Arlen D. Davison, 88, died Monday, July 12, 2021, at Bishop Place Senior Living in Pullman.

Arlen was born in Hastings, Neb., the eldest son of Lannis D. and Esther M. Davison, and grew up in Laramie, Wyo. Following graduation from Laramie High School, he earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Wyoming and a Ph.D. in plant pathology and entomology from Oregon State University in 1962. He worked at the University of Arizona as an extension plant pathologist for four years prior to a 30-year career at Washington State University. At WSU, he held positions including extension plant pathologist; state leader (assistant director) of cooperative extension for agriculture and natural resource sciences; chairman of the Department of Plant Pathology; assistant dean and superintendent of WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center; WSU Mt. Vernon, Vancouver and Long Beach Research Unit; and interim associate director of the Agricultural Research Center. In 2002, he was named an “Outstanding Alum” by the College of Agriculture and Home Economics at the University of Wyoming in recognition of his part in the creation of the concept and development of the original Master Gardener Program.

His volunteer activities included the Boy Scouts of America, Kiwanis, and Northwest Trek (a wildlife park). During the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, he developed and presented programs at Trek and to service clubs, public schools, libraries and churches. In addition, he was skilled in leather crafts, making Lewis and Clark costumes and period clothing for Cowboy Action Shooting, in which he participated for 10 years. He also enjoyed success in landscape oil painting. A lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church (USA), he served as an ordained Elder in First Presbyterian Church in Puyallup, member of the choir and served on local and Presbytery committees. He co-chaired a pastor nomination committee and a capital stewardship campaign. He served as a reserve infantry officer attaining the rank of captain before being honorably discharged.

While enjoying a successful career in higher education at three universities, his greatest joy and satisfaction was in and with his family. He and Nancy shared a devoted and happy marriage of 63 years. There is no greater reward than having the love and devotion of one’s children and grandchildren. Arlen is survived by his son Timothy and wife Brenda; grandsons Keith (Heather), Sean (Lauri) and Kyle; son Robert and wife Cynthia, granddaughter Emma and grandson Lannis; daughter Sarah Davison Hatley and husband Kevin, granddaughters Lauren and Rebecca and grandson Ryan (Abby); great-granddaughters Kristen, Lily, Cora, and a great-grandson, Jackson, due in mid-September. Arlen was proceeded in death by his loving wife, Nancy, and his brother, James C. Davison. A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 412 W. Pioneer Ave., Puyallup, Wash., at a later date. The burial will be in the Pullman City Cemetery, Pullman.

Memorials may be sent to First Presbyterian Church, Puyallup, or to Washington State University Foundation, Pullman, WA 99164-1042 with designation to the Department of Plant Pathology. Kimball Funeral Home has been entrusted with his care. Online guestbook is at

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