On a beautiful morning, October 1, 2022, our beloved Eugene “Gene” Russell Davis passed away with his loving family by his side. Gene was born on September 9, 1931, to Howard Russell Davis and Marie Keifer Davis in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania.
He attended Homestead Senior High School. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Gene became a Corpsman and was stationed in Japan during the Korean War, serving from 1949-1951. His naval career was cut short after being medically diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
He returned to Pennsylvania and through the G.I. Bill discovered his passion for drafting. He then moved to South Florida, a warmer climate, and opened a drafting business. Later he moved to Gainesville, to attend and graduate from his beloved University of Florida in 1968, with a B.A. in Architecture and Design. After working with various firms here in Gainesville, he opened his own business, Eugene R. Davis Architect, Inc. Until January, when health issues intervened, Gene, 91 years young, was still practicing the architectural profession he loved so much. He treasured the friendships, both professional and personal that he made over the 50 plus years, especially the ones here in Gainesville.
His work was a testimony to the love of his job and can be seen in the various buildings around Gainesville and local counties, as well as the Southeast United States. Fire Stations, apartment complexes, nursing homes, commercial complexes, as well as beautiful residential homes to name a few. He was most proud of Union Street Station, The Gainesville Health and Fitness Center and the Ronald McDonald House here in Gainesville. Gene was a gregarious man who loved and lived life to the fullest. He was always the first to laugh hard at himself. His love of golf was unprecedented. Even driving from one time zone to another just to get in the extra hour of golf. He loved the Gators and followed ALL the sports programs, even through he was no longer able to attend the events. His “storytelling” was legendary, and everyone knew that once a story started, they would be there for a while.
He was always recognizable by his beautiful headful of hair and his smile. Even though he struggled with the arthritis, he was determined not to let it get the better of him. He was a cheerleader in junior high and played the trombone in the high school band. Being an excellent swimmer, he tried out for underwater demolition in the Navy. Even though he was approved, the Navy decided they needed corpsmen instead. Gene drove semi-trucks in Pennsylvania, was an Arthur Murray dance instructor, an excellent singer in the Methodist choir, and traveled to various venues across the southeast to perform with them. The list of diversities goes on and on.
Gene is survived by his loving wife and best friend, Dana Olsen-Davis, his loving daughters, Debi Davis-Porter (Terry), Lynn Woolheater, son, Jeffrey R. Davis (Mary), sister, Marlene D. Jackson, stepchildren, Kristine Wilson and Forrest Olsen (Carol) as well as twelve grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be celebrated on Saturday, October 8th at 1:00 pm – The family will receive friend beginning at 11:30 am at Forest Meadows Funeral Home, 725 NW 23rd Avenue Gainesville. Interment will follow at Forest Meadows Cemetery-Central.
Today is full of memories
of my Brother laid to rest
And every single one of them
is filled with happiness.
For you were someone special
always such a joy to know
and there was so much pain
when it was time to let you go
That’s why this special message
is sent to heaven above
for the angels to take care of you
and give you all my Love.
Your loving sister, always,,,, Marlene