Ready Funeral Service, Inc.
261 Shelburne Road
Burlington, VT
JOHN A. DAVISON - SOUTH BURLINGTON - On Thursday April 26, 2012, John Amerpohl Davison passed away peacefully in Birchwood Terrace in Burlington, his daughter, Jenn, by his side, having only recently been diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer on April 1, 2012. His acuity of mind was present to the very end. Born June 25, 1928, in Janesville, Wis., the son of Wilmarth and Grace Amerpohl Davison, John was destined for lifelong scholarship. After graduating from Janesville High School, he attended the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota, where he pursued his love of science to achieve his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees. In 1957, he was awarded a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at the Duke Marine Laboratory and in 1958, performed research as a Pfeiffer Fellow at Princeton University. John taught biology at Washington University, Louisiana State University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, before beginning his 30-year career as an associate professor of zoology at the University of Vermont. He viewed his greatest contribution as the publication of "Semi-meiosis as an Evolutionary Mechanism," in 1984, which professed a rebuttal for Darwinian evolutionary theory. John asked that his website:, be mentioned for anyone who may be interested in his work, which he has also summarized at: In his final weeks, John was very accepting of his illness, and easily let go of the fetters of this world. An ardent scientist, he had always sought the Truth, and it was now coming to him in a way he had not yet experienced: The Sisters of Life, Fr. Maurice Roy, Fr. John Nwagbaraocha, Fr. Timothy Sullivan, Fr. Ray Doherty, Sr. Marie Feely, Sr. Olive Lettre, Fr. Julian Asucan, and Fr. Bill Giroux, in divine concert, provided perfectly orchestrated spiritual care. John was very touched by them all. He also very much appreciated Drs. Foerg, Lesiak, and Menzies for "giving it to him straight," and the staff at Birchwood for never giving up on him. Though he was sometimes loud and direct, each of these people met John on a human level in a way which softened him and prepared him for his next great journey of scientific discovery. John had many interests, including his love for research and teaching, classical music, playing a good waltz on the piano or the accordion, fishing, camping and gardening - most often accompanied by his dogs. He was compelled to speak his mind and would often say, "I did it my way." John leaves his daughter, Jenn Smith of Burlington and her husband, Bill, and their four children; and his daughters, Diana Davison of Madison, Wis., and Debra Levine of Turin, Italy, and Debra's children, Andrea and Laura. John and his family wish to thank everyone who visited and ministered to him during his last three weeks at Fletcher Allen Health Care and Birchwood Terrace. John was very grateful for the peace and love he experienced during his last weeks. In the end, John found peace doing it another way. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, May 3, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mark Catholic Church in Burlington. Interment will follow in New Mount Calvary Cemetery in Burlington. There will be no visiting hours. Arrangements by the Ready Funeral and Cremation Service, 261 Shelburne Road in Burlington. Online condolences may be made to

Published by The Burlington Free Press on May 1, 2012.
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Jenn, Thank you for the lovely conversation today at your "moving sale". It sounds like your Dad had a pretty good life doing what he loved. My husband said he wished he could have met him in person. I hope you will find peace and comfort in the fact that he loved you as much as he possibly could and now you can teach your children all that he taught you.
Dee Osier
May 27, 2012
For years professor Davison has captivated me to his rich writings, and I will forever know him as a steadfast scientist of truth.

May he never be forgotten and may his legend live on.
Dmitriy Y.
May 25, 2012
I only knew Dr. Davison through the internet but I was one of his biggest fans (yes some scientists have fans!)

He will truly be missed. My condolences to his family. I envy you for all the time you had with a man I feel I barely knew.

God bless.
Daniel Smith
May 7, 2012
I never met John in person, but consider him to be one of my very closest friends.
True science has suffered a great loss in his passing -

My condolences to his loved ones -
Terry Trainor
May 5, 2012
The universe is a lesser place for his passing.

JanieBelle McKnight
May 4, 2012
We never met but your Dad always spoke very highly of you. It was obvious that he was very proud of you and loved you very much. He was a cantankerous guy and a great man. We became friends when I lived in Colchester. We talked about his theories about how life ascended (I hesitate to use the word evolved. I can hear him now ranting about how wrong Darwin was:-) ) He even gave me hard copies of his papers to read. When he was still at UVM he used to come up to my place to collect frogs for his experiments and to shoot also. As we go through life, we meet few great men. John was one to me. I will never forget him. My condolences to you and yours. I will miss him also.
David Lampman
May 4, 2012
Jenn, I met your father at Price Chopper, as the floral manager we had an opportunity to share our love of plants and nature on a daily basis. He was a brilliant man, and I loved hearing his thoughts and ideas on many levels. I will miss him terribly and think of him often on brilliant sunny days outside with the plants. Here's to you John. Peace be with you.
Ingrid Rich
Ingrid Rich
May 3, 2012
My heart-felt sympathies to the Davison Family. John was not always easy to get along with, but always a valued friend and colleague. He regularly challenged scientists about what they knew and what they did not know. I'm sorry that I did not know that he was ill. I will miss him.
Bob Ullrich, Emeritus Professor of Botany
Robert Ullrich
May 2, 2012
Jenn, your father was a wonderful personality! I will miss him greatly from our Price Chopper breakfasts's in Shelburne. Will the gang still meet?? Have the other folks e-mail me! Col. Linda Sue Jones, Retired, U.S.M.C., P.O.B. 244, Hyde Park, Vt. 05655, [email protected]
or phone, leave a message...(802) 851-8215. xoxo Linda Sue xoxo
May 1, 2012
Jenn, my thoughts are with you and your family .
Krista Desorcie
May 1, 2012
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