6 entries | 2 photos
  • "Thank you all for your kind words and support since Bill's..."
    - Frederick J. Fox
  • "Thank-you everyone, for the memories of my dear brother..."
    - Jean Davis
  • "We met Bill during his days at Johns Hopkins. I remember..."
    - Chris Lilly Backus
  • "Bill was known to Cheryl and me through my long friendship..."
    - John Davenport
  • "Bill and I were high school classmates in Williamsburg, VA...."
    - Brigitte Schmidt
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DAVIS--William Dell, born July 17, 1944 in Antioch, CA (the day of the Port Chicago explosion) died at home in San Francisco on February 8th of pancreatic cancer. Bill grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and Williamsburg, VA, and graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a history degree in 1968. An ardent violinist from age 7, he was a devoted chamber musician playing with his string quartet for over 25 years. As an orchestral musician he performed with both the La Jolla (CA) Symphony and the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS) as a founding member. After working on the McGovern presidential campaign, he studied city planning at USC, and went on to become Director of the Local Agency Formation Commissions (LAFCOs) of San Diego, Santa Cruz and San Mateo Counties (CA). He moved to San Francisco in 1986 after assuming the San Mateo County LAFCO directorship and also volunteered as a caregiver for AIDS patients through the SHANTI Project. Bill studied European and American history, collected historical maps, pored over train schedules, enjoyed running, hiking, camping and traveling in addition to playing and listening to music. He always had refined and studied recommendations for sites to visit, hotels to stay at, places to eat, great music to hear, and art to see. Always understated and modest, Bill was an avid reader with a profound depth of knowledge, shared only when asked. Bill is survived by his life partner of 25 years, Dr. Frederick J. Fox; sister Jean Davis (Greg Young) of Forestville, CA; brother Jerry Davis of Cary, NC; niece Jody King (Ben Barros) and great-nephews Griffin and Brayden Barros-King of Mechanicsburg, PA. Bill was predeceased by parents Clyde and Elizabeth Heaton Davis. Bill will be missed by a wide circle of friends and colleagues who admired his strength, courage under adversity, stoicism, honesty, humility, intelligence, natty attire, and above all thoughtfulness. A memorial will be held at noon, Sunday, March 17, 2013 at The Chapel at Park Hill, 351-355 Buena Vista Avenue East in San Francisco where he and his life partner lived. Charitable contributions may be made to BARS (bars-sf.org) in Bill's memory.

Published in The New York Times on Feb. 15, 2013