She saw the vision and may have set the standard for Boonville's historic preservation. As she took her hometown she loved and made sure it did not suffer the same fate of many similar towns in the Midwest, Pam Davis's vision, artistry and legacy can be seen throughout Boonville and in the surrounding areas. This is how her partner in preservation, Stanley Thomas, knew her and how many residents in Boonville will remember her.
Stanley said Pam was strongly independent, caring, smart, creative, happy and determined. He added these were just a few words that described the woman he loved.
"She had abilities not many people have. She was as strong as men and very talented in the construction field," Stanley said.
Stanley and Pam had been together for over 20 years until tragedy struck in late August when Pam was involved in a car accident. Pam passed away Sunday due to the injuries resulting from the accident. Stanley said the nurses at University Hospital said she was the strongest patient they have ever seen.
Pam's story began in Boonville at the St. Joseph Hospital, which was located at the end of Morgan Street, on Thanksgiving Day in 1946. Pam's parents were Joseph Jefferson Davis and Helen Virginia (Fuser) Davis.
Pam's love for art began at a young age. She graduated with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts from the University of Kansas at the top of her art class. According to her obituary, this experience played a good hand in her lifelong love of the arts and she remained friends with many of her contemporaries who became well-known artists. For many in Boonville, her artistry can be see throughout the town in her art and preservation efforts.
"She taught me the fine details of preservation. She always kept me on course of doing it correctly. If it was not for her, I would be doing a lot of it wrong," Stanley said.
Stanley expressed the fine detail she would put in all of their projects. He said she was not afraid to tell him if he was doing something wrong. He added they would strip everything down to the original and create from there.
"She was a very unique individual. She understood Boonville, art and history. She saw things a lot of us did not see, of which she helped make us aware of. She was very energetic and creative and willing to put her money where her mouth was. She did not just talk about preservation, she did it. She and Stanley were a good team who worked well together," Boonville Mayor Julie Thacher said.
Boonville Ward Two Councilman Noah Heaton said she was one of the largest advocates for the City of Boonville.
While she and Stanley worked to preserve many locations around town, she was one of the most vocal advocates for saving the Katy Bridge and was an ambassador to Boonville. Close friend and fellow Katy Bridge Coalition member Sarah Gallagher said both her and Pam had much in common and said Pam was a major thread in the fabric of Boonville.
Page 2 of 3 - "The Pam I knew was one of the unique characters. She was her own person. She was her own unique brand," Sarah said.
As far as the Katy Bridge, they both were huge advocates to save it, so much so, they would go to extremes to save it.
"We were committed to chaining ourselves to the bridge if Union Pacific would have began to tear it down," Sarah said. "She believed in Boonville and believed the historic core is so precious."
Sarah said she could make something out of nothing because of her artistry genius.
"She saw the beauty in everything," Sarah said. "To me that is the essence of being human, to see the beauty where other people could not. She had a way of looking at things, which created a better world."
Pam was an avid collector who was featured on an American Pickers television show episode, which will air soon. Stanley learned many years ago collecting has many good qualities.
"Pam has a use for everything, so much so, it was wearing me down. One day she purchased some prism glass windows in Fayette. When we picked them up they filled the truck. I asked her how much she had purchased them for and she said $200. I was not too surprised but when it came to selling them on Ebay I was very surprised that half of them sold for $7,000. I never questioned what she purchased again. From then on, we made room for the stuff," Stanley said.
Boonville resident and Cooper's Oak Winery Manager, Theresa Krebs, works in one of Pam's restored buildings on Main Street. Cooper's Oak Winery just moved into the restored building earlier this year.
"It's amazing how many people who come to our town from all over the country and the world. Pam has helped make Boonville the attractive place it is for these visitors," Krebs said.
A celebration of Pam’s life will take place on Friday at 7 p.m. at Thespian Hall.
"There would not have been any other place, which would have fitted this occasion like Thespian Hall," Stanley said.
According to Pam's obituary she is survived by her father, Joseph Jefferson Davis; stepmother and friend of Fayette, Marsha Davis, a brother, Jeff Davis of Fayette, a sister, Diana Dale Davis Shallenburger of Boonville, two daughters, Yardley Wing of Boonville and Amanda Thomas of Columbia and one grandson, Jesse Davis Moore of Columbia.
"It's going to be hard not to see her downtown going from building to building," Sarah said.
Sarah said her presence was known and will be missed.
“She was an incredible woman and life will not be as good without her,” Yardley said.
Page 3 of 3 - "She inspired many and loved the town. She wanted everyone to love it too," Stanley said.