On September 9, 2023, the final curtain fell on the life of Patricia Lund Davis, a legend in Utah’s musical theater community whose extraordinarily creative work spanned more than 75 years. Mom was born on September 4, 1930 to Verda Delora Robins and Halvor Frederick Lund in Salt Lake City as the third of four children. She and her siblings, Phyllis, Allan, and Bobbie were lovingly raised almost entirely by their single Mother (our Nana) in the depths of the “Great Depression,” learning principles of hard work, perpetual gratitude, and essential optimism. Mom was taught by her mother that “anything worth doing is worth doing well.”
Blessed with remarkable artistic and musical abilities but without financial resources, Mom honed her inspirational musical talents in churches and community theaters – rather than colleges and universities. Without music lessons or the ability to read music, she learned to play the piano. Notwithstanding virtual immobility of her left arm, she taught others to dance and move comfortably about the stage.
On April 3, 1953, she married her eternal sweetheart, Clifton Akert Davis, in the Salt Lake Temple. Together, they created a nurturing family environment for us, her children: Thomas Richard (Alta), Clifton Todd (Tricia), Shelley (Steve Edwards), John Chad, and Christopher Robins (Suzanne). Mom regularly boasted of her 20 grandchildren and 45 great grandchildren - all amazingly talented. We never get tired of being introduced as the children of “that” Pat Davis.
A gifted singer and performer, Mom starred in numerous enduring theatrical performances including “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Mame,” “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” and most notably “Hello Dolly” – all to rave reviews. For decades she provided intimate musical theater performances with other local “HI-Lighters” Ralph Rogers, Harold Glazier, Glen Slight, and Jenny Bennett.
Self-taught, Mom learned and expertly performed every aspect of the business of musical theater. As Artistic Director for Promised Valley Playhouse, Co-Founder (with Dad) and Managing Director of the Triad Theater, The Grand Theater, and the Heritage School Theater, she made certain that each theater enterprise was as financially sound as it was artistically entertaining.
In the midst of her demanding career, Mom served as a member of the General Activities Committee and the Cultural Arts Specialist for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in which capacity she taught, coached, sang, and inspired Church leaders world-wide. After Dad’s passing in 1995, Mom took her creative genius to Nauvoo where she wrote and directed musical productions for 9 years.
Mom produced and directed hundreds of musicals on countless stages, the players of which were usually amateurs and mostly young people. Literally, thousands of people have been lovingly induced by Mom to nurture and courageously share their talents to the great blessing of the Wasatch Front. As a consequence, she received the prestigious Governor’s Mansion Artist Award, was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the Community College and honored with the Heritage School’s theater being named for her. Her portrait hangs prominently in Abravanel Symphony Hall.
From our infancy, she encouraged each of her children to reach as far as possible, to never be content with just “ok,” and to get back up and try again each time we would stumble. She will continue to inspire us, our families and the legion that expressed their thanks to her everywhere she went.
We thank Travina, Ronnie, Jen, Natalie, Debi, Brittany, Valerie, and Alan for their loving care of Mom over the past months, and to all of Mom’s friends and relatives for their love and support.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, September 16, 2023, at 11:30 am in the Cottonwood LDS Stake Center, 1830 East 6400 South, Murray, Utah. Friends may call at the Stake Center on Friday from 6:00 to 8:30 pm and Saturday from 10:00 – 11:15 am prior to the services. Interment will be at the Kaysville City Cemetery, 500 East Crestwood Road, Kaysville, Utah.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Pat’s name to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: https://www.cff.org/donate
Dear Davis Family,
I want you to know how much I love your mother. She is such a dynamic person who was so fun to be around. We have been friends for many years. My husband, Boyd, was in the same ward as Pat three times. He seemed to just follow her around from the ward they grew up in for many years. He loved being in her Road Show productions, as did our children. I and my family have so many fond memories of Pat and Clif and you children. I'm glad I was able to see the funeral on Zoom as I am out of town. It was great! Love you all.
We served with your Mom on Monday mornings at the JSMB for about three years. She was so gracious and was so much fun to be around. At the time she was the Assistant Chirman of the shift. Learning of her age, she must have been in her mid 80's while we served with her. She didn't seem that old. Remember the good times with her!!
