Monday, August 24, 2009


This is an introduction to the life sketch of Robin Roy Davis.

After reading this life sketch of Robin Roy Davis, see the other life sketches as follows:


Monday, November 10, 2008

Life Sketch of Robin Roy Davis

of Robin Roy Davis

I, Robin Roy Davis, was born, on July 11, 1946, in Des Moines, Iowa. That is where my mother grew up as the daughter of a prominent dentist, Jay McCalment Lynch, and his wife, Ruth (Rogers) Lynch.. Of course I don’t remember my birth.


Not long after I was born, our family, which consisted then of my father, LeRoy Junior Davis (who went by Junior Davis) and my mother, Mary Kathryn Davis, (who went by Mary Kay Davis) moved to Waterloo, Iowa.

My earliest memories were not particularly pleasant ones. I remember when I was about two years old I fell off a porch. All I remember was the sensation of falling and nothing else. I am told that I received a concussion from the experience.

About the same time, I fell down some stairs and broke my collarbone. In both cases I was living in Waterloo, Iowa.

My sister, Marci, was born in Waterloo, but I don’t remember anything about that.

My mother, Mary Kay, says that when I was in Waterloo and could not talk very well, I said, 'Please, I want Su Mice’. She could not understand why I wanted mice. Then all of a sudden it occurred to her that I wanted some ice. Such are the trials parents go through raising children.

Later we moved to Utah where my father worked. The only thing I remember about Utah was going to some pre-school or kindergarten. I remember a boy threw sand in my face while playing in the playground. I also remember learning a song 'The Itsy Bitsy Spider'.


After Utah, we moved to Burbank, California. We lived in a house on Franklin Street.
In Burbank I remember my best friend, Craig Pew, and I would play our favorite game at his house. My sister, Marci, and her friend would be playing outside in the yard. Craig and I would try to sneak up on them without them seeing us to see what they were doing. We called it 'spying'. Of course my sister and her best friend would always see us and they would get so mad. It was great fun.

While in Burbank, I remember listening to a radio station and they would announce periodically that they were KFWB, Channel 98. I told my father, Junior, about this and he said that was impossible because radio stations did not have channels. Only the television had channels. They have since changed to an all news station and they now say KFWB, News 98.


After Burbank, our family moved to Toronto, Canada. My parents hated Toronto because it was so cold and they were spoiled by the great weather in California. So, the first chance they got, they moved to St. Louis, Missouri, because it was closer to California. It turned out that it was colder than Toronto, Canada. So, they finally moved to Santa Monica, California.


Santa Monica is where I had my elementary school experience. My main memory of school was a school play, ‘the Nutcracker Suite’. During rehearsal we were all ushered into a room and there were not enough chairs for everyone. So, I blurted out, 'pull up a chair and sit on the floor' which made absolutely no sense. No one thought it was funny either and I was severely reprimanded for it.

I also remember playing dodge ball and I was hit by a ball that knocked me down which caused me to have a bloody nose.

While walking to and from school, every once in a while I was accosted by a big bully. My parents learned of this and enrolled me in a Judo class. I don’t remember even seeing the bully after that, but the Judo came in useful later on.


After Santa Monica, we moved to Anaheim, California. When we moved to Anaheim, in 1955, there were only orange groves all around our tract of homes. Our address was 2427 W. Broadway, Anaheim, California 92804.

Also in that year, my elementary school was newly completed and named the Walt Disney Elementary School. Walt Disney himself came to the dedication of our school and gave us all free ticket books to Disneyland.


One day, a bully in our class came up to me privately and started to heckle me. I told him that he had better back off because I knew Judo. He said, “Oh yeah, show me!” I said, “OK, come at me.” He came at me and I took him by the arm and while turning and putting my back into his stomach, I threw him over my shoulders. He landed on his back. He was not hurt. But he never bothered me again.

My best friend in Anaheim was Larry Boyd. I remember many a summer, we would sit around and I would say, "Boyd, what do you want to do?”, and he would say, "I don't know, Davis, what do you want to do?", and I would say, "I don't know, Boyd, what do you want to do?", etc.

But one day we got tired of that. We decided to do something. We liked to go to the beach in the summers and at that time, surfing was just becoming the great sport of all times. We decided to build a surfboard. We had no idea how to do it. We decided to build it out of stuff we had around our houses (we lived across the street from each other). We used plywood for inner struts, and hardwood flooring for the outer skin and covered it with fiberglass. It was very heavy but we managed to get it down to the beach. When we put it into the water it first sank but came up to the top. We could ride it in the white water after the waves broke, but not very far.

Although our first attempt was not a great success, it led us on to build a second generation of surfboards. This time, we learned that we could buy Styrofoam blanks and then cover them with fiberglass. An important key was to work the blanks into a slight curving shape or spoon. I did not do very well in making mine and it was a little too flat. The upshot of this was that my surfboard tended to ‘pearl’ a lot (take a nosedive into the surf). But, Larry and I had a great time surfing at many beaches in Southern California.

