Raymond Davis ’60

Ray DavisRaymond E. Davis passed away suddenly at his home in East Falmouth on June 13, 2013.  Ray was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on September 11, 1941, but spent most of his formative years growing up in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.  He graduated from Hastings High School, The Williston School, The LaGuardia Academy of Aeronautics, and received his degree in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Ray soon became a project engineer at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, CT, a time highlighted by meeting the love of his life, Linda, whom he married in 1968.  Ray was transferred to Santa Ana, CA, where he was one of the first to work on terrain-following helicopter radar guidance used during the Vietnam war.  He was also deeply involved in the design and testing of helicopter sea rescue technology.

After returning to New England, he and Linda moved to Falmouth where for a few years he worked in the home construction business and built his own home on Green Harbor Road.  He returned to engineering at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute where he worked on the French American Midocean Undersea (FAMOUS) Project.

Ray later moved to the United States Geological Survey where he worked until his retirement in 2010.  Among many other accomplishments, Ray designed and built seafloor seismic detection systems, hydrophones, and a specialized undersea rock drill.

From very early on Ray was fascinated with aircraft.  He was a model builder extraordinaire and became nationally known for his radio controlled jets in competitions and shows all over New England.  His best known model of a Grumman F6F Hellcat will be on permanent display in the USS Intrepid museum in New York City.  Ray was past president of the Otis Model Aero Club where he not only involved himself with all the club’s activities but also found a second calling in mentoring young people interested in radio controlled aircraft.

Ray was unusually skilled and talented with his hands and also had an active and engaging mind.  He loved talking politics, sports, especially the Bruins, and everything concerning his wonderful family.  He was an Eagle scout, enjoyed boating, he loved fixing just about anything, and was an accomplished golfer.

Ray is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Linda, his son, Gregory and wife Zondra, his daughter Lisa and fiancé Simon, his mother, Arliss, his brothers Franklin and Brian, nieces, and countless friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Falmouth Service Center or the Falmouth Military Support Group would be greatly appreciated.

One thought on “Raymond Davis ’60”

  1. Williston is a much happier and welcoming place to students of varied backgrounds now than it was when Ray and I were buddies. In our senior year, 1959-60, “Raymo” was my best (and really, my only) friend at Williston. It was a time when I was dealing with a good deal of bullying and aggressively overt anti-Semitism from many of my peers. Ray and I saw ourselves as the exception to the rule. We were (as we saw it) the “normal” kids; kids for whom the trappings of WASP wealth, and the arrogance and condescension that accompanied it were alien and repulsive. We had known nothing like it back home in our public high schools in Westchester County. Ray was from Hastings, and I from Rye, and we came from backgrounds where constant put-downs and other forms of peer cruelty were not part of our daily routine. Our friendship helped me counter the really difficult times I was facing. We played hours and hours of ping-pong down in the basement of what we then called Moose Hall, a small dorm I had transferred to, after the (to me) horrors of living in Ford, and those ping-pong games and the friendship Ray and I developed over them, became my salvation at a school that I had come, then, to hate. In fact, I think there’s a photo in our ’60 yearbook of us playing ping-pong down there. The similarity of our backgrounds helped me hold tight to the idea that we were the “normal” ones. That we were both airplane crazed helped too. We were intellectually different–Ray had a far better mind for practical, for mathematical, for engineering than I and, in turn, my own leanings were more theatrical and language oriented. And after graduation, when I think that his own diploma was held up pending some course unfinished, we went off into the rest of our lives in predictably different ways. My wife and I visited briefly with Ray and Linda in Falmouth some years ago, and I was not surprised to learn of his success and happiness. I’m deeply touched and saddened to learn of his death. For me, a real friend has passed; a friend whom I so very much needed at a specific moment of my life and a friend of great humor, dependability, and grace. My deep and real condolences go out to his family.

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