Linton Ray Davidson

Linton Ray Davidson of Eaton Rapids, loving husband, father, and grandfather, passed away October 12, 2023, at the age of 88. Linton was born in Eaton Rapids on February 25, 1935, the son of John and Helen (Fernsler) Davidson. Linton was known by everyone he knew for his kindness and sense of humor. To know him was to love him.

Linton graduated from Eaton Rapids High School in 1953 and then went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in business from Hillsdale College in 1957. After college, he served in the U.S. Army as a radio operator stationed in France. He returned to Eaton Rapids in 1960, where he eventually became the third-generation owner of his family’s business, Davidson’s Woolen Mills. The Woolen Mills became Davidson’s Old Mill Yarn after a devastating fire in 1969, and Linton’s wife, kids and grandkids worked alongside him over the following decades. A pillar of the community, Linton served as President of the Eaton Rapids School Board and was involved in many local organizations, such as the Eaton Rapids Downtown Development Authority, the Explorer Scouts, the Eaton Rapids bowling league, and the Eaton Rapids Kiwanis (Special Olympics and 4th of July BBQ), of which he was a member for 53 years. He was also an amateur historian and provided many exhibits with the Eaton Rapids Area Historical Society.

Linton is survived by the love of his life to whom he was married for 62 years, Arlene (Coats) Davidson; children, Eric (Julie) Davidson of Florida, Heather (Marty) Williamson of Eaton Rapids, and Todd (Renae) Davidson of Eaton Rapids; grandchildren, Leanne Slaughter, Jordan (Victor Hill) Sabolish, Nicolas Davidson, Victoria Davidson, Brittany (Zach) DeWindt, and Andrew Davidson; great-grandchildren, Arlo Slaughter, Oliver Hill, and Christian DeWindt; brother, James (Janet) Davidson; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and brother, John F. Davidson.

Linton’s family expresses their gratitude to Island City Assisted Living in Eaton Rapids for their thoughtful and loving care. In honor of Linton, you can start your own Sunday night family popcorn tradition, starting at 6:36 sharp. (Unless you need more time, in which case 6:37 is acceptable).

A private graveside service will be held at a later date. Arrangements were entrusted to the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel in Eaton Rapids. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to the Eaton Rapids Education Foundation or the Alzheimer’s Association in loving memory of Linton Ray Davidson. To leave condolences for the family, visit our website