Errol Davis, 89, of Albuquerque, NM, died of natural causes last Sunday night at Kindred Hospice in Albuquerque. I’d like to thank those kind folks who kept him comfortable and pain free in his last hours.
He was born just outside of Columbus, OH, to Fred Errol and Mildred A. Davis (Scott). His father was a pilot, and when Errol was very young, the family moved to a small house bordering a rural airport and golf course in NJ – across the river from New York City - with a view of the world famous skyline. On May 6, 1937, near the Lakehurst, NJ Naval Station, he and thousands of others witnessed the Hindenburg explode and turn into a raging fireball. The family, including his baby sister, Joyce, thereafter relocated to Coral Gables, FL, where he remained until going off to college in 1949.
Errol graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1952 with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering (big surprise!) and accepted an appointment as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force where he served as a project officer. His first assignment was to Holloman AFB in Alamogordo, NM, where he met, and married (1954), the love of his life, Claradean (Deana) Durbin. He resigned his commission, and four months later was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and honorably discharged.
After the wedding, the newlyweds packed up and moved to the bright lights of Los Angeles, CA – the hub of the aeronautical and the budding aerospace industry in the U.S. After seven years in private industry, the Atomic Energy Commission (now the Department of Energy) came a callin’ (1961) – where he was employed in numerous positions until his retirement in 1993. His first (and last) assignment was to the Albuquerque Operations Office (Sandia Area Office), where, over the years, he worked as a project manager for several different divisions: e.g. Quality Assurance, Space and Special Projects, Solar Energy, Programs and Project Management.
From 1983 – 1991, he accepted a “temporary” assignment to the Pinellas Area Office (Tampa Bay, FL).
It’s hard to imagine what it might have been like working, for example, the Space and Special Projects Division of the Atomic Energy Commission during the height of the cold war – the 60’s and 70’s!!!
Errol was an accomplished pianist – he also enjoyed photography, hunting, fishing, playing cards, bowling, and especially, golf.
He was preceded in death by his parents; Deana, his wife of 49 years; step-son, Michael Hall Davis; sister-in-law, Mary Durbin Coutts; brother-in-law Frank Durbin; and, unfortunately, 99% of his close friends or blood relatives whose whereabouts are known. With the exception of his sister, he was, truly, the last of his generation of the Davis clan.
He is survived by his son, Fred Errol Davis III (Albuquerque); his sister, Joyce (Gerald) Budzilow of Tallahassee, FL; 3 grandchildren – Mike Davis and Debra Lynch (James) of Albuquerque and Morgan of Santa Fe, TX; family friends – Steve Reazin (Albuquerque) and Molly Murphy (Duluth, MN).
Memorial Services will be held Thursday, October 18, 2018, 3:00 p.m., at FRENCH – Wyoming. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the charity of your own choosing.