Family Login:

Share This Obituary

Arrangements made by

Memorial Services of Iowa

4208 North Ankeny Blvd.
Ankeny, IA 50023
Get Directions

Profile of Memorial Services of Iowa

View Phone Number
View Fax Number
Email Us

Navy Emblem

Roger Laurence Davis, 88, passed away peacefully on December 5, 2020, surrounded by his family. A private service with military honors was held December 12th at Ankeny Memorial Gardens for family. A Celebration of Life will take place in the summer of 2021.

Roger was born at his family farm in Bushnell, South Dakota on November 19, 1932, the second of two boys, to Tom and Jensina Davis. Roger attended school in Brookings, and graduated from Brookings High in 1949. After graduating Roger joined the United States Navy, where he served as a Combat Air Crew Radar Man during the Korean War.

After returning from the war, Roger married the love of his life, Bonnie Lou Bothwell, on September 1, 1956. In the early years of marriage, Bonnie worked to support the newlyweds while Roger attended South Dakota State University. He graduated in 1959 with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. Following graduation, Roger and Bonnie moved to Alexandria, MN, where he worked as a Regional Sales Manager for Minneapolis Moline. During this time three children, Paul, Pam, and Phil were born.

In 1964, the young family moved to Ankeny, IA where Roger founded Davis Equipment Corporation, a fertilizer equipment distribution business. He led and oversaw the day to day operations of the company until his retirement in 1985, when his son Paul took over control of the business. Roger continued to assist with special projects at the company and always made time to listen and give advice when needed. Later, he was known to stop by the office to look at new products or have fun while hassling the employees. Roger had a tremendous amount of pride knowing that the company he built was able to be passed over to his son, and then grandson Zach, who currently manages Davis Equipment Companies.

Roger was a true "people person" who played jokes, told stories and loved to talk whether he had known the person his whole life or if they had just met. This attribute served him well in both life and business. Roger believed in a simple truth when it came to selling-that people buy from people they like, trust and enjoy being around.

Roger had many hobbies including, hunting, fishing, and boating, but his favorite was flying. Roger developed this passion during his time in the Navy. Early on in his business career he purchased a plane, and all told he spent over two thousand hours in the cockpit.

Roger enjoyed being involved in his community, and throughout his life was part of many organizations. He was active in Elks Club, Little League Baseball, Ankeny Gun Club, and served as President of the Iowa Fertilizer and Chemical Association (Now Iowa Agribusiness Association). Roger had a strong faith and was a member of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart Catholic Church in Ankeny for over fifty years.

Above everything, Roger had a deep love for his family and friends. In the early years of Davis Equipment, Roger spent a lot of time on the road during the week. He was blessed to have a strong, independent wife at home that ran an organized and efficient household and took care of the children. Roger was proud of his children's accomplishments, especially Pam and Phil who chose careers in the healthcare field as a therapist and a physician. Together, Roger and Bonnie enjoyed spending time with their friends, watching sports, playing cards, and going on bus trips. Later, nothing brought more joy to Roger than spending time with his grandchildren and attending their many activities. In the twilight of his life, Roger especially appreciated having Pam move back home from California in order to spend more time with him and Bonnie.

Roger is survived by his wife of 64 years, Bonnie; three children, Paul (Ann Marie) of Ankeny, IA, Pam of Ankeny, IA, and Dr. Phillip (Kelly) of Chanhassen, MN; grandchildren, Zach (Sarah), Alex (Britne), Jensina, Colton, Nate, and Sabrina; and great-granddaughters, Halle, Vale, and Emerson. He was preceded in death by his parents, Tom and Jensina; brother, Harris; sister-in-law, Fran; and infant great-grandson, Leo.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials be directed to The South Dakota State University Scholarship Foundation or the No Foot Too Small organization.