After a while, I bought my own surfboard from Jack's Surf Shop in Huntington Beach, California.


Because Orange County was growing so fast, I went to three different Junior High Schools in my three Junior High School years.

Trident Junior High School

The first year I went to Trident Junior High School. At Trident, I took a woodworking class. My woodworking project was to make a lamp that looked like a wooden water pump. You were supposed to drill a hole from the top to the middle of the base. Then you were supposed to make a hole from the bottom up to meet the hole that was coming down from the top. That was where the power cord was supposed to go through. I think I was a little off, but not much. It was ok.

Orangeview Junior High School

The next year, I went to Orangeview Junior High School. At that school, I took a metal-working class. My class project was to make a screw driver out of metal. I learned that metal-working was not to be my profession. I think I got a “C” on the project.

We had a very demanding History teacher. He liked to have us do class history projects. My first project was on the Merrimack and the Monitor. They were submarines that were used during the Civil War. The Merrimack was made by the South and the Monitor was made by the North.

Orangeview is the first school where I took an interest in girls. In my history class there was a pretty girl with long blond hair. Her name was Linda Rakestraw (funny name I thought). I did nothing about it except that I noticed how pretty she was.

Dale Junior High School

My last junior high school year was spent at Dale Junior High School. We were supposed to take classes that would be helpful to us in High School and even College. It was here that I took one of my most useful classes ever – Typing. Because of this class, I learned a skill that has proved so useful to me in the rest of my life. I learned how to type very well. I never really knew how well until I took several typing tests much later in applying for jobs. I could type 55+ words per minute. This surprised me. Although I knew I could type well, I did not think it was that fast.

My parents felt that it would be very important for me to take a language class. They knew that High School had language requirements for graduation and that Colleges also had language requirements for general studies. At that time, it was felt that a good language to take was Latin. It was considered very scholarly to be able to say that you knew Latin and it was the root of many languages including English. So, with the encouragement of my parents, I took Latin.

Because of Latin, I learned of a concept that proved very important to me later when I went on my mission to Italy. Naturally, and first of all, Latin is the root language of Italian. But secondly, Latin and Italian have what is called verb conjugations. I can best illustrate this by an example. In English we say:

I go
You go
He, she or it goes
We go
You go
They go

In Italian they say:

Vado (which means “I go”)
Vai (which means “You go”)
Va (which means “He, she or it goes”)
Andiamo (which means “We go”)
Andate (which means “You go”)
Vanno (which means “They go”)

In English we know who is going by the pronoun. It Italian and Latin, they know who is going by the ending of the word.


While in Anaheim, I attended a new High School, Savanna High School. It was only a few blocks from my house. Our class was the first class that graduated from Savanna, so we were the ones that choose the name of the Savanna Rebels.

In high school, the most important thing about the school is how your football team does. As your football team goes, so goes your high school. Our football team was the worst in the league the whole time I went there. We never had a winning season.


Outside of the football team not being great, I had a good time. I had a set of good friends. We were all on the Cross Country team. My friends were all the 'brains' of the school. They had the best grades in the hardest classes like algebra, trig, calculus, chemistry and physics. They all went to very good colleges like Cal Tech and MIT.


After graduating from Savanna High School, I went to UCLA.


In my first year at UCLA, I lived at the dormitory called Dykstra Hall. It was quite a cultural shock for me. The morals of the students were different than what I had experienced up to that time. Many of them would party into the wee hours of the night. They would drink cheap wine until they were sick and then they would throw up for hours. They would wake up the next day feeling terrible and say what a good time they had the night before. The amazing thing was, some of them would do well at school.

I did not do well at UCLA. The classrooms of Calculus, Chemistry, Psychology were all large (400 students). The professor would come in and start writing on the board with one hand while talking and erasing the board with the other. Their goal seemed to be to fail most of the students.


In 29 August 1966 I went on a mission to Italy.

The mission had just opened the year before. The mission headquarters were in Florence, Italy. Two weeks before going to Italy, I went to the Mission Home in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was right across the street from the Salt Lake Temple. During that two weeks we had many talks by general authorities.

I also went to the temple for the first time for my endowment on 26 August 1966. I remember it was very confusing. It was different than anything I had experienced before. Fortunately right after going through the session, they took us up to a large meeting room in the temple and an apostle asked if there were any questions. Many questions were asked by missionaries who had already gone to the temple before. It helped me to know that there was a lot to be learned about the endowment and I felt much better about it.

I was set apart by Delbert L. Stapley, an apostle of the Lord. He said that I would have the gift of tongues on my mission.

I remember two things about the airplane flight to Italy. We flew from Salt Lake City, Utah, to New York. We didn’t stay in New York long. Then we flew to Paris, France. I had my first introduction to a “continental breakfast”. It was a croissant and juice (disappointing). I don’t know why but we went outside the airport. I was very impressed by the crazy French drivers. Not only were they driving on the wrong side of the road, but some of them would drive right up on the sidewalks.