So sorry to learn of Pat's passing. Glad she is with her hubby again. I was privileged to perform at the Promised Valley Playhouse during the 82-83 season and especially in Hello Dolly with her. I admired her kindness, talent, and professional caliber. Praying for you all.
Your family was a pillar of Yale II Ward. And your mom brought the ward alive and provided we average folks (without that much talent) with the chance to participate in the arts and be the protagonists. She was a wonderful lady and touched many lives. I will never forget her. Wishing you all the best as you go on without her here.
I worked with Pat when she was on the General Activities Committee. She was so fun to be around and I loved when she came into the office. She was a wonderful lady.
It was my pleasure and honor to work with your mother during her time with Heritage School . I will always treasure the friendship we developed. Thank you for sharing her with so many.
Sister Davis was our director in Nauvoo, Illinois for the summer of 2009 as a young performing missionaries. Her keen sense of humor, charisma, thoughtfulness, wit and love for people and the gospel are what come to my mind when I think fondly of her. What an absolute legacy of a woman. I feel so privileged to have known and loved her.
I got to know Pat when I was in sorority at the U with Shelley. Pat helped us on at least one occasion with a dance we were needing to do. All the girls were enamored with her! What a delightful soul! And she raised Shelley, who was such a boon and blessing to our Alpha Omega chapter. God bless you all as you mourn her passing and reflect on your many memories with her!
Amidst all her many demanding performances, Pat took the time to be a friend. We often went to lunch or just visited on a Sunday night. She expressed confidence in me that I could direct an elementary school play - something I had never done. But I had assisted her in other school & Church productions so I knew her endorsement was sincere. I went on to direct many plays knowing I could always consult her for help. I served as her counselor when she was the Relief Society President in the Yale 2 Ward. Her creative touch blessed the sisters greatly. She put my kids in her productions - experiences they have treasured. She managed to get my tone deaf husband to sing a solo in a Ward production of Scrooge - a remarkable accomplishment. Despite her busy schedule, she showed up at my mother’s funeral. She was my first friend when I moved to Salt Lake 40 years ago & remained so all through the years. I’m so grateful to have had her such a big part of our lives. Enjoy your reward with Clif, dear friend. With love, kathryn
I was privileged and extremely lucky to be taught by Pat Davis in my younger years. She directed our children’s singing group and gave us experience on the stage in her production of “Along the Way” at Promised Valley Playhouse. .I learned to sing the alto part which I still enjoy to this day. Thank you, Pat, for all your love and teaching.
She was a remarkable lady she directed so many road shows I was in at Yale ward i will never forget what a nice lady she was. She raised wonderful kids she was An amazing woman I will miss her
I'll never forget the experience of performing in Yale 2nd ward productions with Pat Davis at the helm. She was a remarkable performer and person that we all looked up to and loved. She was able to get a bunch of teenagers to wake up early on Saturday mornings to go to the ward for rehearsals for Road Shows and other theatrical performances. I was lucky enough to have Pat as my Sunday School teacher and I always looked forward to spending that time with her. Even though I haven't seen her for years, I have referred to her often in discussions with theater friends and former neighbors. I will always remember you and the influence you had in my life.
To you, my friend, and the loving mother you have. Life has its bitter & sweet moments. Our mothers have our hearts 💕 ,our hands to hold and our skinned knees to mend. It's about these memories to savor and realize they are not far from us. If we truly listen! God's blessings are present everyday especially for us boys that have lost our mom's. ❤️🙏🫂
My mom worked with Pat Davis in many productions. The one she talked about the most was performing with the Lone Ranger! I also remember seeing Pat in Hello Dolly and she was absolutely stunning!!! I’m sure they are putting on quite the “heavenly” production together!!
Pat Davis, we believe, had a specific mission to perform in mortality and was uniquely trained and qualified before she was born to fulfill that mission. Moreover, we know of no one who worked harder and had greater capacity at that which she was assigned to do than Pat Davis. Her influence has been felt far and wide and will endure for generations to come. We love her dearly and openly express gratitude for all she has done for us, our family and others whom we have known and who have been blessed by her and her beloved family.
