John R. Davis
1946 - 2020
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Davis, John R.
1946 - 2020
John "Jack" Richard Davis, of Blacklick, died due to complications of multiple sclerosis on March 24, 2020. He was born October 2, 1946, in Columbus to the late Newton and Mary Davis. Jack was a graduate of the Bexley High School class of '65, memorialized in Bob Greene's book Be True to Your School. He graduated from Franklin University with a business degree. He was the scheduler for the 1970 Ohio gubernatorial campaign of Jack Gilligan, where he met Vivian Witkind, his life-long love and companion. Jack joined the John W. Galbreath Company as a commercial real estate developer and participated in the creation of buildings in Columbus, Indianapolis, Houston and Denver; he then headed the Galbreath office in West Palm Beach, FL. Later, Jack and Patti Shorr formed Spectrum Capital, a commercial real estate financing business in Columbus. Jack's youthful passion was sailing. He competed in many races on Lake Erie. He became a superb chef, excelling in complicated recipes, as well as family favorites like matzah brei. He was a member of the International Wine and Food Society's Columbus chapter. He loved travel, journeying to Europe, Southeast Asia, South America, Antarctica and Africa, even when wheelchair-bound. Jack devoured history books. And always he was deeply invested in U.S. politics. Jack had a laugh that made everyone around him happy. His singing voice did not. He teased his family with a loud, off-key version of "Happy Birthday" and a big grin. Jack was generous, kind, and loving. Jack dealt with MS for 24 years. He was a fighter who finally had to accept the knockout blow, though not without, as he might say, taking the SoB all the way to the mat. He passed at peace, in his own home, with family near. Besides Vivian, Jack is survived by their son Joshua Witkind Davis (Lorraine van Dommelen) of Upper Arlington; daughters Babette Witkind Koenig (Gideon) of Phoenix, and Charlotte Mary Witkind Davis of Brooklyn; grandson Vincent George Witkind Davis; sister Donna Paxton; brother Thomas Davis; brothers and sisters-in-law Robert and Linda Gorman, Donald and Lisal Gorman; sister-in-law Babette Gorman (partner Jack Buckingham); four nieces and one nephew; and many great nieces and nephews. The family is grateful to Jack's health aides for their loving assistance, starting with the inimitable Steve Buck. Thanks to Rachael, Ron and Teresa. And much gratitude to Kobacker House. Jack wanted his memory celebrated with a party with fine wine and delicious food. It will be scheduled later. Donations may be made in Jack's memory to the Jack Davis Multiple Sclerosis Research Fund at the Ohio State University, 1480 West Lane Avenue, Columbus, OH 43221, or the YMCA of Central Ohio, 40 W. Long St., Columbus, OH 43215. The family has entrusted Schoedinger Northeast, Gahanna with cremation arrangements. For online memories and condolences, visit

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Published in The Columbus Dispatch from Mar. 28 to Mar. 30, 2020.
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2 entries
April 1, 2020
Vivian: So sorry to learn of Jack's death. Lennie and I send our condolences.

Lennie and Max Brown
Max Brown
March 31, 2020
So sorry to hear about Mr. Davis passing...I have so many great memories of both Jack and Dad holding court at our house. Ribs & Pasta, Ski Trips, New Years. So many fun times with you both. We will keep you all in our prayers.
Mark & Heidi Baltimore
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