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DAVIS, WILLIAM JOSEPH Colonel, USMC (Ret.) Retired Colonel USMC, author and educator William J. Davis, PhD, died at the age of 86 at Pomerado Hospital on December 21, 2009, following a short illness. Born in Stoneham, MA, to William J. and Louise Antoinette Davis on December 2, 1923. He served as an enlisted man in the Navy during World War II. He eloped with the love of his life, Isabel Anne Gehman, on July 15, 1946, in Brooklyn, NY. After earning a BA from Penn State University, he joined the USMC as a 2nd Lt. He served in the Korean Conflict (Platoon Cmdr in 1st Batallion / 7th Marines) and the Vietnam War (Commanding Officer 1st Batallion / 7th Marines). Among his decorations were two Silver Stars, Legion of Merit with combat V and Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat V. Highlights among his duty stations were student and instructor at all three Marine officer schools (Quantico, VA), student at the Air War College (Montgomery, AL), Asst. Professor of Naval Science at the University of Pennsylvania (where he also earned his MA), multiple tours at HQ USMC, SALT One planner and 11 years overseas in China, Guam, Japan, Okinawa, and Naples, Italy. He served as CO of The Basic School (Quantico, VA) from 1969 to 1971 and retired in San Diego in 1976. In retirement, Col. Davis earned a PhD, taught for Pepperdine University at military installations across the U.S. and became an author and publisher of military books. He was an avid swimmer and golfer. Col. Davis is survived by his wife of 63 years, Isabel; his daughter, Karen; his son-in-law, Clark Madigan; granddaughter, Caithlin Madigan; and stepgranddaughters, Lisa Madigan-Carey and Leslie Keldsen, and their families. Friends and family are invited to a funeral with full Military Honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, at 11:00 a.m. on February 16, 2010. Rancho Bernardo/San Diego friends are invited to an informal celebration of his life at the Westwood Club in Rancho Bernardo on January 26th. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in memory of Col. Davis and in honor of his granddaughter Caithlin Madigan to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Capitol Chapter, 1400 K Street, NW #725, Washington, DC 20005 or http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=100899

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Jan. 17, 2010
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