The Port of Brookings Harbor is seeking donations and ideas to memorialize Roy Davis, who died Feb. 3 after more than a decade on the port commission.
Davis most recently served as the commission’s chair, and had been a commissioner since 2007, according to the port.
“His heart was in the port, truly into the port,” said Joe Speir, a commissioner and long-time friend of Davis’.
The two met about 25 years ago when they began fishing and running boats together, Speir said. The two kept working together, building, fiberglassing and repairing boats.
“Then he did woodwork on the boats,” Speir said. “He got pretty good at it — he was actually really good at it.”
The two took on other ventures together, too — namely, they ran a shop, and rode motorcycles.
Davis’ work as a shipwright was where the community most felt his impact, Speir said. Davis was supportive of the commercial fishing industry, repairing vessels up and down the coast.
Speir said if someone called Davis during the busy fishing season to ask for assistance with their boat, “He would literally drop what he was doing and help that guy.” That often meant spending time working on boats in Crescent City and elsewhere, too.
His services were sought after across the coast — Speir said Davis was the only marine surveyor across the region.
Davis was the one who encouraged Speir to get involved with the port commission a few years ago, he said.
“He knew everything about (the port). From the financials part to everything that needed to be done,” Speir said. “It’s going to be a big loss for the Port of Brookings.”
At a meeting this month, commissioners authorized a plan to raise funds for a memorial for Davis and solicit feedback about the kind of memorial the community would like to see. Commissioners agreed the memorial should recognize not only Davis’ work for the port, but also in support of the community.
Davis was a shipwright and marine surveyor for 24 years, according to information from the port, and supported the Brookings Area Council for the Arts as well as port projects and events.
Possible ideas discussed by commissioners include a bench, monument, plaque or public hoist somewhere on the port property. According to Port Manager Gary Dehlinger, the location and design of a memorial is still up in the air, as commissioners collect donations and consider options over the next few months.
For Dehlinger, the time Davis spent in the community is worth remembering.
“I think of him as an individual,” Dehlinger said. “He just helped everybody that came to him.”
Donations are being accepted through a GoFundMe, available online at gofund.me/6de3f107, or at the port office. Ideas about what form the memorial should take are being accepted on the port’s website at www.portofbrookingsharbor.com.
Davis left a vacancy on the port commission, which commissioners decided should be filled through the May 18 Special District Election. Commissioners chose Richard Heap to take over as the board’s chair, according to Dehlinger.
Speir said he’ll remember Davis’ chipper attitude and willingness to help — and that the port will miss his work for a long time.
“He loved the fishing world and the Port of Brookings,” Speir said. “He really did.”