David Greer Davies of Bay Village, Ohio died peacefully on March 26, 2020. He was 86. Beloved husband of Adelaide S. (nee Stephenson) for 65 years. Loving dad of Amy Davies (William Lukens), Martha Moses (William), David A. Davies (Deborah) and Ann Davies (Katherine Johnston). Cherished grandpa of Luke, David, Ian and Mariah Lukens, Robert, Stephen (Katherine) and Ellen Moses, Abigail (Thomas Leger) and Wesley Davies and Samuel Davies. Former partner in the Ray, Robinson, Carle and Davies law ﬁrm. U. S. Navy veteran. Memorial services will be held at a future date at the St. Luke Episcopal Church. Contributions to the church would be appreciated.
Dave’s family, and the many others he loved and mentored, miss him deeply. We also celebrate and appreciate the gusto with which he embraced life and how rich he made it for himself and all of us: He was a family man in the best sense of the word. A sailor. A principled man of faith whose beliefs continued to evolve and change. A wordsmith. A reader. A self-taught auto mechanic and overall tinkerer. A cartoon artist who each year designed a Christmas card with his wife. An amateur actor. A man who loved singing and helped host an annual caroling party every year, complete with mulled wine.
Dave was born in Evanston, Illinois on April 25, 1933. His family moved frequently during his childhood until arriving in Kirkwood, Missouri in 1945. That year, two life-changing events occurred. First, he met Adelaide Stephenson at his new junior high school. Second, his parents bought his ﬁrst sailboat, christened Griselda for its goose-shaped hull.
Dave and Addie became high school sweethearts, went their separate ways during college, then ran into one another during the summer before their senior year. By December they were engaged, and they married shortly after graduation, on June 15, 1955. Their love built upon a deep connection of trust, respect, and the comfort they found in one another. Addie has said that one reason she knew she should marry Dave was because she could talk with him about anything. When they came back together, she said, “it felt like coming home.”
Dave shared sailing with his family and patiently taught many others. He discovered sail racing in the early 1970s, competing ﬁrst in the one-design Thistle class, then in the Dragon ﬂeet at Edgewater Yacht Club, where he was a member for 50 years. Summer and fall Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights, and some Saturdays were dedicated to sailing. His family sometimes joked that sailing was Dave’s summer church and that he had four children so he would have ready crew. The kids were too light for heavy air, but that didn’t stop him from heading out anyway, resulting in vigorous droop hiking and some terrifying, electrifying reaches. While racing can be intense, both on and between boats, Dave was among the most polite skippers, rarely if ever yelling at his crew or other sailors. He enjoyed winning but accepted losses with equanimity, just happy to have been out on the water.
Dave was savvy in pursuing a career that complemented his love of the water and all things boat-related. At the University of Michigan, he majored in naval architecture. Shortly after marrying Addie, he entered the U.S. Navy’s Ofﬁcer Training School and served for three years in the Paciﬁc on the USS Onslow, a sea plane tender. After discharge from the Navy, Dave attended law school at the University of Michigan, and in 1961 joined the ﬁrm of Arter & Hadden in Cleveland, where he specialized in admiralty and medical malpractice litigation. Dave was recognized by clients, colleagues, and judges for his intellect and sense of fairness. In 1979, he moved to the ﬁrm of Ray, Robinson, Keenan & Hanninen, where he could focus exclusively on admiralty law. He quickly became a leader there, and in 1991, the ﬁrm was re-named Ray, Robinson, Carle, and Davies. He retired in 2006.
Dave had a powerful, quiet faith. He held a deep commitment to the idea of a loving and just God, and he sought to be loving and just in his own actions. He served on the vestries of St. Barnabas and St. Luke’s Episcopal churches and served as a founding member of the boards of St. John’s West Shore Hospital and of Bay Interfaith Housing, the group that spearheaded the construction of the Knickerbocker Apartments to provide affordable housing to the elderly.
As a parent, Dave was loving, patient, gentle and fun. Together with Addie, he gave his children a great appreciation for art, literature, theater, music, nature, history, and academic pursuits. His example fostered within them respect for all means of expression, a desire to understand more about their world, and recognition of the importance of empathy, kindness, and acceptance. Giving them permission to question and follow their own paths, he challenged his children to be who they would become while offering them the space and support to do so. He was also a playful man who often joined backyard games of badminton, Capture the Flag, Kick the Can, and Wolf, Wolf, Sheep and who met his family on summer evenings at the public swimming pool, changing out of his suit and tie to launch them from his shoulders into the deep end.
Finally, Dave savored words, in all shapes and forms, from crossword puzzles to carefully crafted arguments for a legal brief to outrageous tall tales and puns. Even when illness and accidents had left him almost entirely unable to communicate through speech, Dave would sometimes still chime in with the elusive crossword puzzle answer. When even yes and no became hard to say and a sentence was a vanishingly rare event, he continued to take joy in other people’s words, listening to books and conversations and joining to sing along with familiar songs.
Dave resided in the skilled nursing facility at Brookdale Westlake Village for his last three years, with Addie spending most days with him. To his last breath he remained the gentle, gracious, digniﬁed, and loving man he had been throughout his life. The family is grateful to the staff at Brookdale for their excellent care.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of David G. Davies, please visit our floral store.