1942 ~ 2021
Nick Davatzes, 79, husband of Dorothea "Dorie" Hayes Davatzes of Wilton, passed away peacefully with family by his side on August 21, 2021. Nick was born in New York, New York on March 14, 1942 to the late George and Alexandra (Kordes) Davatzes. After graduating from Bryant High School in Queens, NY in 1958 (at the age of 16), he attended St. John's University where he met his lifelong love, Dorie. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 1962 and a Master of Arts in Sociology in 1964. Upon finishing his collegiate studies, he volunteered for the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served in both an active and reserve capacity until 1970.
He married Dorie in 1968 and landed his first job with Xerox in Lansdale, PA. Within two years, he was transferred to Stamford, CT and purchased his first house in Wilton, CT. That started his 50+ year residence in Wilton. After 15 years at Xerox, he decided to change paths and took a job in the communication industry with Warner Cable, working in New York City. He stayed at Warner Cable until 1983, where he was asked to lead a new cable television network called the Arts & Entertainment channel. As President & CEO of Arts & Entertainment Networks from 1983 to 2005, he presided over the launch of the History Channel, Biography Channel, History International, the Military History Channel, History Channel en español, Crime & Investigation Network, and other domestic and international ventures. He retired in 2005 and was inducted into the Cable Television Hall of Fame.
Over his business career, he received many awards and accolades notably the Heritage Award (1989) from the U.S. Marine Corps Historical Foundation, Chevalier de Arts et Lettres (1989) from the French National Government, Honorary Doctorate of Commercial Sciences Degree (1995) from St. John's University where he served on the Board of Trustees, Hellenic Heritage Achievement Award (2000) from the American Hellenic Institute, Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership (2003) from the National Cable Television Association, Phi Kappa Tau Hall of Fame Inductee (2006), Medal of Honor (2012) from St. John's University, Bresnan Business Ethics in Business Award (2014) from the Cable Center, and the National Humanities Medal (2006) presented by President George W. Bush in an Oval Office ceremony.
In his retirement, Nick founded the Davatzes Family Foundation, aligning with his passion for education and community. He served on many Wilton committees, including the Economic Development Commission, and founded the Wilton Library Association Endowment Fund where he served on their Board of Trustees. He was a devoted supporter of his family, between soccer games, music performances, and pizza dinners in Wilton, CT and Jenkintown, PA. His favorite afternoons were spent taking care of his roses and hydrangeas, cheering on St. John's basketball, and enjoying watching his kids and grandkids play in the backyard.
Nick is survived by his wife Dorie; his sister Carol Ferrandino (Vincent) of Mt. Vernon, NY; son Geody Davatzes (Jennifer) of Wilton, CT, son Dr. Nicholas Davatzes (Dr. Alexandra) of Jenkintown, PA; and grandchildren Julia, Nicholas, Elias, and Lilly. Nick is predeceased by his son Christopher Davatzes.
Calling hours will be held at Raymond Funeral Home, 5 East Wall Street in Historic Norwalk, Connecticut, Friday August 27 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Wilton, CT on Saturday August 28 at 10:00 a.m. The internment will be private. Donations can be made in memory of Nick Davatzes to the Wilton Library Association Endowment Fund, 137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton, CT, 06897 or at https://donate.onecause.com/supportwla2022/donate
. Please visit www.norwalkfh.com
to leave an online condolence for the family.
Published by The Hour on Aug. 22, 2021.