Richard Hugh Davis, age 80, devoted husband, adored father, grandfather and friend, passed away at his home in Houston on Friday, the 22nd of February 2013. The family takes comfort in knowing that Richard is now with his wife of 49 years, Sally, who predeceased him in 2007, in the presence of God.
Richard was born on the 19th of September 1932, in Waco, Texas to Hugh Augustus Davis and Lucille Lyon Davis. He graduated from Waco High School in 1950. Richard entered Rice University, attending from 1950 to 1952, and then transferring to the University of Texas in Austin where he graduated in 1955, with a BS in Chemical Engineering. He was a member of the Texas Beta chapter of The Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Later in his career, he earned a Master of Engineering Administration from George Washington University in Washington, DC in 1965.
He participated in the U.S Navy ROTC Program as a college student and was commissioned as an officer upon graduating in 1955. He served on active duty as a Lieutenant until 1959, and then entered the Naval Reserves. Upon his honorable discharge he joined Atlantic Research Corporation in Washington D.C. where among his many accomplishments he took particular pride in designing and overseeing construction and testing of the solid propellant rocket number IKS 380 used to power the Apollo spacecraft.
Richard's outstanding career with the Dow Chemical Company spanned over 25 years. He joined Dow in 1964, and held several management positions in the Organic Chemicals and Urethane Chemical departments. As an executive at Dow he served as the President of the International Isocyanate Institute. Richard moved on to co-found Destec Energy as a subsidiary of Dow Chemical in 1989, and was a member of the leadership team which took the company public in 1991.
He was a member of Lakeside Country Club where he had served as President of the Men's Breakfast Club. He also belonged to St. Luke's United Methodist Church, the Kiwanis Club of Houston, Racemics, the Phi Delta Theta Houston Alumni Club, the Founders Club - Founders of Petrochemical Industry, the Houston Club and the University of Texas Exes. He was always up for a game of golf or tennis.
He will be remembered as a consummate gentleman, talented executive and engineer,
trusted mentor, and as a gracious and loyal friend. His humor, intelligence and generosity leave a legacy that will continue to reach forward for many generations to come.
Richard was a devoted and doting grandfather who immensely enjoyed seeing his grandchildren grow up to be talented people in their own right.
Richard is survived by his three children: Richard Hugh Davis, Jr. and his wife, Lucy, of Wellesley, Massachusetts; his son, Marion Clark Davis and his wife, Tina, of Houston; his daughter, Perry Ann Davis Reed and her husband, John, of Houston; his granddaughters, Sara Perry Davis, Elizabeth Marie Davis, Madeline Katie Davis, Abigail Grace Davis, Haley Lyon Cambra and Elisabeth Heyden Reed; and his grandsons, Clark Marshall Davis and Chase Alan Cambra. He will also be dearly missed by his close friend, Marie Sharpe Blaine.
The family would like to express special appreciation to the Houston medical community and in particular to Dr. Jack Alpert and the physicians at the Baylor Clinic of Houston.
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o'clock in the afternoon until eight o'clock in the evening on Wednesday, the 27th of February, in the library and grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
The funeral service is to be conducted at ten o'clock in the morning on Thursday, the 28th of February, at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 3471 Westheimer Road in Houston, where Dr. Tom Pace, Senior Pastor, is to officiate.
The interment service will follow, via an escorted cortege, at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.
In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in memory of Richard may be directed to the Kiwanis Club of Houston, 311 Caplin St., Houston, TX, 77022 (www.kiwanishouston.org); The University of Texas Phi Endowment Fund c/o Thomas Harper, III, 3801 Overbrook, Houston, TX, 77027; or to the
Published in Houston Chronicle from Feb. 24 to Feb. 25, 2013
Arrangements under the direction of:
Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors
1010 Bering Drive | Houston, TX 77057 | (713) 789-3005