Jon Davis Passes Away

Jon M. Davis, a well-known area businessman, unexpectedly passed away at home.

He was born on August 9, 1936 in Stanton, Mich., the son of the late Morris and Ruth Marion (Sommers) Davis. As a child, he moved with his family to Ionia, Mich. and graduated from the Ionia High School.

After high school, Jon attended Michigan Technological University. After three years of college, Jon worked for the State of Michigan as a surveyor until returning to Houghton to complete his education.

On May 29, 1960, Jon was united in marriage to the former Marcia Jones. The couple resided in Greenville and Lansing until moving to Houghton in 1966. In 1967, Jon purchased the Board of Trade Bar in Houghton and changed the name to The Library, which he owned and operated until 1989.

Jon enjoyed promoting activities locally and nationally. He promoted the Guts Frisbee Tournament locally and nationally, eventually having a tournament at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

One of Jon’s passions was rally racing. He started the sport in the early 60’s, winning the POR in 1964. In 1977, Jon succeeded in getting the POR/LSPR headquartered in Houghton where it still runs today. Jon won two national championships in the Production Class in 1980 and 1981. In 1982, Ford sponsored Jon for a season. In 1983, Jon stepped back from racing to help promote the sport. In 1986, he helped organize Seat Belts Across America, and from 1986 until 2001, Jon planned the course for the “One Lap of America” race.

Locally, he helped start the fireworks display over the Portage Canal, originally on the July 4th weekend and then moving it to Winter Carnival weekend. He also helped organize Snowballs to Texas.

Mr. Davis retired from most of his endeavors to care for his ailing wife in 2001. She preceded him in death in 2002.

Jon was a lifelong member of Weight Watchers and was very proud that he was able to lose 150 pounds. He also was a lifetime member of the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce.

Surviving are his children, Greg of Houghton, Lee of Grand Rapids and Eric of Kalamazoo; granddaughter, Madeline; brother and sister-in-law, Cal and Jen Ludema, Curtis and Doug Jones; and several nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held for Jon at the Eagle Harbor Cemetery later this year.

The Plowe Funeral Service in Houghton is assisting the family with the arrangements.

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~ by lsprblog on January 25, 2010.

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