Harry Thomas “Tom” Davis, Jr. May 16, 1939 — March 2, 2023
Last updated 3/21/2023 at Noon
Harry Thomas “Tom” Davis, Jr. passed away on March 2, 2023 due to complications from Parkinson’s.
Tom was born to Rubye Boswell and Harry Thomas Davis in Louisville, Kentucky on May 16, 1939. He graduated from DuPont Manual High School in Louisville in 1957 and went on to the University of Kentucky and received a BS in civil engineering in 1961. He married Gay Goodpastor in 1959.
Their son Michael was born in 1961.
After college the family moved to Denver, Colorado and then to Dillon, Montana, where Tom worked for the Bureau of Reclamation designing dams. He then entered the University of Idaho’s master’s program and received an MS in civil engineering with an emphasis on water resources. He often said he changed the focus of his career from building dams that impede water flow to a career that would help conserve water resources, including fish and wildlife habitat.
After obtaining his degree the family moved to Boise, Idaho where he took a position with the Idaho Water Resources Council and subsequently became the Wild and Scenic Rivers coordinator under Governor Cecil Andrus.
Daughter Linda was born in Boise in 1967.
Late in the 1960s Tom became involved with the preservation of wilderness in Idaho, especially what is now the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness, the largest preserved wilderness in the lower 48 states. He was a founding member of the Idaho Environmental Council and the Idaho Conservation League, and spearheaded the formation of the River of No Return Wilderness Council. He advocated for the establishment of other wilderness areas and for wild and scenic river designations.
In 1972 Tom joined the Ada Council of Governments in Boise to coordinate the development of sewer and water master plans for the county’s communities. He also worked on a number of county environmental issues such as erosion control in the Boise foothills and protecting the feeding grounds along the Snake River for birds of prey.
In 1974 he married Linda Tilson Lund, who brought with her daughter Kristin from a previous marriage. About the same time he joined James M. Montgomery Consulting Engineers specializing in water quality and storm water management projects. In 1976 their son Nathaniel was born in Boise.
In late 1978 the family moved to Beaverton, Oregon and Tom remained with Montgomery Engineers until the early 1980s. Over the next decade he worked in a variety of engineering positions, including the City of Portland’s Environmental Services Bureau heading up their storm water management program. He retired from W&H Pacific Engineers in Beaverton in 1999. Upon retirement he and Linda moved to Sisters.
After retiring Tom became involved in water and environmental causes and organizations such as the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and the Steens Mountain Advisory Committee. He and Linda were strong advocates for establishing the Metolius River Basin as an Area of Statewide Concern under Oregon land-use law.
Tom loved the outdoors, especially wilderness backpacking, hiking, river rafting, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. The family enjoyed countless trips to remote areas of the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and Alaska as well as the Southwest and areas close to home including the Oregon Coast.
All these adventures included photography, one of Tom’s great passions. He took thousands of photos of the places they visited. He entered many shows and exhibits earning numerous awards. Visits with family almost always involved photo and video sessions. He was a founding member of the Sisters Area Photography Club and also taught classes in digital photography at Central Oregon Community College.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Tom and Rubye, and his wife, Linda.
Survivors include children Michael (Julie) Davis of Marysville, WA; Linda (Don) Bowman of Grand Junction, CO; Kristin (Tom) Koontz of Tacoma, WA; and Nathaniel Davis of Kooskia, ID. Grandchildren Timothy (Amber) Davis of Dracut, MA; Lisa (Rudy) Franco of Arlington, WA; Jennifer (Nate) Taylor of Boise, ID; Beth Bowman of Denver, CO; Ari Koontz of Providence, RI; Rosemary Koontz of Columbus, OH; Acacia Blyth of Papaaloa HI; and Oskar Koontz of Tacoma, WA. And great-grandchildren Clara, Gordon, Maya, Gemma, and Ryan.
The family would like to thank all the loving support received during Tom’s transition. A celebration of life will be in Idaho, most likely in August. Inquiries can be made at 208-717-1199.