September 18, 1931- May 26, 2021
Born in Gettysburg, SD
Resided in Lincoln, NE

Lynn R. Davis


Lynn Richard Davis, 89, of Lincoln, died May 26, 2021. Born in the home of his grandparents in Gettysburg, SD on September 18, 1931 to Walter Merritt Davis and Hilda Coral (Hughes) Davis. He joined an older brother, Forrest Dale, and was joined a year later by a brother, Alvin Eugene.

In 1940 the family moved from their farm in Hyde County, SD to a farm west of Willow Lake, SD. Lynn and his brothers attended country school then high school in Willow Lake where Lynn graduated in 1950.

In June 1950, Lynn joined the United States Navy where he served four years as a yeoman at the Naval Amphibious Base at Coronado Island, San Diego and aboard the USS Lenawee (APA 195) in Japanese and Korean waters during the Korean War.

In 1954, Lynn was discharged and, in the fall, enrolled at Huron College (later Huron University). It was there he met his wife, Ellen Rowbotham, also a freshman at Huron College. They were married on June 12, 1955 and welcomed sons Douglas Lynn in June of 1956 and Leigh Kevin in August 1957. They graduated from college in May 1958 and moved to Dubuque, Iowa where Lynn entered the University of Dubuque Seminary.

During his years in seminary, Lynn served an internship at the John Knox Larger Paris in Wabasso, Minnesota and the Troy Grove Presbyterian Church, Troy Grove, Illinois, as well as a summer supply pastorate at his and Ellen’s home church in Bison, SD. During this period, son Mark Leslie (’61) and daughter Robin Marie (’63) joined the Davis family, making the clan that much better in every respect.

Following graduation, Lynn was called to serve as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Atkinson, Nebraska. He served as a member of the Ministerial Relations Committee (Committee on Ministry) and as vice moderator of Niobrara Presbytery. He was an active leader in the Cleveland Bible Camp sponsored by the churches of Atkinson, Stuart, and Cleveland, Nebraska.

In January 1967, Lynn was called to active duty as a US Army Chaplain. He attended Chaplain’s school in New York City and was subsequently assigned duty at Ft. Polk, Louisiana with an infantry training battalion. In the fall of that year, he received orders for duty with the 2nd Battalion of the 47th Infantry, 9th Division in the Republic of Vietnam where he also served with the 18th Surgical Hospital along the Demilitarized Zone.

Following service in Vietnam, he was assigned duty at the Presidio of San Francisco as the battalion chaplain for the Air Defense Command where he served for two years before receiving his second orders to Vietnam where he served with the 36th Combat Engineers.

Chaplain Davis was assigned to Ft. Ord, California upon his return from Vietnam. Leaving active duty and joining the Army Reserves, and served as pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, Winona, MN, First Presbyterian Church, Superior, NE, and Westminster Presbyterian Church, Devil’s Lake, SD.

In 1983 he began a series of interim ministry calls that carried him from Wisconsin to Iowa, Kansas, and Minnesota having moved there when his wife, Ellen, was called to North Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, MN.

Chaplain Davis was the recipient of the Army Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star for service in the Vietnam War. He was a soldier’s chaplain, ever ready to listen, always humble and open. Upon retirement he remained active in the church, singing in the choir and being the best greeter ever. His hugs were legendary.

Chaplain Davis was preceded in death by his parents, son Leigh Kevin Davis and brothers Forrest and Alvin.

Chaplain Davis is survived by his wife Rev. Ellen Davis; sons Rev. Douglas (Linda) Davis, West St. Paul, MN and Mark (Vicki) Davis, Lincoln, NE; daughter Robin Stone, Lincoln, NE, grandchildren Michael (Sarah Marie) Davis, Bremerton, WA, SFC Stephen (Vanessa) Davis, Grafenwoehr, Germany, Krista (David) Kelly, Minneapolis, MN, Stacy Arnold, Hobart, IN, Samantha (Stephen) Lowery, LT Jefferson Davis, Christoffer Stone, Kaeli Stone (Dan Head), all of Lincoln, and Cory Stone, Okinawa JP; great-grandchildren Taryn Davis, Natalie Kelly, Adalyn Arnold, Emma Arnold, Zilpha Davis, Thomas Lowery, Kennedy and Barbara Head, and two more great-grandchildren soon to see the world.

Memorial Service: Monday, May 31, 2021 at 4:00p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2110 Sheridan Blvd.

Memorials to Westminster Foundation, Presbyterian Chaplains Fund, or the church of your choice.

Lynn’s burial will take place at Omaha National Cemetery.

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