Peter John Davis
Peter John Davis — loving partner, devoted father and passionate philanthropist lived a full life, which came to close September 8.
Peter was born and raised in London, England, in the years leading up to World War II. The youngest of the three children of John and Stella Davis, Peter was preceded by his brother, Derek (in WWII) and his sister, Joy.
Peter enlisted in the Royal Air Force and flew missions in Europe and North Africa. He remained most proud of his participation in Operation Manna (dropping food to the starving citizens of Holland). At the end of WWII, a lottery system for returning servicemen meant that Peter couldn’t return to England for an additional year, so he travelled in Europe and later joined work parties rebuilding climbing huts in France. Thus began his life-long love affair with wild lands and the great outdoors.
Peter was one of the last remaining members of The BRMC (Bar Room Mountaineering Club), a close-knit group who would regularly scatter at the end of the work week to climb peaks in Wales and Europe. BRMC members remained in contact through 75 years and two continents.
Peter married Regina Bennett in 1954. They had two daughters (Diane and Sorrel) before immigrating to California, and their son (Stuart) was born shortly thereafter. After brief stints in San Jose and Los Angeles, Peter and his family settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, first in Mill Valley and later in Los Altos Hills.
It was in Los Altos that Peter started Lease Management Services Inc. (LMSI) in 1974, fulfilling his entrepreneurial spirit. Under Peter’s shepherding, LMSI grew and flourished, providing financial consulting and equipment-leasing services for high-tech start-up companies in Silicon Valley. Peter was one of the founders of venture leasing in Silicon Valley and was included in The Marquis Who’s Who in the West in 1978.
In 1984, Peter met Joan Irwin at a resort in Mexico. Peter and Joan recognized their kindred spirits and remained devoted partners throughout the remainder of his life. Blending their passions for travel and the great outdoors, Peter and Joan travelled world-wide. Peter returned to Marin and spent the last 30 years of his life in Tiburon.
Peter’s philanthropy focused primarily on preservation and protection of wild open spaces. However, he also supported a great many environmental, social health and social justice causes; particularly those which had the added benefit of inspiring his children and grandchildren toward philanthropy. Peter volunteered as an advisor with the Trust for Public Land, Tiburon Newcomers, Westward Barn and other organizations.
Peter is survived by his partner, Joan; his children Diane, Sorrel and Stuart (& Becky); his grandchildren Amy (& Billy), Ryan (& Holly), Jessa, Chloe and Rebecca; and his great-grandchildren Raelyn, Lily, Bentley, Milo, Ava, Selah and Lana.
Without doubt Peter’s legacy, for which he will be remembered by many, is of humor, story-telling and incredible generosity. Peter will live on in the hearts of his family and friends. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Sierra County Land Trust or Marin Agricultural Land Trust.