Marion Clifton "M.C." Davis
1944 - 2015
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Marion Clifton Davis, "M.C." passed away on July 11, 2015, at the age of 70.
M.C. is survived by his wife of 51 years Stella (Riley) Davis; children, Crystal (Timothy) Baumann, Lisa (Patrick) Chisholm, and Wendy (Christopher) Pappas, along with the loves of his life, his five granddaughters, Claire Chisholm, Alex Marcello, Julia Chisholm, Mary-Shelton Pappas and Lizzie Pappas. He is also survived by his two sisters, Frankie Sciolino and Cyndi Harwell and by his nephew Preston Harwell.
M.C. was born on October 18, 1944, in Douglas, Ga. M.C. married Stella, his high school sweetheart, in 1963. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1970 with a degree in Political Science. He received his J. D. from Samford Law School in 1973.
M.C.'s successful career spanned many decades, industries and locations. He often said when meeting someone for the first time, "I've had more careers than most men have had dates!" M.C. Davis was a true visionary in both the business world and the conservation world. He was an inspiration to many people.
M.C. liked to be able to control events to the best of his ability and he was very adept at having a plan and carrying out that plan with great efficiency and success. M.C. was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in November of 2014. Like most people who get that news, M.C. sought the best medical advice available and weighed his options. He went through months of treatments with chemotherapy and radiation. Unfortunately none of the treatments had any positive results in his battle with cancer. Over the months, M.C.'s cancer continued to spread and he was in tremendous pain.
For those of us who knew M.C. well, we were not shocked by the events that happened on Saturday, July 11, 2015. M.C. had a tremendous love of nature and felt a compelling responsibility to insure the long-term preservation and sustainability of biodiversity and natural ecosystems. He cherished every moment he had at Nokuse Plantation and he dedicated his life to its mission and success. M.C. was within a very short time of dying of natural causes. He did not want to die in a hospital bed, with tubes, not being able to move or speak. That wasn't M.C. He didn't want to burden others. He didn't want to die that way. Given M.C.'s personality traits, his propensity to want to be in charge of events, M.C. went to the place he loved most and ended his life. It was on his terms, his way with him in charge. M.C. left this world in true M.C. fashion. He had a plan, he carried it out flawlessly and he died at a place he loved the most. His terms - his way.
The legacy of M. C. Davis is Nokuse Plantation and the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center. He would want nothing more than for both to continue their collective mission of restoring and preserving viable ecosystems that support native plants and animals and of educating the public about the importance of conserving the world's biodiversity.
He will be greatly missed by his family, long-term friends and partners, employees and the natural world of Walton County.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to Nokuse Education, Inc., in care of The E. O. Wilson Biophilia Center, 4956 State Highway 20, Freeport, FL 32439. For online condolences, please visit

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Published in Northwest Florida Daily News on Jul. 15, 2015.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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15 entries
July 9, 2019
Marion, we still miss you and one day hope to see you in Heaven. Ever gathering, and ever reunion I think of all of my classmates who have gone on and we all miss them. May you continue to RIP.
Howard Levins
July 22, 2015
My condolences and prayers go out to the Davis Family. I had the pleasure of working for and getting to know M.C. while I worked for his company in Reno Nevada. He will be missed. God Bless his family.
Sincerely, Sandy Schultz
sandy schultz
July 21, 2015
Stella & Girls, you know my thoughts and prayers have been/will be with you. HE will comfort you through these days. God Bless.
Jim Golden
July 21, 2015
Thank you, Mr. Davis, for your philanthropy and for making the world a better place
Patricia Drew
July 18, 2015
I'm blessed to have known and had the opportunity to have worked with MC. As a Florida Trail volunteer I am especially thankful for his conservation vision and generosity in allowing the Florida Trail access to the Nokuse Plantation. The commitment and restoration of Plantation lands and establishing the Biophilia Center were monumental tasks. Both are a tribute to MC, his family and the staff at both facilities. All are visionaries but MC provided the glue, drive and skills to make it happen. MC valued preserving wild places and educating the next generation of conservationist. I will miss him!
Tom Daniel
July 17, 2015
Stella, I am so sorry for you. You may remember I started in the class of 62, but had to go an additional year due to sickness and graduated with you. May God have his hand on you and family.
Howard Levins
July 16, 2015
His vision and generosity provided the opportunity for many teachers to develop a greater understanding and stewardship of natural Florida. I am thankful to have been a small part of his journey. (former Okaloosa Science Specialist)
Shawnea Tallman
July 16, 2015
It was an honor to help take care of M.C. I am sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family. His Angel Care Nurse
Dewonia Cowan
July 16, 2015
I'm sorry for your loss. You and the girls are in my prayers,
Paula Moreland
July 15, 2015
Stella, Crystal. Lisa and Wendy,
Larry and I are so proud of the work that MC performed so faithfully. We send our love, thoughts and prayers. LOVE!
Adrienne Parker
July 15, 2015
Ms. Stella, we at Barry Veterinary Hospital want to let you know how much our hearts ache for you and your family's loss. Your sweet husband will be remembered as a great man who contributed so much to our county. We are keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.
Christy Kent
July 15, 2015
M.C. is one of Florida's great conservation heroes. His efforts to save the woods and wildlife are legendary.
Eric Draper
July 15, 2015
My love and prayers to Stella Crystal Alex Wendy and Lisa . I will have masses offered for M.C. and will pray for your family to find the strength to go on and continue his legacy. Tara Messenger
July 15, 2015
Walton county is a better place because of you, my friend M.C. Davis. I have learned a lot from you since our 1st meeting back in 2006. From that day I too gained a better perception of conservation & preservation (yes,I drank the cool aide sir & love that I did)!!! I hope to continue your cause in my own little way.
To Ms. Stella & the entire Davis Family & of course all the folks that will mourn your passing, I pray ya'll have strength to carry on his GREAT legacy.
God Speed M.C.
Katherine Schaefer
July 15, 2015
M.C. was a great man who left an even greater legacy. I felt blessed to know him and will always appreciate his lasting contributions to nature which will endure forever.
Fran Tarter
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