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March 12, 1929 - March 23, 2013
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Ernie Davis, long-time resident of Gunnison, passed away peacefully in his sleep after a lengthy illness on March 23. He was born in Delta on March 12, 1929, to Roy and Marie Davis.
Ernie grew up in Delta and attended Delta County schools. He entered the U.S. Navy on June 6, 1946, and was stationed in San Diego, Calif. In January 1948 he was home on leave and met his soul mate, Nancy L. Davis (also her maiden name). After two weeks of courting he asked her father for her hand in marriage. They were married Jan. 26, 1948, and lived in California and Utah before finally settling back in Colorado. He was honorably discharged from the Navy on Nov. 10, 1949.
Their daughter Diane was born in 1952 and daughter Dottie was born in 1963. Ernie moved the family to Gunnison in 1967. He delivered Meadow Gold Milk and Holsum Bread until 1970, when he began the long journey of owning and operating the Gunnison Ambulance Service. Ernie brought the EMT Program to the Gunnison Valley, and was the first certified EMT on the Western Slope. He spent many hours in classes in Montrose and Denver. He had a fine crew that worked for him, and was very proud to be able to be of service for the people of Gunnison.
In 1982, Ernie had to give up going on ambulance calls for health reasons and turned it over to his crew. He later sold the service, but never truly gave up his passion for helping people. He worked for long-time friend C.J. Miller at Miller Funeral Home, and later for the funeral homes in Montrose. It was his nature to help people in crisis. His last job was as a security guard at the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport. He retired in 2002 for health reasons.
Ernie was an accomplished handyman and was always fixing or painting something. He also had a love for fishing and spent many hours on Blue Mesa Reservoir.
He was proceeded in death by his beloved wife Nancy, his parents, his brother Bill Davis and sister Dorothy Hamon.
Ernie is survived by his long-time companion, Marian Cribari; daughters Diane (Tom) Williams and Dottie (Rick) Williams, Barbara and Shane Rider; grandsons Chris (Paula) Worthington, Jason (Connie) Loy, Frank (Stephanie) Williams, and TJ (Kylie) Williams; granddaughters Kristine Galvin (fiancé Lance Weiszbrod), Hayden Rider and Halle Rider; great-grandchildren Tiffany Worthington, Libby Worthington, Jordyn Galvin, Colton Galvin, Jamy Loy, Kynlee Loy, Scarlett Rae Williams, Abi Turk, and Riley and Mckenzi Weiszbrod; and his aunt, Lois Nesham of Washington State.
Services will held on March 27 at 11:00am at the Fred R. Field Heritage Center, with interment at the Gunnison Cemetery. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Lung Association.