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Jud D. Davis, artist, florist, gourmet chef, caterer, singer, dancer and fragrance expert extraordinaire passed peacefully Jan 15, 2013 in Austin at the age of 87. Jud was born in San Antonio to Jud and Ruby Davis, two wonderful people who served as a shining example throughout his life. Jud enjoyed many facets of life and especially his many wonderful and dear friends who will miss his impeccable dress, charm, wit and yes, even his more than occasional sharp tongue. Jud served his country in the final years of WWII in San Diego and then spent many years in New York and Boston as an artist, actor, and producer. During his first stint in New York he worked with HB Studios and Neighborhood Playhouse in the Village both as an actor in and assoc. producer of off-Broadway plays. He was very fortunate to work with such theatre and dance greats as Herbert Berghof, Uta Hagen, Jose Limon, Sandy Meisner and Martha Graham. Jud cherished his days in the theatre both in NY and at the San Antonio Little Theatre. In Boston Jud worked with Harold Cabot Productions developing television variety shows and maintained friendships from NY and Boston for over six decades. Eventually Jud returned to Texas, settling in Houston and began a rewarding 25 year career with his beloved Neiman Marcus at the Galleria where he made many lifelong friends. Jud and Bob and their spoiled dogs Abby, Brandy and Candy retired to San Antonio in 1996 although Jud continued in the fragrance industry at Saks until the age of 80. Again, Jud made many dear friends during his Saks years. Jud returned to his passionate love of painting in his early 80s and was amazingly prolific up until his passing. He even had an art show in Austin in 2009 just before his 84th birthday. Jud spent his last two years in Austin, a city he grew to love and admire immensely for its outdoor spaces, progressive nature and artistic community. Several non-profit art affiliated organizations benefited from his generous bequests. Jud was blessed with a long and interesting life lived on his own terms and with great gusto and panache. Jud was predeceased by his parents, his sisters Dorothy and Rubinelle, numerous beloved pets and his partner of 30 years Robert Neil. He is survived by his loving sister Roselle Calmes and his nephew Todd Chessher who helped care for him in his later years. We will be celebrating Jud's life with a celebration this Sunday June 30, 5-8PM at the SW School of Art @ 300 Augusta.
Published in Express-News on June 29, 2013