Pat Davis is one of my all time favorite people! She had an enormous impact on me! She believed in me and taught me how to move and sing at the same time. I learned so much from her. She taught me how to put a program together. I have used so much of what I learned from her in my own teaching. She was so generous in sharing her magnificent talent. She certainly was gifted in bringing out the best in others.
Cliff made a frame for our young audience program which is still being used after 50 years!
Cliff and Pat are a fabulous team.
Your mom, grandmother, and great grandmother, is without question a beautiful, fantastic, and wonderful lady! I'm sure you have already been told that many times. I was a Young Performing Missionary, that had the wonderful opportunity of being directed by her in Nauvoo during the 2007 summer. I did not have a lot of confidence in myself at that time in my life, and she was so loving and encouraging. I still remember the last thing she said to me was "Mark, Never stop performing" or something close to that. I haven't been able to fulfill my promise to her that I would other than in church choirs or show. I hope to be able to honor her memory someday soon by getting back into a production and continuing my passion for being on the stage. Thank you for sharing your mom with the world, I have been blessed by knowing her. She will definitely be missed, and I am sorry I can not be there in person to send her off.
Pat became a very special friend to my husband, Bob & I while we served together on our Nauvoo mission. She took care of teaching and training all of our senior missionaries and our young performing missionaries for the shows in Nauvoo. Pat had dinner with us almost every single evening we were in Nauvoo. She became like family She brought so much joy to the young missionaries, and the senior missionaries adored her. Because of her darling personality, everyone was willing to do whatever she asked of them. She brought a sparkle to Nauvoo every summer for the four years that we served there. Following those years, she remained a wonderful friend. Every time we visited Salt Lake, we would stop to visit her. Bob passed away about 6 months ago. I am hoping they have already had a chance to chat! I will miss her!
So long to a marvelous woman and director/ and all the rest.
My husband and I served with Pat in Nauvoo and loved being in her presence. She also worked with my Aunt Elva Fletcher and her daughter, Rosanne F. Abraham. The last time I was with Pat was at Aunt Elva's Funeral. Thanks for all the joy and happiness you brought and shared. We well love you always. Thanks.
I was privileged to be the accompanist for Children of the Promised Valley, a children’s performing group directed by Pat Davis. Three of our children were taught by her and blessed by her love of theatre and love of life. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity she provided me of taking a music course that taught me how to orchestrate, and bring more color and fullness to the music. I’m sure heaven is being richly blessed by this talented, much loved woman! Our family loves you Pat!! Thank you Davis family for sharing your mom with all of us.
Cathy Hill. (Barr, Tiffany, Emily)
Rick, Todd, Shelly, Chad and Chris, You know how much the Bennett clan loved your mom. We never tired of hearing great music and fun dancing happen in our living room! I could watch Ralph, Pat, Glen and Harold sing and prance around for hours-which I often did sitting on the hallway floor. I loved that our mothers could be such good friends as well as being so amazingly talented. I can't even imagine the number of lives that were touched and made better because of your mom. My mom was constantly saying how talented and fun your mom was. They really made a great team!! Shelly wanted me to write my cute husbands thoughts on Pat's passing. He said, "I'm sure that as Pat passed through the veil, Mom (Jenny Bennett) grabbed her and said, " Say hi to Clif then come with me. We have a show to perform in 2 hours and we need to practice!" We love your family and feel honored to have known the "great Pat Davis". We're thrilled she is with your dad and hope they can spend some time catching up before she's off and performing again!!! Love to you all!
It’s hard to put into words how much impact Pat had on our lives as we spent time serving with her in Nauvoo. What an amazing woman. I called her a “builder” of people. She always seemed to know what to say and how to encourage people. She had so much faith that it carried her and all of us through the difficulties and triumphs. She shared a phrase she used that I think is genius. Sometimes people would go up to her office in the Viisitor’s Center and make suggestions about the productions. She’’d patiently listen, then reply, “You may be right..” The guest would leave happy that she’d respected their ideas. Then, Pat would proceed to do exactly what she thought what right….with a twinkle in her eyes.
