John Marvin Davis, 82


LA JARA — John Marvin Davis, 82, passed away in La Jara on Sunday, April 5th, 2020 at the Rio Grande Inn. He was born on January 8th, 1938 to Donald and Jewel (Martin) Davis in Alamosa. He married Shirley Mayfield on September 7, 1963, and together they had 5 children. 

John is survived by his children, Stephen Paul Davis of Gunnison; Todd Edward (Donna) Davis of Mobile, AL; Deborah Elaine (Jerry) Shawcroft of Alamosa; and Dyan Irene (Hoyt) Anderson of Alamosa; grandchildren: Taylor, Britny, Austin, Abby, Madisen, Hayden, Gavin (Kayla), Brody, Brooks, and Brenna; along with three great-grandchildren and numerous members of his extended family. 

He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Shirley; a son, Mitchell John Davis; brothers, Jim Davis and Michael Davis and sister, Betty. 

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date this year. John will be Interred at the Sanford Cemetery after a Private Family Service. Rogers Family Mortuary is in care of the arrangements. To leave the family online condolences or words of strength, please visit 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you would donate to the Community Foundation of the San Luis Valley. One of John’s favorite projects was working on restoring the old Velhagens Jewelers clock that sat on State Avenue in the early 1900s.  

The Community Foundation of the San Luis Valley will restore the old clock in honor of John. Donations can be made to the Community Foundation of the San Luis Valley, 610 State Avenue, Alamosa, 81101. 

John's passion and love for cars started at a young age. His dad died when he was only 16, so John pursued a part-time job at Vans Machine Shop to help his family make ends meet. Here he worked for Paul Stever doing small jobs around the shop. 

It was at this point that John's passion and love for cars was sparked. Working hard in school and fulfilling his part-time job duties, at Vans, took up a good portion of his time; but he still had the motivation and the drive to build things. 

He built his first hot rod at the age of 21. John also served his country in the United States Army Reserve. It was around this time that John met, fell in love with, and married Shirley Mayfield.   

 John was a brilliant man with a passion for medicine. He studied his undergraduate in pre-medicine at Adams State College and continued his doctorate at the Allied Health Sciences Center in Denver Colorado. 

During his medical endeavor, he realized his love was not in medicine but rather in the machine shop. He and Shirley packed up and moved back home to the San Luis Valley. John soon bought Vans Machine Shop from Paul with only 11 dollars and a genuine handshake. He owned Vans for 20 plus years, making a name for himself. John worked day and night as a precision machinist providing well for his growing family. 

John then decided to retire from machining at Vans and sold the business to Steve Van Iwaarden and JR Olson. It was then that he took a job in the machine shop at Southway Construction. He worked for Butch Southway until he could no longer work.   

John loved old cars and antiques. He truly was an American picker. He loved visiting Cole Park for the Annual Early Iron Festival and watching the slow cruise with his kids and grandkids. 

He had a genuine love for all animals especially his shop cats. He also loved trains. He would visit the Cumbers and Toltec, in Antonito, just to hear the first hoot of the steam engines as they emerged for the summer season. 

 John will be truly missed by all who knew him.