WENDELL- Bernard Dexter “Bernie” Davis, 85, of New Salem Road, passed away peacefully at Heritage Hall South in Agawam on Sunday morning, May 23, 2021 with his family at his side. He passed his strong will, work ethic, determination, honesty and love of nature and animals to his daughters, son and stepsons.
Born at home on the Dexter farm in Orange on September 18, 1935, he was the loving son of the late Harold and Veva (Dexter) Davis and grew up in Orange, graduating from Orange High School in 1953. Bernie later graduated from Stockbridge School of Agriculture in 1955.
In 1957, he married Cynthia McKay and together they raised five daughters. In 1974, he married Judy Clark and together they raised their son and Judy’s two sons.
Bernie worked at Erving Paper Mills and Rodney Hunt’s while farming. He eventually went out on his own, operating Wendell Welding for years while continuing to farm.
A devoted 11th generation farmer, Bernie worked endless hours to reclaim the fields of the Dexter homestead purchased in 1770. For many years while raising his daughters, Bernie operated a dairy farm and sold milk to a local dairy. Bernie was actively haying these fields in 2020, selling to loyal and local farmers who became close friends. Bernie had an incredible desire, strong will and determination to overcome any physical obstacle to hay these fields. His hard work in these fields will always be part of us as he had them put into land protection years ago.
As a young man, Bernie was very active in 4H and traveled to the National 4H convention in Chicago and was a member of the 1948 Horticulture judging team, and a helper to his mom who was a 4H leader for over 50 years with her children and grandchildren.
Bernie’s faith in God was always very strong and important to him. He was a faithful attendee of the Orange United Methodist Church, the Central Congregational Church, and a member of the Singing Men of Athol.
Bernie enjoyed spending time with family, camping, nature, animals, and attending religious events. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to others and assisting his children in their lives.
Survivors include his wife Judy Davis of Wendell; daughters Donna Leavitt (Joe) of Athol, Marlene Rose (Arnold) of Hinsdale, NH, Karen Connell (Harold) of Lutz, FL, Laura Monette of Orange, and Janet McComb (Bruce) of Winchester, NH; a son, Jesse Davis (Bonnie) of Pelican Lake, WI; stepsons, Warren Willard of Wendell and Jeff Willard (Dawn) of Wendell. Bernie also leaves 11 grandchildren; 4 great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents and first wife, Bernie is predeceased by two sisters and brother in laws, Arlene Brewer (Nelson) and Helen Hastings (Leon).
Calling hours will be held on Thursday evening, May 27, 2021 from 6-8 p.m. at Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, May 28, 2021 at 1 pm. in the Central Congregational Church of New Salem, 22 South Main Street, New Salem, with Rev. James Ewen officiating.
Interment will follow in Jones Cemetery, Orange.
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested in Bernie’s name to the Central Congregational Church of New Salem, 22 South Main Street, New Salem, MA 01355.
Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, is assisting the family.
Guest book online at WWW.WITTYFUNERALHOME.COM
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