I could write about so many stories. But I’ll finish by saying we love her and look forward to meeting her sweetheart as they are finally together again. She will be forever in our hearts.
I'm sorry to hear of Pat's passing and your families loss.
Pat had been a part of our family's life and conversations since she lived in the Bryan Ward. Bryan Wards Roadshows always won in Sugar House Stake when she directed them. Then all of us would go celebrate @ Snelgroves in Sugar House.
Pat wrote an article in the Church New, about Bishop Lloyd T Johnson (my father) - it was: so kind of her.
When my mother passed away, Pat made it a point to come pay her condolences at the funeral when she just got back from Nauvoo. She was always kind, thoughtful and will be greatly missed
She was/is a very exceptional woman. My parents will be glad to see her again.
As magnificent as Pat Davis ‘s legacy was with the theater I feel even a more outstanding legacy was her family. Pat taught her family Christlike love, service and how to show gratitude. I witnessed this service as her family lovingly took care of her not only as she was bedridden for several months but also during her injuries. We all witnessed more of their love for her during the funeral in the beautiful tributes by her children and music by her grandchildren and great grandchildren! What a legacy. More personally I witnessed this family’s love when my husband passed three and an half years ago at the start of the pandemic. No gatherings, funerals, hugs or embraces. However every one of the Davis children blessed me with a handwritten letter of love, support and comfort at this difficult time. This is the legacy I will always hold dear when I think of Pat’s legacy. Her family legacy will go on and on and on!
Pat first got me involved in musical theater when she asked me to be the rehearsal accompanist for Promised Valley, which we performed in the football field of the former South High School. (President Carnahan had arranged for SLCC to buy the facility that became the college's South City Campus.) The football field is long gone, now a parking lot, but the experience stayed with me and resulted in my being involved in many more musical theater productions. Pat was truly a human dynamo.
Dear Family, I want to express my love and appreciation for Pat and her very special talents in behalf of our son Dee Waddell. I went to many of her 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning rehearsals at Promised Valley Playhouse and watched her in action as she developed talents in the morning that were often demonstrated at a performance that very night. She not only had rare talents herself but she knew how to draw it out her fortunate young people. I saw her as Mame and watched her build a tremendous show out of her original "Along the Way" production she wrote for the world to see the beginning of program for young people, and I listened to Dee's solo over and over again. I know his early training has blessed him to speak to world-wide audiences for IBM. We thank Pat and can hardly wait to see her action when we meet her again.
Pat is a force that helped me grow from a funny little pre-teen to a 'funnier' big adult. She was a mentor in my crucial years, a friend in the other years. Most memories of living on Harvard Avenue include at least one Davis. What a fantastic family.
I think of how many days and late nights I spent in that Promised Valley theatre rehearsing, WAITING to rehearse, or exploring the nooks in that old theatre with Todd and other performers.
Pat never tired of the cast. She never tired of what she did. I learned so much from her that many times in my life when I had to write and direct a Road Show, it was Pat that I wished I could show what I had done.
I've always called her blessed. Love to you all, Davis'.
This morning, I had the privilege of attending Pat's funeral service through Zoom. It felt fitting that singer Katie Hill graced us with the heartwarming melody of "I'll Be Seeing You" from a Broadway play. The tributes that followed from Pat's children and friends were a beautiful blend of tears and laughter, reminiscent of the two Grecian masks that symbolize Pat's beloved profession, the theater.
When I reflect on Pat, one word consistently comes to mind: "etched." She was etched into our hearts as someone truly memorable and unforgettable. Every interaction I had with Pat, whether at the Triad Center during work or visiting the Davis household in Sugar House, was a cherished memory.
Her smile, her sharp wit, her unwavering dedication to her craft, and her knack for getting things done—always mindful of the pennies—have left an indelible mark on my memory. I learned valuable lessons from Pat, and our time together was always accompanied by laughter.
Undoubtedly, we all feel the void left by Pat's absence and the longing for the 93 remarkable years she graced us with. However, her memory will forever be etched in our minds. As we move forward in our lives, Pat's presence will continue to inspire us. And when our own journeys reach their final act, we will sing our own renditions of "I'll Be Seeing You," approaching that heavenly theater in the sky with Pat and Clif there to greet us.
