Alfred "Alf" Osborne Davies, M.D., 89, of Millville, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, healer and friend, went to be with the Lord and Savior on Saturday, July 20, 2013.
Born in Pine Hill on Sept. 8, 1923, to loving parents John and Jesse Davies, he grew up during the Great Depression and attended Haddon Heights and Gloucester City high schools, where he was a long-distance runner on the track team and editor of his school newspaper. At age 16, with the help his dear friend and "second" father, Pastor William Temple, he worked his way through college at Temple University in Philadelphia. Like so many of his generation ("The Great Generation"), he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1942 and was called to active duty 1943 as an apprentice seaman. While in training, he learned of his acceptance to medical school, which he completed in three years in conjunction with completing his last year of college. He deployed on the USS Poccono, the flagship of the Atlantic fleet, followed by the aircraft carrier USS Kearsarge, where he was a lieutenant and the chief medical officer for 5,000 shipmates serving between 1947 and 1949. He married his high school sweetheart, Virginia Shipman, one of the "Four Gems," who served as a nurse with a rank of lieutenant in the U.S. Army in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. Dad rejoined the U.S. Naval Reserve Unit in Jersey City and was called to active duty 1950-1951, concurrently completing medical internship and surgical residency at Jersey City Medical Center, Jersey City.
He planned to do mission work abroad, but in agreement with his wife, built a life in Millville, where he established a thriving surgical practice and helped build what was originally Millville Hospital, which then helped lay the foundation for what is today South Jersey Regional Health System, serving as chief of surgery for most of his 50-year career. His many patients will remember he prayed for and with many of them before their surgery. He became board certified by the American Board of Surgery in 1961, was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons in 1962, became an elected member of the Society of Surgeons of NJ in 1974, was inducted as a Fellow of the Southeastern Surgical Congress in 1970, served as president of the New Jersey Society of Surgeons 1986-1987, was given the Golden Merit Award by the Medical Society of New Jersey for "50 years of distinguished service as a practicing physician" in 1996, and retired 1996. He was honored for distinguished service 2000-2009 by the South Jersey Healthcare Foundation for "contributing substantially to the advancement of our organization and the health and well-being of our community." If he could, he would send his love and blessings to all of his patients.
He was a devoted husband and loving father, helping to raise three children with the love of his life, Virginia "Ginger." An avid traveler, he saw as much of the world as he could on trips to Wales (home to his forebears), Alaska, Australia, Europe, Israel, Hong Kong and China. The core of his being was based in his strong deep devotion to God. He was an active member of First United Methodist Church in Millville and remained a friend to the faithful at Pine Hill Memorial United Methodist Church to the end. An extremely social animal, he had a wonderful, dry sense of humor and enjoyed nothing more than spending time with his many old and new friends. He was an avid participant and supporter of the arts, painting when he could, and attending theater/opera when time permitted. He loved poetry, singing, socializing, playing bridge and swimming. He had an active and long life with his share of successes and disappointments, but cherished life right up until the last.
Dad was preceded in death by his dear wife and is survived by his three children, Robert C. Davies and wife Mary, Douglas A. Davies and wife Lynette (from Millville), and Mary Ellen Fisher and husband Donald. There are eight grandchildren, Cynthia Davies, Ellen Davies, Jesse Davies Malone, Alisha Johnston, Lindsey Kuschnerait, Corinne Asakevich, and Jessica and Elizabeth Fisher; and three great-grandchildren, Brielle Johnston, Bryce Johnston and Chandler Kuschnerait.
Services will be held on Friday at 11 a.m. in the First United Methodist Church of Millville. Burial will follow in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Relatives and friends will be received at the church on Friday from 9:30 until 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to 1st United Methodist Church, 2nd St., Millville, NJ 08332; or Memorial United Memorial Church, 269 Erial Road, Pine Hill, NJ 08021. Written condolences can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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