Cliss Johnson Davis


Our beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, Cliss Johnson Davis, 89, passed away in her home on October 9, 2011, after spending the evening with her sweetheart, Edwin Reese Davis, singing in perfect pitch to the songs from the Lawrence Welk Show, as was their tradition on Saturday nights. As Cliss passed away into the loving arms of our Heavenly Father due to heart failure, she was surrounded by her loving husband and daughter, Klair Davis Gunn.
Cliss was born December 3, 1921, in Richmond, Utah to Osbourn and Edna Hendricks Johnson. Three months later the family moved to Downey, Idaho, where Cliss attended elementary, middle and high school. Cliss began her piano studies at the age of seven and first exhibited her skills as an accompanist for her father and mother who were skilled vocalists. She was the piano accompanist in the Downey Schools, plus she played the clarinet and violin throughout her school years. Cliss enrolled at BYU in the fall of 1940, where she majored in music. She later received an affiliate and piano teacher’s degree from the Sherwood School of Music in Chicago.
After returning from College, Cliss and Reese were married on February 4, 1942 in Pocatello, Idaho, and later solemnized in the Logan Temple on July 20, 1944. Their love story began when Reese was in the fifth grade and Cliss was in the fourth. They have shared a wonderful life together as husband and wife for the last 69-and-a-half years.
After her college and musical studies, Cliss taught shorthand, typing, orchestra, band and glee at the Junior High and High Schools in Downey and Brigham City. In 1956, the family moved to Los Angeles where she was a private piano tutor until accepting a position as piano accompanist for the Santa Monica High School Choral and Modern Dance Departments, which she did for ten years. While serving in these positions, Cliss became an associate accompanist for the Southern California Mormon Choir for 18 years. During this time for several years, she was also production accompanist for the Ms. California Beauty Pageant. In the California days, she was also private secretary to two presidents of independent banks.
Cliss filled callings for the LDS Church in Idaho, Utah, and California serving as Regional and Stake Music Chairperson and Director in these areas. She filled callings where she was the organist in the LA Temple and the Jordan River Temple, as well as a calling from the Church Music Committee to the play in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and the Conference Center.
In addition to her musical talents, Cliss was an accomplished painter and artist. She loved to crochet and quilt. She will always be remembered as a gracious entertainer, delivering with style, glamour and love. She had a sassy and fun sense of humor that still has her granddaughters giggling.
Together Cliss and Reese have three children, who will always be thankful for their mother’s example, inspiration, and love, eight grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.
Cliss is survived by her husband, Edwin Reese Davis; children, Edwin Reese Davis, Jr., and Klair Davis Gunn; brother, Durke (Ann) Johnson; and her 21 grand and great-grandchildren. Cliss is preceded in death by her parents, Osbourn and Edna Johnson; daughter, Terene Davis; sister, Joyce Peterson; grandson, Kole H. Gunn.
We welcome family and friends to services being held Friday, October 14, 2011, at the Glenmoor Third Ward , 9455 South 4800 West, South Jordan, UT. There will be a viewing from 10-10:45 a.m. prior to funeral services beginning at 11:00 a.m. On the same day, we will hold a viewing from 3:30 to 4:15 at the church located at 4th East Center Street, Downey, ID, followed by a graveside service and dedication at 4:30 at the Downey Cemetery. Online condolences and funeral information at The family invites donations to the American Heart Association.

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