I guess I can get in line behind thousands of others when I say that Pat Davis was one of the most influential people in my life as a young man. Only now as I look back can I see how true this is. In spite of scout leaders, coaches, bishops, and other adult leaders, I think Pat had a greater impact on me. She got me involved in stage productions, musicals, and roadshows in the Yale 2nd ward. Sound of Music, and Fiddler on the Roof (which was not only staged in our ward, but also at the Pioneer Memorial Theater for June Conference). Later I went to work at the Promised Valley Playhouse with Cliff as my supervisor and Pat as the Creative Director. Cliff taught me that if it was worth doing, it was worth doing right. Now I know where Cliff got that saying. I have such great memories of those days and experiences. Pat caught me at a youth conference at Sun Valley. I had broken in to the room where all the food was kept to obtain some goodies for me and my friends. We were hungry and a bit bored. For me it was an adventure. Pat handled it so well. I knew that she was disappointed, but I also knew she still loved me. When my brother Vince and I (in the pit orchestra for "Of Thee I Sing" at the playhouse) decided to blow bubbles onto the stage during the live performance of a song that reminded us of a Lawrence Welk tune, Pat came bursting into the pit from the Green Room at intermission with an excited "Who did that?". We thought we were in trouble and sure to be fired on the spot, nevertheless, we confessed. She said "That was GREAT, can you do it every night?" Thanks for the memories Pat.
Pat Davis was one of a kind and blessed my life immensely. I had the privilege of being in two of her productions in 1974. One was a play entitled “If All Else Fails” written, produced and directed by Pat for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to introduce a new youth program. The other was “The Sound of Music” at Promise Valley Playhouse. My parents had only one car so Pat offered to give me a ride to and from rehearsals as long as I was willing to go early and stay late for her rehearsal meetings with the staff and crew. I was 13 years old and sat in the corner reading a book, but couldn’t help but eavesdrop on those discussions. It was fascinating to hear Pat guide everyone through the details of a production so effortlessly. She was knowledgeable, organized, and efficient all while making everyone feel loved and valued. Pat had a unique way of bringing out the best in us in our performances. The joy she had for musical theater was infectious and I could hardly wait until the next rehearsal. I didn’t realize until I was older how much I learned from Pat. As an adult I found myself constantly drawing on those lessons as I had the opportunity to write, produce and direct numerous elementary school programs for 30 years. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher and example as I tried to bring the joy of performing arts to children the way Pat had done for me. Her influence was life changing and her legacy will live on through those of us she touched for many years to come. My deepest sympathies to her family. Thank you for sharing your wonderful mother with all of us.
If I close my eyes, I can see the bright lights and hear the sounds of a heavenly orchestra and chorus as they begin to swelling with a stirring chorus:
Well, hello, Pat,
It's so nice to have you back where you belong!
You're lookin' swell, Pat
We can tell, Pat
You're still glowin', you're still crowin'
You're still goin' strong
We feel the room swayin'
While the band's playin'
One of your old favourite songs from way back when
So, take her wrap, Cliff
Find her an empty lap, Cliff
Pat 'll never go away again!" (with apologies to Jerry Herman, composer of "Hello Dolly"
Pat Davis was one of a kind. She touched thousands of lives, including mine. She was my friend, my mentor, and a indomitable force of nature! I loved and admired her with all my heart.
Rest in peace my dear friend. Enjoy being back with your wonderful and equally talented eternal companion! Katherine Boswell Pennock
Your mother was an amazing human and leader in the arts community in our state. Her graciousness and kindness was only matched by her talent. She made a difference in the lives of thousands who were entertained and moved by her work.
Fred Adams and I had the great joy of working with her numerous times.
When I was 9 yrs old, I was an orphan in Annie at the Triad. Pat was Miss Hannigan. She was amazing . I will never forget her in the role and the impact she had on me as a small child. She believed in me beloved I had a talent for the stage. Later that year I was in Scrooge at the Dickens Festival, Pat directed the show.
I loved working with her and feeling of her positivity.
She was very influential in my love for the stage and performance.