Earlier this month, Bob and Janice Davis celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
“It sounds like a long time, but for us, the time has gone by quickly,” they say. “A diamond jubilee celebrates the sixtieth anniversary of an event. At this time, diamonds are perfect for us because our diamonds are our children Michael, Richard, James, and Karen and their families.”
As a special gift to their four children and eleven grandchildren, the couple put together and printed a family history book. It is titled Our Sixty Years Together. Made up of yearly Christmas letters detailing family events and special occasions, the book includes pictures from family photo albums from 1960-2019. The family enjoyed traveling together, and every trip is remembered.
For a family that loves to travel, that’s a lot of trips.
Their travels in a motorhome have taken them to every state west of the Mississippi River and a few east of it, plus Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada. They have been to hundreds of courthouses and cemeteries in search of family information and enjoyed many national parks, national monuments, and historical sites. Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks are two of their favorites. Hiking is a particular passion.
Bob Davis was born in Oklahoma, came to California as a child and grew up in the Selma/Kingsburg area. After graduating from Kingsburg High School in 1950, he served in the United States Army during the Korean War. He attended Reedley College and graduated from Fresno State College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education.
Bob worked as a letter carrier with the Clovis Post Office in 1965 and carried City route #5 until his retirement in 1997. He coached baseball and football for many years when he was active in the Clovis Little League and Clovis Boys League.
For over 40 years, he was on the sideline of every Clovis West High School home football game holding the downs marker.
The former Janice Ballas was born in Fresno, California, and moved with her family to Clovis in 1953. After graduating from Clovis Union High School in 1958, she attended Fresno State College, where she and Bob met. Two years later, they married at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Clovis.
Janice earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education as well as an elementary teaching credential. Her first teaching position was at Jefferson Elementary School in Clovis Unified School District in 1962.
A dedicated educator with Clovis Unified, she was a teacher, resource teacher, learning director, elementary school principal, and Director of Special Projects. She retired in 2002.
The couple moved to Clovis in 1963. Since then, they’ve seen many changes – the growth of the city, the expanding roads, the addition of housing tracts and big box stores, and supermarkets. Yet a special community caring remained.
“People have always been friendly in Clovis,” said Janice. “That’s kind of why we like it here. Clovis is a good place to live and a good place to raise your kids…In the long run, Clovis had a good planner. It’s a clean city too. You don’t see a lot of trash around, and they keep it clean and swept. It’s just a very nice community.”
The couple has sound advice for a long marriage.
“Just do things together,” Janice shared. “We always done things together…and put each other first. I think when you’re first married, you have to realize that now your spouse is the most important person in your life. You have to take care of each other and be kind to each other.
“Marriage is a lot about cooperation, keep no secrets. The key to long marriages is your love for each other and communication. When you have a problem, you solve it with your spouse, discuss it, don’t argue. Especially when you’re raising kids, you’ve got to be on the same page,” Janice continued.
The couple has four children: Michael and Jennifer Davis and Richard and Irene Davis of Clovis, James and Kim Davis of Denver, Colorado, and Karen Davis Hagge and Per Hagge of Sebastopol, California. Their eleven grandchildren are Jerod, Joshua, Kyle, Sierra, Tara, Timothy, McKenzie, Hailey, Brandon, Morgan, and Tal.
Due to COVID-19, a family celebration and trip to Hearst Castle is planned when safer.