Linda Tilson Davis

Linda Tilson Davis


A true Oregonian, Linda Tilson Davis was born in Hood River in 1944 and grew up in Forest Grove. She graduated from Portland State University (Portland, Oregon) in 1966 with a BS in geography and urban studies. Armed with that degree, she led a 35-year career in urban and rural land use planning and governmental administration, working in Michigan, Idaho and Oregon. 
In 2000, she retired from that line of work and ‘reinvented’ herself. She and her husband Tom moved from Beaverton, Oregon, to the town of Sisters, to the house that her father and mother had built for their own retirement. 

A life-long passion for the arts and fiber led her to deepen her knowledge of weaving, and many of us knew her as an accomplished artist and teacher with a remarkable eye for beauty. Generous and articulate, she shared her weaving explorations in books and articles. She also shared her expertise and abilities in other ways, actively participating in the Portland Handweavers Guild (where she served as president in 1995-96, the year that Portland hosted Convergence); in the Association of Northwest Weavers Guilds (ANWG), most recently as ANWG’s 2021 Education Chair; in her local guild, Central Oregon Spinners and Weavers (COSW), where she also served a term as president; and, of course, in Complex Weavers. 

In Complex Weavers, she worked as Editor of CW Journal for several years (2007-2010), and provided her successor, Lynn Smetko, with a period of true mentorship that was deeply appreciated. In 2010, along with Wanda Shelp, she founded the Bateman Study Group and served as co-leader of that group for a full rotation through the Bateman monographs and the start of a second round. She taught at CW Seminars, and as a true weaver’s weaver, was unreservedly generous with her knowledge. All this while, she was actively weaving and sharing her explorations with other weavers. In 2011 she received the Complex Weavers Award at ANWG’s biennial conference for one of her creations. 

An avid reader, she was an active volunteer in the Deschutes County Library system. She also deeply enjoyed time spent in outdoor activities in the Pacific Northwest, camping, boating and hiking with her husband and their golden retriever. 

As her health declined this year, she thoughtfully found ways to sell and donate her studio equipment and supplies to guilds and other weavers (mostly in Central Oregon), but also managed to finish a few final pieces, including squares for a friendship coverlet. 

Linda is survived by her husband, Tom, by four siblings, two children, and several grandchildren. 

She leaves us a legacy in the form of her many articles and three books: 

  • Bateman Weaves, The Missing Monograph: The Basics and Beyond
  • Weaving Tartans: A Guide for Contemporary Handweavers
  • Jeannie’s Journey: Great Grandmother’s Pioneering Tale  

She also leaves fond memories in the hearts of weavers who knew her.  

  • “The weaving community has lost a treasured pillar.” 
  • “She was quietly influential, on so many fronts.” 
  • “I’ve spent the afternoon reading her articles in Complex Weavers Journals. It’s been healing.”
  • “She was a wonderful mentor to me. She will be missed on so many levels.” 
  • “Linda was a great weaver and teacher, a generous and kind person, and she will be greatly missed.”“Every time I weave on the Katie loom she formerly used, I think of her. More so now….”
  • “It’s all very sad. She was a great weaver and teacher, a class act of accomplishment and humility. I was in awe of her amazing talent. But I am glad she is at peace.” 

Contributors: Mimi Anderson, Ginger Kaldenbach, Ingrid Knox, Ruth MacGregor, Penny Peters, Lynn Smetko, Sue Walsh, Ladella Williams