John Davis ’52 died on June 6, 2021, in Yarmouth, Maine
(The following was published by Dignity Memorial)
On Sunday, June 6, 2021, John Dunning Davis, loving husband, father, and grandfather, passed away at the age of 91. John was born on June 13, 1929, in Freeport, Maine, to Elwyn and Betsy (Curtis) Davis. He received his bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College in 1952 and went on to receive two master’s degrees (Boston University and University of New Hampshire), completing his graduate work in biology with a Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire in 1963. John taught biology at Bowdoin College, the University of New Hampshire and finally at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, for nearly a decade, and then spent over thirty years as an environmental consultant, returning permanently to Maine in 1988 and retiring to Yarmouth in 1996. John married Eleanor Trufant Davis on August 20, 1955, in South Portland, Maine, and they raised two children, Peter and Susan. John had a passion for knowledge, and his desire to learn led to travels throughout the United States as well as Europe, Asia, and Canada including a summer spent above the Arctic Circle. John loved to read and write, authoring six books with subjects ranging from the environmental (a study of Cape Cod Bay ecology) to the biographical (A Most Remarkable Mix: Sketches of Notable Freeporters) to the historical (Early Wings Over Maine). He also wrote and directed “Admiral Robert E. Peary: The Man and His Island,” a video program featured on the Maine Public Broadcasting System. John had a gift for storytelling which he shared in his most personal book, What D’You Do When a Train Goes By? And Other Stories of Growing Up in Freeport, Maine. John was known for his quick wit and way with words, and loved a bit of foolishness. He expressed his love of music with his voice and on the piano, and enjoyed creating memories with his paintings and his stories which are treasured and remembered by his family and friends. John was predeceased by his parents and by his sister, Louise Tappan Davis. He is survived by his wife, Eleanor, his two children, Peter and Susan, son-in-law Marty, and his beloved granddaughters, Hannah and Molly, and their respective partners, Toby and Aaron.