EPSOM- Paul Dudly Davis, 76, of Epsom, passed away peacefully at home on July 1, 2020, surrounded by the love of his family and with the support of Hospice.
Born in Pittsfield on March 8, 1944, Paul was the second son of the late John and Florence (Marden) Davis. He was raised and educated in Epsom and resided there essentially his entire life, maintaining friendships and connections across generations of Epsom families. After graduating from Pembroke Academy in 1962, he served in the United States Navy for two years and in the reserves for two more. While stationed out of Newport, RI, on the USS Keppler, most weekends when he wasn’t at sea (including a tour in the Mediterranean) Paul made his way back to Epsom to be with his fiancé and lifelong partner, Carolyn Kimball.
Paul and Carolyn married on September 11, 1965, beginning a 55-year love journey that found them rarely apart and always supporting each other and their communities. In 1967, with Ben here and Rick on the way, Paul opened a new 40-acre lot on New Orchard Road for what would become the family homestead. The family moved into the home in 1968, and welcomed Joe and Andy to the family in 1971 and 1972. As the Davis boys grew and other homes joined the neighborhood, the Davis home was a central gathering point. Over the years, Paul added an ever-expanding garden, pastures and pens for farm animals (chickens, turkeys, pigs, sheep, dairy), large cordwood pile, barn and woodshop, pool, snowmobile trails, and eventually a garage for the family business. He worked hard to provide a home that met the needs of his family, and taught each of his sons how to be a part of the Davis family team that worked together and took pride in maintaining all that they had.
Paul was a mainstay of many Epsom organizations. He joined the Epsom Volunteer Fire Department at the age of 16 following his father John, retiring in 1987 after serving 13 years as Deputy Chief and Acting Chief. He was a founder of the department’s annual Christmas tree sale, and a quiet but key leader in building the new fire hall that still serves the community today. For many years, he was an active member of the Fort Mountain Trailwinders Snowmobile Club, and a semi-active member of the Odd Fellows Lodge.
Paul and Carolyn started together the Happy-Go-Lucky 4-H Club, which they led for more than 30 years to the benefit of their sons and hundreds of local youth. Paul taught woodworking, gardening, forestry, and fishing, among other projects and skills. The club was very active, performing many community service activities under Paul and Carolyn’s guidance, and were regulars in the Memorial Day Parade and Old Home Day floats. Paul and the Davis’ were mainstays at fairs throughout NH with their sheep and dairy, with Paul known to many as their 4-H ‘Fair Dad’. Paul actively supported local, county and state 4-H initiatives, often serving in leadership roles if needed and always bringing others together to join the effort.
Paul’s early work years as a teen and post-Navy included Cutter Enterprises, Bartlett Construction, and National Fence & Granite. In 1967, he joined Agway Energy in Epsom delivering oil, beginning a 40-year career in the oil business. Over the next 30 years, he served as a delivery driver and credit supervisor (Epsom), office manager (Manchester), and contract hauler/delivery driver (Epsom). Known for his exceptional customer relations and service, in 1997 he and Carolyn founded Davis Fuels of Epsom.
Davis Fuels and its ‘Old Fashioned Neighborly Service’ was truly a family affair. Paul was the operator, manager, and driver; Carolyn was bookkeeper, receptionist, and office manager. Together they covered it all, and serviced customers primarily in Barnstead, Pittsfield, Chichester, Deerfield, and their neighbors all over Epsom. Gradually they added another truck, upgraded equipment, expanded delivery area, and added part time drivers. The company was a regular in the Old Home Day parade and sponsored many local organizations and efforts, becoming a fixture in the community just like Paul and Carolyn have been throughout their lives. When Paul and Carolyn retired in 2008, they were proud to have son Rick and his wife Stacy take over Davis Fuels, and have been excited to see them expand in new ways that includes their sons becoming the third generation in the business.
Paul was an avid fisherman who also enjoyed woodworking, gardening, hunting, snowmobiling and going to the family camp in northern NH. He was a member of the bowling league at Boutwells for many years and took dozens of Terrapin Tour bus trips with Carolyn over the past 10 years. Paul and Carolyn were named Epsom Citizens of the Year in 2014 and Friend of NH 4-H in 2019. But the titles that truly mattered to Paul were son, brother, husband, father, cousin, uncle, friend, mentor, community member, and family man. Family and friends were paramount to Paul. He was always doing for others, teaching, sharing, and telling stories. He and Carolyn had many large social circles but regardless of where he was, he always had a story and a smile to go with it. He could always be counted upon with his “I’ll be glad to” attitude.
Paul was predeceased by his siblings, Edward Davis (survived by Linda) and Margery Varjabedian.
Paul is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 55 years, Carolyn (Kimball) Davis; his four sons, Benjamin Davis and his wife Bonita of Ithaca, NY, Richard Davis and his wife Stacy of Epsom, Joseph Davis and his wife Robin of Epsom and Andrew Davis and his wife Heather of Newbury; his brother, Roger Davis and his wife Gail of Candia; his grandchildren, Nick, Noah, Evan, Alexa, Rachel, Nathan, Cody, Kaileigh and Kelsea; and great-grandchild Bradyn.
Calling Hours will be held on Friday, July 10th from 5 to 7 P.M. in the Still Oaks Funeral & Memorial Home, 1217 Suncook Valley Highway in Epsom. A Celebration of His Life will be held on Saturday, July 11th at 4 P.M. in Webster Park, Rt. 28 South, Epsom. Those attending are asked to bring their own chair for the service and dress weather appropriate. Burial with military honors will follow in New Rye Cemetery. In accordance with state and local guidelines, all attendees to the calling hours and funeral are asked to wear face-coverings and adhere to social distancing as directed. In lieu of flowers, donations in Paul’s memory may be made to the Ruth H. Kimball Endowment Fund, c/o 4-H Foundation of NH, Taylor Hall, 59 College Rd. Durham, NH 03824. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit www.stilloaks.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Paul Dudly Davis, please visit our floral store.