Harold Elton Davis was born on April 30, 1924, in Salina, Kan., the son of Craig Larkin and Pansy “Hathaway” Davis. After graduating from high school in 1941, he joined one of FDR’s CCC camps. In 1943, he volunteered for service, joining the U.S. Navy. He was united in marriage to LaVenia S. Furkin on Dec. 23, 1944, and after a weekend honeymoon he was shipped out for World War II on the USS North Carolina and was in Okinawa when the Peace Treaty was signed. After the war, he went on to receive his Bachelor of Science degree from Central Missouri College. He attended Northwestern University and earned his master’s degree from Central Missouri College.
While studying at the University of Kansas at Lawrence, Kan., he stopped just three credit hours short of his PhD in order to accept the position of principal of schools in Farmington, Iowa. He dedicated his whole life to education: first by teaching, then moving on to being a principal, and finally serving as a superintendent for 19 years, the last nine years of which were at the Deep River-Millersburg School District before retiring in 1974.
During his son Craig's college years, he also was mentor and manager for the Fourth Estate band. In 1974, he purchased the Dance Mor Ballroom in Swisher and fulfilled his love and knowledge of music until his health left him unable to work the dances. The ballroom is still run by his son Craig today.
He was a member of honor societies, American Legion, Masonic Lodge, Eastern Star, the NBEA, the Iowa State Education Association and a lifetime member of the National Educators Association. He was a lifelong hunter and shared that passion with his only son Craig. He loved teaching his grandchildren to fish and enjoy nature.
Harold went to live with God on Monday, Jan. 19, 2009, at his home in Swisher in the care of his loving wife LaVenia and son Craig, after an extended illness. Harold lived 84 years, eight months and 20 days.
He is survived by his wife, LaVenia Davis of Swisher, Iowa; a son, Craig Davis of Solon, Iowa; four grandchildren, Debbie (Tim) Patterson of Swisher, Iowa, Lisa (Jeff) Gillis-Davis of Kaneohe, Hawaii, Michelle (Kirk) Pittman of Bettendorf, Iowa, and Justin (Jamie) Davis of San Francisco, Calif.; two great-grandchildren, Ellie Patterson and Owen Gillis-Davis; and brother, Don Davis of San Diego, Calif.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two infant brothers.
The family would like to give a special thanks to Mercy Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa, Mercy Home Health Care, Mercy Hospice and especially Dr. Craig Champion.
A Celebration of Life service was held on Monday, Jan. 26, 2009, at Powell Funeral Home and Cremation Service in North English, Iowa. Visitation was held at the funeral home on Sunday, Jan. 25. Burial was in Masonic Cemetery in California, Mo., on Tuesday, Jan. 27.
A general memorial fund has been established in lieu of flowers. Memorials may be left at www.powellfuneralhomes.com  under obituaries.