Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

Gay Davidson


Gay Vannoy Davidson, 84, passed away on April 3, 2016.

Gay was born to to Cleveland A. and Katherine Grace McAfee Vannoy at the family ranch in Wyoming on April 10, 1931. Growing up in Thermopolis, Wyo., Gay spent winters in town, and every spring and summer, the whole family was at the ranch moving bands of sheep from pasture to pasture.

In the 1940s, the family packed up and moved the whole ranching operation by train to the Haymaker Ranch in Two Dot, Mont. Gay attended Billings Senior High, graduating on June 9, 1948. Then she was off to New York to pursue a modeling career. After a few months, she was drawn back to Montana, attended the University of Montana, joined Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority, and graduated with a BA in anthropology and sociology in 1953. During her time in college, she met a law student, Frank M. Kerr. They were married on Aug. 15, 1953, in Moose, Wyo., near Jackson Hole.

Frank and Gay moved to Butte, where he worked in the U.S. Attorney’s office. Next it was off to Billings, where Frank worked for Mobil Oil and was subsequently transferred to Dallas and then to Houston, Texas. During this time, her four children were born and Gay filled her days with homemaking and The Junior League.

After the unexpected and untimely death of Frank, Gay headed her “little band of sheep” back to the family ranch, which was then in Roberts.

In 1967, Gay married University of Montana Law graduate and fraternity brother of Frank, John “Jack” R. Davidson. Together in Billings, their time was spent devoted to raising their blended families and their busy lifestyle. Gay loved to play tennis and bridge with her girlfriends. She was involved in many organizations, including Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, The Junior League and PEO. Gay was a docent and later board member of the Yellowstone Art Center, now the Yellowstone Art Museum. Gay was a longtime member of the Hilands Club, where she loved to take the grandkids for a meal and a swim.

She loved her Grizzly football and never missed watching the games on TV on Saturdays. One of her favorite pastimes was working crossword puzzles. Gay enjoyed television, especially golf and tennis grand slams, the Oakland Raiders and the CSI shows.

Often compared to Lauren Bacall for her beauty and style, in her heart, she was always the “Wyoming Cowgirl” riding horses, branding cattle, chasing sheep and cruising in a pickup.

Gay is survived by her sisters-in-law, Rusty Vannoy Collie of Cody, Wyo., Virginia Kerr Shields of Long Beach, Calif., and JoAnne Kerr Smith of Modesto, Calif .; children, Shauna Kerr Cumin of Billings, Robert “Rocky” and Mary Kerr of Spokane, Wash., Scott and Kari Kerr of Satellite Beach, Fla., Macaulay Duff and Lidy Kerr of Billings; stepchildren John (Jay) and Christina Davidson of Denver, Scott and Laurie Davidson of Nine Mile Falls, Wash .; grandchildren Chad and Derreck Cumin, Jim, John, Katie and Anna Kerr, Isabella Grace and Cody Enzo Kerr, Tiffany and Zach Davidson, and Joshua and Michelle Davidson; four great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, C.R. “Spike” Vannoy; sister, Patty Walters; husbands Frank M. Kerr and John R. Davidson; and stepchildren Kimberly Ann Davidson and Kingsley Davidson.

In lieu of flowers, please send a memorial to Family Services or the charity of one’s choice.

A viewing was held on April 8 at Michelotti- Sawyers Mortuary. Funeral were held April 9, 2016, at St. Stephens Episcopal Church.

Condolences may be made online at



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