Rev. L. Donald Davis S.J.

January 27, 1930June 19, 2014

Fr. L. Don Davis, SJ, died June 19, 2014, at Alderwood Manor, Spokane. He was 84. A wise, witty, and well-respected university professor, his teaching career in the field of Church History spanned over thirty years and led him to university lecture halls in the U.S. and Europe. The eldest of two brothers, Leo Donald Davis was born in Havre, MT, on January 27, 1930, to Leo and Mary (Steiner) Davis. After attending Gonzaga University for three years, he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Sheridan, Oregon in August 1951 and followed the regular course of studies and training. In 1958 Fr. Davis (“Mr.” Davis at the time) began a three year period of teaching at Jesuit High School in Portland, OR. There he was a highly dedicated, enthusiastic and popular teacher—well-liked and respected by students, parents, and fellow faculty members alike. In 1961 he went to study theology in Rome, Italy. He was ordained a priest on July 18, 1964, at the Gesu Church in Rome. Having an aptitude for university teaching, Fr. Davis obtained advanced degrees in History from Gonzaga University and the Gregorian University (Rome). Fr. Davis also completed a doctorate in History from the University of Wisconsin (Madison). His teaching assignments led him to Gonzaga University, Weston School of Theology (Cambridge, MA), Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH) and at the Gonzaga-in-Florence Program (Florence, Italy). In 2002 Fr. Davis suffered a serious stroke which took him out of the classroom; he spent the remainder of his life convalescing and in a ministry of prayer. Fr. Davis is survived by his younger brother, Dr. E. James Davis, Ph.D., a niece and nephew, and his brother Jesuits of the Oregon Province. The Jesuit Community is grateful to the staff of Alderwood Manor for their devoted care of Fr. Davis during the past 2 ½ years. A vigil service will be held at 7pm, Thursday, June 26, in the Jesuit House Chapel, Gonzaga University, and a funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11am, Friday, June 27, in the same chapel. Burial will follow at the Mount Saint Michael-Oregon Province Cemetery. Contributions in honor of Fr. Davis may be sent to The Senior Fund, c/o The Oregon Province Society of Jesus (PO Box 86010, Portland, OR 97286).


  • Vigil Service Thursday, June 26, 2014
  • Funeral Mass Friday, June 27, 2014

Rev. L. Donald Davis S.J.

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