piloting the car, using these lights was strictly prohibited. Of course it was for a good reason as it could distract and impair the vision of the driver, but we learned quickly that when a light were turned on, it would have to be turned right off :-)

The time Dad almost became a pheasant mini-rancher (By Jonathan Davis)

Contributor: katyasmith Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

One time when I was probably around 12 or so, Dad took me along to Hatt's Ranch near Green River, UT so he could go talk to the owners about their pheasant business. They raised (and still raise, as far as I know as of November 2017) hundreds or maybe thousands of ring-necked pheasants there, along with a few other breeds like chukkar partridges. The birds were raised to either be sent to hunting spots around the country (world?), or to be kept for hunting on their own property. Dad was always an avid hunter and shooter, and he seemed to like bird hunting the best, at least as far as hunting with his kids was concerned. It seems that the near-certainty of success when hunting upland game on private property was a lot more appealing to him than spending untold days hiking and scouting for large game that may never materialize, especially when he was in charge of keeping young people happy about it. Dad took his boys (James, Robbie, Richard, and I) to Hatt's Ranch several times for hunting trips, usually on Thanksgiving weekend—a tradition that some of Dad’s brothers and brothers-in-law like Robin, Alma, and Kerry have occasionally maintained. Anyway, Dad apparently got interested in the business side of the operation at Hatt's Ranch, at least enough to want to go meet with the owners one on one. I don't recall if he was looking more for a little side hustle, or for a way to fund (or even fuel) his hunting hobby. Or maybe he wanted to raise some birds to increase the skills of our hunting-activities-challenged golden retriever, Jake. Either way, as a pre-teen I certainly wasn't there to talk business or drive a bargain -- Dad probably invited me because he just wanted a buddy on the long drive, and I recall being happy to go with him. I remember Dad spending hours talking to one of the Hatts (probably Royd, such a unique name) about the particulars of things like incubation and feed, though I’m sure they talked about a lot of other things like operating costs and returns on investment. In the end, Dad never moved forward with his pheasant mini-ranch. Whether because of constraints on time, money, or something else, I’m not sure. Maybe he was hoping that I would be his business partner, and perhaps I wasn’t enthusiastic enough about it. But it was certainly fun to go on an impromptu outing with Dad that time.

The Jeep and the Beemans (from Rich)

Contributor: katyasmith Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Rich: I'm sure several of us remember Dad's love of old-timey gum, especially Beemans and Clove gum. What is surprising to me now is remembering that Walker's gas station (across from Draper City Hall) carried both of those. I don't remember what Beemans tasted like, probably like black-licorice and various spices. But I do have a very clear memory of going on a ride in the green restored army jeep with the bare-footprint outlined gas pedal. It was in the summer time on a warm evening and we got the rare permission to stand up in the back and holding on to the black metal roll-bar ("You kids be careful back there!"). We couldn't have all fit, so that must have meant We drove past Draper park, and then onto Pioneer Road (12400) past the stand of trees on the north of the park, past IFA, and pulling into the Walkers. It might not have been the same trip, but I know the kids liked to run up, find the Beemans (or the red packaged Clove gum) and excitedly point it out to Dad. He wouldn't always get that gum, but with only 5 pieces per package it's impressive that he ever shared it with us kids.

Carrie's Memories with Dad

Contributor: katyasmith Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

- Dad did a good job of making us all feel individually special. I remember one time he had me choose a special font and type up some of his dutch oven recipes. I felt so important and he was so grateful it made me feel wonderful. - He liked to "bribe" me with root beer floats when I was sad, and sometimes I would pretend to be a little more sad just because I knew he would offer me that treat. - I always enjoyed watching Star Trek: The Next Generation with Dad, because it was the most "grown up" show I was allowed to watch, and it meant I got to stay up late! - Dad loved having his hair brushed and his feet massaged, and he somehow managed to make us think that it was a very important job. It was often a nightly thing that happened concurrently with watching Star Trek. I remember his feet seemed SO BIG and calloused and my hands would get so tired trying to massage them! I distinctly thought that he must have the biggest feet in the whole world. - Another TV show that I associate with Dad is the Andy Griffiths Show. Such a wholesome, positive show fit so well with his personality. At the time, I didn't think the show was very neat (it was black and white! So old!) but now I love to watch it because it reminds me of Dad).

Life timeline of Kumen Burt Davis

Kumen Burt Davis was born on 3 Feb 1948
Kumen Burt Davis was 10 years old when Space Race: Launch of Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth. The Space Race refers to the 20th-century competition between two Cold War rivals, the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States (US), for dominance in spaceflight capability. It had its origins in the missile-based nuclear arms race between the two nations that occurred following World War II, aided by captured German missile technology and personnel from the Aggregat program. The technological superiority required for such dominance was seen as necessary for national security, and symbolic of ideological superiority. The Space Race spawned pioneering efforts to launch artificial satellites, uncrewed space probes of the Moon, Venus, and Mars, and human spaceflight in low Earth orbit and to the Moon.
Kumen Burt Davis was 21 years old when During the Apollo 11 mission, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon. Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first two people on the Moon. Mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin, both American, landed the lunar module Eagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:17 UTC. Armstrong became the first person to step onto the lunar surface six hours after landing on July 21 at 02:56:15 UTC; Aldrin joined him about 20 minutes later. They spent about two and a quarter hours together outside the spacecraft, and collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material to bring back to Earth. Michael Collins piloted the command module Columbia alone in lunar orbit while they were on the Moon's surface. Armstrong and Aldrin spent 21.5 hours on the lunar surface before rejoining Columbia in lunar orbit.
Kumen Burt Davis was 25 years old when Munich massacre: Nine Israeli athletes die (along with a German policeman) at the hands of the Palestinian "Black September" terrorist group after being taken hostage at the Munich Olympic Games. Two other Israeli athletes were slain in the initial attack the previous day. The Munich massacre was an attack during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, in which the Palestinian terrorist group Black September took eleven Israeli Olympic team members hostage and killed them along with a West German police officer.
Kumen Burt Davis was 38 years old when Space Shuttle program: STS-51-L mission: Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts on board. The Space Shuttle program was the fourth human spaceflight program carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which accomplished routine transportation for Earth-to-orbit crew and cargo from 1981 to 2011. Its official name, Space Transportation System (STS), was taken from a 1969 plan for a system of reusable spacecraft of which it was the only item funded for development.
Kumen Burt Davis was 46 years old when The Rwandan genocide begins when the aircraft carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira is shot down. The Rwandan genocide, also known as the genocide against the Tutsi, was a genocidal mass slaughter of Tutsi in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority government. An estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed during the 100-day period from 7 April to mid-July 1994, constituting as many as 70% of the Tutsi population. Additionally, 30% of the Pygmy Batwa were killed. The genocide and widespread slaughter of Rwandans ended when the Tutsi-backed and heavily armed Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) led by Paul Kagame took control of the country. An estimated 2,000,000 Rwandans, mostly Hutus, were displaced and became refugees.
Kumen Burt Davis died on 12 Mar 2003 at the age of 55
Grave record for Kumen Burt Davis (3 Feb 1948 - 12 Mar 2003), BillionGraves Record 4542294 Sandy, Salt Lake, Utah, United States