It is an honor to spotlight Johnny and Sue Davis during this patriotic month. Both Johnny and Sue were born in Payson. Johnny is 67 and Sue said she is in her 60s. Johnny's parents, Ernest and Hazel Davis, lived in Salem. Sue grew up in Payson. Johnny is second to the youngest. He has four older sisters (LaVera James is his sister), and one younger brother. He has lived in Salem all his life except for a few years. Sue has four brothers (Gary Wood is her older brother) and two sisters. Sue is second to the oldest.
Johnny said when he was five, his dad was driving down the road and he ran out into the road to follow him and was hit by a car. His injuries were so severe the only way his dad "knew it was his boy was by his shoes". Johnny missed half of his kindergarten year while recovering. Growing up he spent a lot of time at Salem Pond swimming, fishing, building rafts and watching people with boats thinking he'd love to have one someday, and he does.
He attended school in Salem up to the 9th grade. His 9th Grade Class was the last class to graduate from Salem. The next year the 8th and 9th grades went to Spanish Fork. His class was the first to attend the new Spanish Fork High School. During high school some boys form Salem would catch a ride to Payson to go to the Payson Band Concerts in the Park. (It was really to meet girls.) This is where he met Sue. After the concert if they couldn't catch a ride home they had to walk.
He was drafted into the Army at age 18. After six months he was sent to Vietnam as a Combat Infantryman. His first day out, August 31, 1966, while on a search and estroy mission, he was wounded in both arms. He spent three weeks in the Third Field Hospital in Saigon and was sent back out. He was in Vietnam during 1966 and 1967. The day before his twentieth birthday, February 20, 1967, he was made a Sergeant.
Fouty-six years ago, after Johnny returned from the military, and and Sue ran away to Las Vegas and got married at Sue's aunt's and uncle's home by their bishop. They lived their first four years in Cedar City while Johnny went to college in Business Administration. He worked for the Coleman Company while going to school. After graduating, the moved to Spanish Fork and he worked construction for two to three years. He got a job with Salem City as the City Manager. He was the Building Inspector, over daily operations, did equipment repairs and maintenance, was the on-call electrician and any other job the city needed. He took after hours emergency calls and all other calls at home.
During this time he was a member of the Salem Volunteer Fire Department and served as Fire Chief for two years. He worked for the City for three years; then he started John Davis Construction doing asphalt work. He then partnered with Lee Jorgensen for 12 years as Badger Construction. Then he became a partner in H & H Excavation for 10 years. He then started JHD Construction and Excavatoin retiring two years ago. Sue said whenever he brought a piece of equipment home she knew he was going to redo the landscaping. Johnny served on the Planning Commission for Salem City under Mayor Brailsford. He likes hunting, fishing and going to Arizona during the winter.
Sue graduated from Payson HIgh School. Then she attended Utah Technical College and received a One-year Completion Certificate in secretarial. That summer she worked at the Grand Canyon. This is her most favorite place in the world. Shen then got a job at Signetics in Orem. She loves to go to Otter Creek Reservoir fishing or to Palisades State Park. She always catches the most and the biggest, one time catching a five-pound trout at Otter Creek.
She likes to crochet, quilt and do yard work. She has made qults and baby blankets for all of her grandkids. She loves the people of Salem, the mountains, and Salem Pond.
She was proud to show a display case with the US. Flag, medals and ribbons from Johnny's military service, including the Purple Heart medal he received while serving in Vietnam.
They have three children: Rhett and Jodie Davis, Allison and Cody Taylor, and Heather Frost; all of Salem. They have eight grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Johnny said, "I have been a lot of places and seen a lot of things. After going to all these places I can't think of a better place to raise my children and grow up."
Johnny and Sue, thanks for your service to our country and to the citizens of Salem.
From "Senior Spotlight", Salem City Newsletter, July 2014 - P 3.