Lawrence Charles ‘Chuck’ Davis, Jr.

January 5, 1954 – January 28, 2024


TORRINGTON – L. Charles ‘Chuck’ Davis, 92, passed away peacefully at Garden Square Assisted Living Center in Casper on Sunday morning, January 28, while in Hospice care. 

Chuck was born in Wheatland, to Lawrence Charles ‘Dave’ Davis and Florence Mae Pruett Harris Davis. When Chuck was young the family, which included his older half-sister, Sadie Harris Webb Crook, moved to Torrrington, where Chuck attended local schools. 

He was a star athlete setting records on the Trailblazer track team and played both ways as an end on the football team. He was involved in Demolay, 4-H, Thespians and Boys’ State. 

In high school he met the love of his life, Shirley Gamble, a star in her own right. She won numerous 4-H ribbons, was Homecoming Queen, a spelling champion, drum majorette, editor of the school’s Annual, member of the National Honor Society, Girls’ State, and valedictorian of the Class of 1951. 

Her talents extended to ‘Sundae Specialist’ at the local drug store soda fountain. Music was central to Shirley’s life; she sang and played hymns on the piano and organ at the Methodist church, sources of comfort throughout the years. 

For leadership, contributions to the community, and outstanding example set for their peers, Chuck was named Mr. Torrington High School and Shirley Miss Torrington High School. 

Shortly after graduation, on June 3, 1951, Chuck and Shirley married. Theirs was a true and enduring partnership that lasted 67 years, interrupted only when Shirley passed away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease on May 29, 2018.

The young couple began their life together leasing farmland in Torrington during which they started a family of their own. Two daughters blessed their lives – Kathy Davis arrived in 1952 and Nancy Davis Farmer in 1954. 

As fate would have it drought and debt forced Chuck and Shirley to give up farming and turn to other occupations. Chuck joined the Wyoming Highway Patrol while Shirley continued her working career at J.C. Penney’s as a bookkeeper. 

By 1956, Chuck was assigned to Casper so the family left Torrington for the Oil City, settling on Lincoln Street in north Casper. Within a short time, Shirley found work at Pan American Oil Company as a file clerk, Mobil where she established and managed a centralized file system, and later at Conoco Oil Company from which she retired decades later as a senior analyst. 

Chuck became an employee of the City of Casper, first as Golf Course Superintendent at the Municipal course, then as Parks Director, and eventually City Planner. Chuck always said he loved his job at the golf course; he was instrumental in designing much of the 18-hole layout and its irrigation system. 

As Parks Director he took pride in the development of Mike Sedar Park, especially the swimming pool and sod that surrounded the pool area. As you enjoy the North Platte River bike path or a concert at the Wyoming Ford Center or one of the city’s numerous parks it is likely Chuck had a hand in its development or improvement. 

Shirley became a reliable, meticulous, friendly voice to Conoco employees and joint interest partners who phoned in their records from the wells and met urgent reporting and regulatory deadlines. During their work years both Chuck and Shirley served on the Conoco Credit Union board. 

Chuck was active in Oil Capital Kiwanis and served as its president for many years. For recreation Chuck and Shirley loved to fish in their beloved Snowy Range taking annual trips in their little camper when time permitted. Shirley hated to bait her own hook, so Chuck got her outfit set up before casting his own line. Inevitably Shirley caught the bigger trout and much teasing ensued. 

Chuck was mostly self-taught and very handy with almost anything – building decks, home improvements, fixing boat motors or car maintenance – he always had a project going and kept his daughters busy. Shirley was the consummate host and kept an immaculate house. When folks dropped by to visit fresh baked goods awaited; her dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, and nutty nuggets were most favored. 

In their first years of retirement together, for Shirley beginning in 1986 and Chuck in 1994, they bought a farm in Mitchell, Nebraska in the hopes they could enjoy their long-deferred dream of farming. During this period Chuck and Shirley traveled to visit their daughters. 

On New England visits with Kathy they fished in Maine, whale watched and fished for flounder on Cape Cod, experienced tidal flats while quohogging, cheered for the Celtics at the Boston Garden and attended the Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker. 

They treasured their holiday visits to Texas to visit Nancy and their two grandchildren. Within a few years they sold that property and moved back to Casper, living on the east side. They loved their vegetable and flower gardens; Chuck took great pride in his vast lawn and impeccable yard maintenance. 

Never one to sit still, Chuck decided to work at Sears where he thrived in sales in the hardware and exercise equipment departments. He loved interacting with his customers, making friends, and always offered them his best advice. He demonstrated treadmills, other exercise equipment, and shared his expertise unstintingly with each customer. 

Chuck never met a bargain he could pass up and so his property on Stafford in Casper became a satellite outlet for Sears and Craftsman products. The numerous Davis yard sales became famous for quality, never-used tools and equipment and a required stop for the weekend yard sale regulars. Shirley kept the cash box and Chuck glad-handed the shoppers. 

Chuck had to keep busy so in recent years Chuck volunteered at the Senior Center bussing trays and serving on its board of directors. If you weren’t quick enough it’s likely Chuck tried to take your tray even as you were taking that last bite of dessert. Devoted to the city of Casper, Chuck also served on the Metropolitan Planning Commission during which time he often drove around town to examine first-hand the sites under consideration for alteration or improvement. Never short of an opinion about how best to do things, Chuck’s principles of doing things ‘right’ endured.

As health challenges began to affect their lives, their devotion to each other never wavered. Shirley nursed Chuck through open heart surgery and the resultant complications; Chuck stood by Shirley as dementia took its toll on her. 

After Shirley’s death in 2018, and to the day he died, Chuck continued to sign every note and every check ‘From Chuck and Shirley” or “Mom and Dad.” 

Theirs was an enduring love and partnership, a model of constancy and lives well-lived. Chuck and Shirley are survived by their daughters, Kathy Davis (Janet Youngholm) of Casper and Nancy Farmer (Bill) of Katy, Texas; their two grandchildren, Kathleen Floud (Darryl) of Crozet, Virginia and W. Riley Farmer (Harly) of Bryan, Texas; Shirley’s sisters, Kaye (Gamble) Tidball (Tom) of Lincoln, Nebraska; Jeanne Gamble of Thayne, Wyoming; her brother, Kenneth Gamble of Cheyenne; Chuck’s niece Janice (Webb) Moss (Don), and many cousins from both families. 

The family is deeply grateful to all of Chuck and Shirley’s friends who supported them over the years, especially in these final days. We are especially touched by the compassionate, skilled care provided by the staff at Garden Square Assisted Living Facility and Central Wyoming Hospice and Transitions. 

Colyer Funeral Home in Torrington, is handling funeral arrangements. 

Per Chuck’s wishes there will be no services. The family requests donations be made in Chuck and Shirley’s memory to Central Wyoming Hospice and Transitions, Casper, or to the charity of your choice.