Don-Lee Davidson, owner of Davidson Industries sawmill in Mapleton, OR and long-time PLIB Member and past-President, passed away on Thursday, March 3, 2016 at the age of 85.
Don-Lee served on the Board of Directors for Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau from 1965-1991 and was President from 1979-1981. He retired from the PLIB Board in 1991 and was made an Honorary Director for life. Don-Lee’s son, Phil Davidson, succeeded him and served on the Board until 2004. Don-Lee was a great friend and supporter of the industry as well as PLIB and we join the Davidson family in mourning his loss.
Below is the text from his obituary…
Don-Lee Davidson, long-time resident and business owner in the Florence/Mapleton area passed away on Thursday, March 3, 2016. He was 85.
Don-Lee Meyer Davidson was born on April 5, 1930 in Gig Harbor Washington to Arthur Sherman & Freidabourg Christine Dagefoerde Davidson; the family moved to Mapleton in 1942. Don graduated as Salutatorian from Mapleton High School in 1949, and enrolled at Oregon State College, first in the School of Engineering, and then Education before settling on the School of Forestry. On December 26, 1950, he married his high school sweetheart, Gloria Beck, also a Mapleton graduate. Don graduated from OSU in 1954; he was the top graduate from the School of Forestry that year.
Don served a tour in the U.S. Army from 1954-1956, stationed in Augsburg, Germany, with an honorable discharge on May 12, of 1956. Upon return to Mapleton, Don joined his dad in the management of Davidson Industries, a sawmill established in 1954. He became President and General Manager in 1960 and dedicated himself to the business, industry and people of Mapleton for decades to follow.
Don served on many boards, both in the timber industry and otherwise, including: President of the National Forest Products Association, President of the Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau, Director & President of the Columbia River Log Scaling & Grading Bureau, and founding shareholder & 1st Vice-President of Siuslaw Valley Bank.
Don-Lee was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Sherm Jr., sister, Gretchen Crowell, and his wife, Gloria. He is survived by his daughter, Heidi (Dale) Sause, son, Phil (Sue) Davidson, 6 grandchildren, Cory, Taylor & Caitlin Sause, Amber (Greg) Ferrari, Matt & A.J. Davidson and 3 great-grandchildren, Samuel Director Schnitzer, Sofia Ferrari and Allie Ferrari.
Much to the astonishment of everyone who knew him, he is also survived by his beloved 1995 blue Jeep that dutifully took him everywhere he needed to go. Old Blue has 346,997 miles, and countless dents.
Don will be remembered for his fierce loyalty to his employees and the community, an ever present spirit of generosity, and as a man of his word.
A private burial is planned. A celebration of life will be held at a later date, to be determined. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Don’s name to the Mapleton Community Foundation (PO Box 237, Mapleton, OR 97453).