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Dorothy J. Davis

1917 - 2011, Santa Barbara

April 22, 1917 - February 2, 2011

Dorothy J. Davis, 93, of Santa Barbara and Thomaston, Maine died February 2, 2011 in Maine. Dorothy grew up during the 1920s in rural California and coastal Oregon. Orphaned as a child, she was raised by her paternal grandparents along the U.S.-Mexico border, was a nurse at an industrial shipyard clinic during WW II, and raised two children, Lucia and Patrick.

Dorothy went back to college for her B.A. and teaching credential in the late 1950s, retiring from the UCSB library periodicals section in 1980. She was a water-colorist, a belly dancer, dancing in eight Summer Solstice parades into her 60s, and a passionate naturalist. Her love for all living things, especially wild flowers and birds, woodland mammals and the reptiles of the Santa Barbara back country, informed her children and grandchildren and imbued them with a great respect and reverence for life.

She was married for 63 years to legendary boat builder and sailor, Harry Davis, who passed away in 2002. Her active interest and involvement in the lives of her children and grandchildren and the many diverse adults and teenagers who entered her life while living with her children in her later years will be forever cherished along with her incredible stories of a life lived on the edge of the western frontier among native people, people of color and the dispossessed.

She is survived by her children, Lucia and Patrick Davis of Santa Barbara and Thomaston, Maine, her grandchildren Dan Butts of Santa Barbara, Susan Gray, Colorado Springs, and Amy Ferlauto and Jonathan Davis of Thomaston, Maine.

There will be a private memorial on April 23 in Mission Canyon remembering her remarkable life.

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