MOULTONBOROUGH — Dianne Leslie Fuller Davis, 72, passed away peacefully on May 6, 2016, at Lakes Region General Hospital, surrounded by her loving family and friends.
Dianne was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, on Nov. 19, 1943. to Lorin Lovejoy Fuller and Florence Bearse Fuller. After graduating from Stoneham High School, Stoneham, Massachusetts, in 1961, she attended the Laconia Hospital School of Nursing in Laconia.
Not long after her graduation in 1964, the school closed. She and her classmates often joked that the school could not recover from their time there.
It was during her nursing school escapades that she met a handsome, charismatic Rick Davis, a native of Moultonborough. At the Center Harbor Congregational Church, on a 90-degree May 23, 1964 day, she married her best friend. "I wilt" became part of their vows.
Rick overlooked the fact she was often referred to as "that girl from Massachusetts" even though she spent half her time in her youth in New Hampshire. Her life was forever changed when Rick passed on November 17, 2011, just shy of their 48th wedding anniversary.
Although Dianne enjoyed many years of nursing at Lakes Region General Hospital and in several local doctors' offices, she was convinced by Rick that buying Paugus Bay Sporting Goods in Laconia would be a great adventure. Over the 20 years they operated the store, it proved to be adventurous and many lifelong friendships were formed. Things can be lean when you own a business — it was a good thing she "borrowed" all those towels and supplies from the hospital when employed there to help the family out — telling her kids that every family's towels were stamped "Property of Laconia Hospital."
After selling the store, she and Rick created Wilderness Pursuits, a Canadian sports travel business which they ran for 10 years.
One of their proudest achievements was launching the Winni Derby 34 years ago. Once recognized as the largest Landlocked Salmon and Lake Trout tournament in the Northeast, it brought thousands of anglers to Lake Winnipesaukee for a three-day tournament every May and added millions to the local economy. Dianne also worked for a few years at New Hampshire College-Laconia Campus (now Southern New Hampshire University). For 20-plus years she served with pride on the Board of Directors of the Moultonborough Visiting Nurse Service, many of those years as chairwoman.
When residents of Moultonborough wanted to create their own high school, she served on the feasibility and curriculum committees leading up to the opening of Moultonborough Academy in 1980. She returned in 1984-85 to help in a multitude of capacities.
Dianne's life can be defined by the contributions she made to her children, Glenn Davis and Leslie Davis Sturgeon. She and Rick were proud that they ignited the entrepreneurial spirit in them and at least pretended they enjoyed working endless hours to do any task that needed to be done.
Starting in 1989 with Leslie's first business, Office Options, Dianne answered phones, did mailings, made photocopies, typed and picked up lunch.
Then Glenn started Lakes Region Fire Apparatus not long after and her life became about office management and big red fire trucks. After Glenn purchased Tri-State Fire Protection in Gilford, Dianne worked there until he sold the business and jokingly sold his mother with it as she remained with the company.
Leslie founded Women Inspiring Women in 2007 and Dianne became the official "cheerleader" — demonstrating a mother's love by donning WIW's signature color of pink, her least favorite color. From greeting event guests as they arrived, to assembling event materials at 2 o'clock in the morning, to running the lending library, Dianne contributed wherever there was a need.
Dianne lived a full but multifaceted life. She would tie fishing "flies" for the sporting goods store, help Rick with a deer-cutting business out of their garage, spend hours fishing on her beloved Lake Winnipesaukee on their boat in the summer and in the bobhouse in the winter, stimulating her mind with reading, watching the news, and having endless conversations with friends and family over a good cup of coffee. She always enjoyed doling out unsolicited advice, too, but that made her even more lovable.
Dianne is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Glenn Davis and Kathryn Davis of Moultonborough; a daughter and her partner, Leslie Davis Sturgeon and Ken Canaway of Bristol; grandchildren Evan Davis of Meredith, Scott Knapp of Bristol and Michelle Cote of West Newfield, Maine; great-grandchildren, Peter (PJ) Cote and Lillie Knapp; sister-in-law Brenda Alati of Moultonborough; and brother-in-law, Steven Davis and his wife, Stormy of Meredith; several of Rick's nieces and nephews; her close friend and former son-in-law, Christopher Sturgeon of Moultonborough and her oldest, dearest friends, Beverly Taylor Charest and Rae-Marie Davis of Moultonborough and Elsa Estabrook of Morrill, Maine; and her loving Yellow Lab, Maggie.
Like most nurses who expended all their compassion at work, Dianne always told her kids that they "would be fine," especially if they weren't bleeding or still had a limb. Although they will be fine, they sure will miss their beloved mother.
There are no calling hours. A reception celebrating her life will be held Monday, May 16, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant, Route 3 in Meredith. A private graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family.
Memorial donations may be made to the Lakes Region Visiting Nurse Service, 186 Waukewan St., Meredith, NH 03253.
Mayhew Funeral Homes and Crematorium of Meredith and Plymouth are assisting the family with arrangements. For more information visit www.mayhewfuneralhomes.com.