Gretchen Carolyn Davis - 1917-2019

Gretchen Carolyn Davis (Gretchen the Great, Great Grandma Gretchen, Triple G) was born November 24, 1917, in Omaha, Nebraska. After 101 years of love and kindness to others, she passed away peacefully on September 18, 2019.

Her family, parents August and Ruth Berg Kroger and sister Arlys, moved to Portland, Oregon, when the girls were young. Her brother William (Bill) was born after their arrival. Gretchen attended Kennedy Grade School and Washington High School. On August 17, 1940, she married Robert Miller. During the war, they supported the military as civil servants in Pearl Harbor after the devastation. Upon their return from Hawaii, their daughter Nancy was born. Robert passed away in 1948. Gretchen worked for Fred Meyer as supervisor of their Portland area bakeries.

After meeting on a blind date set up by family friends, Gretchen married Harold B. Davis (1910-2003) on February 9, 1951, at the First Covenant Church in Portland. She moved to McMinnville, where Harold owned a feed store with his family. They had two daughters, Arlys and Barbara, and a son, Thomas, who died in infancy. During their time in McMinnville, Gretchen was a bailiff in the Yamhill County Circuit Court, secretary at the McMinnville Chamber of Commerce, sold shoes and with a friend operated the Side Door, a retail space for local artists and craftsman. She was active in Girl Scouts, P.E.O., Northwest Turkey Association, Michelbook Country Club, Red Cross, Hospital Auxiliary, Juvenile Advisory Council and the McMinnville First Presbyterian Church. Gretchen was honored for her community involvement by being named McMinnville's Woman of the Year in 1974 and as one of the top 10 Most Watchable Women in McMinnville in 1977.

Gretchen enjoyed golf, painting, ceramics, bridge, Mahjong, genealogy, and watching the Blazers and Mariners. Her true love was traveling. She visited every continent in the world, including a trip to Antarctica at the age of 80. She was in Russia during the Cold War and ziplined in Costa Rica at the age of 90. She never knew a stranger and was kind to each and every one she met around the world.

Gretchen's kindness could be seen at every family holiday, where tables were full of family and friends. Everyone had a place and was treated like family whether you were or not. Full tables included her sons-in-law, John Specht and John Senger; and five grandchildren, Gretchen Stephens Brunner (Kris), Sam Specht, Alex Specht, Cassy Taylor (Kirk) and Jenny Senger. She was loved by eight great-grandchildren, Aaron, August, Will, Pearl, Weston, Sarah (Ross), Travis (Kylee) and Taylor, as well as three great-great-grandchildren, Gabriel, Augustus and Penelope.

In the spirit of Gretchen and her hospitality, a celebration of a life well lived will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in McMinnville on Friday, October 25, at 2 p.m. Memorials may be directed to children, youth and family ministries at the McMinnville First Presbyterian Church or to a charitable organization of your choice. To leave condolences, visit


A New Generation

What a generous & giving person. We could all take a page from her Book. RIP

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