Robert Merle Davis of New Providence, NJ passed away at Morristown Memorial Hospital on April 11, 2019. He was 73 years old.
Rob was born on July 26, 1945 in Monterey, CA to Doris Hassler Davis and Jerome Dean Davis. A “blue baby” Rob was born with tetralogy of Fallot and in his youth underwent two surgeries at Johns Hopkins Hospital under the care of the renowned physician Helen Taussig, surgeon Alfred Blalock, and their assistant Vivien Thomas. At the age of one he moved with his family to Singapore and then eventually to Yokohama, Japan where his father was the general-manager of Standard Vacuum Oil Company. Rob graduated from Yokohama High School – “Yo-Hi” and continued his education at Whittier College and then graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with his MBA from Wharton Business School. In 1969, Rob met Sharon Jackson, a colleague of his in the Special Industries Training Unit at Chemical Bank in New York City. They were married for 48 years.
Rob continued his career with Chemical Bank moving from New York to Tokyo, Japan to Taipei, Taiwan and on to Hong Kong, and finally Jakarta, Indonesia where they raised their two daughters, Helen Davis Gomes da Silva currently of Campina Grande, Brazil and Lisa Davis Tranquillo of Lewisburg, PA. He finished his career with Bank of Hawaii and then back to New York with the Consumer Finance Group of AIG, retiring in 2007.
Rob beat the odds with his heart condition as the medical world always stayed a step or two ahead of his health needs. In 2008 Rob underwent a heart transplant at Newark Beth Israel Hospital which gave him a new lease on life to enjoy his grandchildren Laura and Paul Tranquillo and Alexander Malaquias Gomes Davis. He lived life fully, traveling the globe for work and pleasure. More importantly, he embraced the small every day moments. He was a devoted husband and an extremely proud father and grandfather. Rob’s large heart was his greatest strength and he often blamed his heart for why he broke into tears at the slightest sentiment. He could spin a story like no other and he loved to laugh. His deep, fantastic laugh was legendary. Rob was a voracious reader and especially loved reading presidential biographies and he always cheered for the underdog such as his Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles.
In addition to his wife, daughters, and grandchildren, Rob leaves behind two sons-in-law – Joseph Tranquillo and Otacílio Gomes da Silva Neto, a brother and his wife, Jerome and Lee Davis of Copenhagen, Denmark, a sister and brother-in-law Julie and Hugh Pearce of Los Altos, CA., as well as three nephews and a niece. He will be missed immensely by his family and his friends from the Summit Old Guard, the League of Women Voters, and the Christian Community, as well as his colleagues and friends from his years in Asia.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Whittier College, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, and the Sharing Network. A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, April 24 at 11 am at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Millington, NJ with a reception to follow. Father Peter Krebs and Reverend Victoria Geer McGrath will officiate.