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John F. Davies; Lemon Packaging Plant Founder

August 15, 1996

John Franklyn Davies, a 54-year Ventura County resident and founder of a lemon packaging business, has died. He was 87.

Born in Louisville, Ky., in 1909, Davies moved to Los Angeles with his family as a young boy and later graduated from Fairfax High School.

Davies earned a bachelor's degree in education from Oregon State University in Corvallis and returned to the Southland to work at a packinghouse in the San Fernando Valley in the early 1920s.

Eager to start his own business, Davies opened a lemon packaging plant near Ventura with a business partner in 1941.

Soon after, Davies moved to Westlake Village and commuted to Montalvo, where he headed his company's packaging operation until 1976. Since his retirement, Davies was a member of the Saticoy Country Club. He liked to play the stock market and visit his family.

"He was a really great guy," said Davies' daughter, Diane Jonas of Boca Raton, Fla. "He was probably one of the most giving men, and he never expected anything in return."

Jonas, 60, said Davies paid to help put the friends of his son, John F. Davies Jr., through college, because they could not afford tuition on their own.

Davies was preceded in death by his wife, Louise. In addition to his son, John, who lives in Springfield, Ore., and daughter Jonas, Davies is survived by daughter Marilee Russell of Moreno Valley and 15 grandchildren and great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held at Conejo Mountain Memorial Park in Camarillo at 3 p.m. Saturday. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the John Franklyn Davies Memorial Fund at the University of Oregon.

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