I arrived in Florence, Italy, and went to the mission home there. There were eight of us and we met our mission president, John Duns. He was a former aerospace worker for Lockheed Corporation. He was a great man.

I was assigned to go to Treviso, Italy, on my first assignment. Treviso was a very little town in Northern Italy. It was not too far from Padova (Padua in English) and Venice. My first companion was Bruce Erickson. We were the only Mormons in Treviso. There were two missionaries in Padova, Elder Servaus and Elder Fry. Elder Fry came out at the same time I did. We were both termed “greenies”. I was very fortunate to have Elder Erickson as a companion. He was the district leader.

On about my first day there, we went to visit the two elders in Padova. Before going, my companion wrote down a door approach for me in Italian and told me to memorize it. When we got to Padova, Elder Fry and I were sent out to do “greenie trackting”. We took turns knocking at a door and giving our door approach to the Italians. I am sure the Italians had a great time laughing about how we slaughtered their language. The good thing was though that Italians liked Americans. In several houses there were teenagers that wanted to practice their English on us. We were very surprised at how good they were at speaking English having only learned it in high school.

I lived in the following cities in Italy:

Treviso (near Venice)

In Syracuse my companion and I tracted the entire city of 90,000 people. We had one convert. His name was Signor (Mr.) Cutrufo.

In Taranto we baptized three people. The first was Silvana Longone. She had already been given the discussions by a missionary, Elder Barney, who was transferred to the Mission office in Florence. When we met with her, she said she would be baptized if we would explain to her a passage of scriptures in the book of John in the New Testament. This passage explains how Jesus Christ and God the Father are one. It clearly demonstrates that the Father and the Son are one in purpose, not one in physical body. After we went through this passage with her, she was baptized.

We baptized two others, Cosima Feletti and her brother, in Taranto.

The next transfer was to Rome, Italy as a District Leader. Our district did not have a lot of success there.

I was then transferred to Florence, Italy, the mission headquarters. I was a zone leader with Elder Barney. We traveled all over Northern Italy. We went to Pisa, Verona, Turin (which is Torino in Italian), Genoa (Genova), and Milan (Milano).

While in the Mission Office I was given an opportunity to travel with another elder on a special assignment.


In my last year at UCLA, it was during the student riots, which were in protest of the Viet Nam war. I remember standing at one end of a hall in a student building and a swarm of students marching down the hall towards me shouting “On Strike! Shut it down! On strike! Shut it down!” At that point I decided to transfer to another school, Brigham Young University (BYU).


BYU was a much better fit for me. The students were not into drugs, booze and open sex like UCLA. The classes were much smaller and the professors were more personable. I greatly enjoyed genealogy classes and there was a major in Genealogy Technology. I went on to get a bachelor degree in Genealogy Technology. However, the year I graduated, the program was phased out because there were not enough jobs available for all the students that were graduating.


All during my studying at BYU, of course I was praying that I would find a girl to marry.  I prayed and prayed but I did not really date much.  Looking back at it now, I should have dated a lot more, but I was shy.  I didn't feel that any girls particularly liked me.  I asked one of my many bishops, a Bishop Terry, if he had any suggestions.  He suggested that I date a real nice girl in the ward.  I think it was his secretary at work.

So, I went over to her apartment one day to have a little chat and see if anything would happen.  For some reason the conversation got around to when we felt young people should have their first kiss.  Maybe this was her way of testing out new dates.  Anyway, I said I thought it would be nice if a couple had their first kiss over the alter at the temple.  WOW!!  That was it for that date.  I am sure the news went flying around the ward (especially amoung the girls) about what an idiot I was and how crazy. 

Needless to say, I did not have any dates after that for quite a while. 

So, I had a Book of Mormon class for return missionaries.  The room was packed with return male missionaries.  The class was taught by an excellent teacher, Monte Nyman. Just before the class was to start, this young lady came into the back door and sat on the last row.  I looked at her and said to myself, "Wouldn't it be funny if I married that girl."  The class went on and I don't know if she even noticed my or not.  She had pretty blond hair and I felt she was very good looking.

Several months went by.  One day I was walking along the campus way, and this girl who was passing, looked familiar.  She stopped me and said, "Say, weren't you in my Book of Mormon class with Monte Nyman?" 


I decided to continue on with my education in the closest thing to Genealogy which was Library Science and one year later received a Master's Degree in Library Science.


While working for my Master's Degree in Library Science at BYU, Carol and I were blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Rebecca Lynn.  She was born at the Utah Valley Hospital in Provo, Utah.  Right at the time that she was born, Carol's father, Lambert Albert Gerber, passed away.  Carol wanted to go to the funeral, but the doctor advised against it because the baby cold come at any time.

Carol's labor was long because it was her first one.

After obtaining my degree I landed a job with a company that was doing library automation. The company was CLSI.


CLSI (Computer Library Systems Incorporated) was a great company to work with. 

At CLSI, I learned that what I really wanted to do was work with computers. So I went back to BYU and earned a degree in Computer Science. Since that time I have been programming computers at many different companies.