Robert Dodge Davis, retired Foreign Service Officer, died peacefully in Wooster, Ohio surrounded by his family and friends, March 3rd 2012. Robert was born the 2nd of June 1922 in Muskogee, Oklahoma to Robert Lee and Alice Dodge Davis. He graduated from Muskogee High School in 1940 where he participated in the State Debate Championships and was President of the High School.
Robert s studies at the University of Oklahoma were interrupted in 1943 when the US entered World War Two. Robert spent six months at the University of Nebraska studying German prior to being deployed to combat in the European theater as a rifleman and interpreter in the Military Government. Following the war, Robert remained in Military Government within the Criminal Investigation Division as a Special Agent in Munich, Germany.
In 1947, he spent his final semester at the University of Oklahoma where he received his degree. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity and Phi Beta Kappa. He became a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State at age 25. From 1947 to 1957, Robert served in Embassies in Germany, South Africa and Israel.
In March of 1955, while on home leave from his post in Tel Aviv, Robert met his wife Marilyn. On May 18th, 1955, the two were married in Muskogee, and two weeks later, Marilyn accompanied Robert back to Tel Aviv. In June of 1956, their daughter, Ruth, was born, and in October of that year Marilyn and Ruth had to be evacuated from the country when war broke out between Israel and Egypt.
Robert was fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, German, Hebrew and Russian. He studied Soviet Area and Language at the Littauer School of Government at Harvard University, where he received his MPA. He spent several months in Moscow as Chief Administrative Officer for building, maintenance and operations of the American National Exposition, at which the famous Nixon-Krushchev Kitchen Debate took place.
Between 1960 and 1965, Robert was First Secretary and Political Officer for Berlin and communist bloc affairs at the American Embassy in Bonn, Germany. This time was primarily spent working with his French, German and British counterparts developing diplomatic and military contingency plans against Soviet efforts to drive the Allies from Berlin.
From 1965 to 1969, Robert was Deputy Policy Chief at the Voice of America in Washington, D.C. and also attended and graduated from the National War College at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. One of Robert s favorite posts was as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras from 1970 to 1974.
From 1975 to 1979 Robert was the Deputy Chief of Mission and Political Counselor for the US Mission in West Berlin. Together with his French and British colleagues they were responsible for the three occupied sectors of West Berlin at the height of the Cold War.
Robert s last assignment was Diplomat in Residence on behalf of the State Department at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio from 1978 to 1979. Robert and his wife Marilyn retired to Muskogee, Oklahoma in 1979.
His retirement hobbies included astronomy, building telescopes, bird-watching, and as a Biblical scholar, translating the Dead Sea Scrolls. He also indulged his lifelong passion for reading, poetry, and philosophy. He especially enjoyed using reading as an opportunity to practice and maintain his fluency in foreign languages. Throughout his retirement Robert also continued to remain current on international affairs and politics, regularly reading foreign newspapers and news magazines and watching foreign news programs on television. Robert remained passionate about college football and followed his alma mater, The University of Oklahoma Sooners, throughout his life. He was a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Muskogee for 20 years and held the role of head usher. He was a member of St. James Episcopal Church in Wooster.
In 2000, Robert and Marilyn moved back to Wooster, Ohio. Robert was on the Board for The Great Decisions at the College of Wooster.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Marilyn. Those left to cherish his memory are his daughter, Ruth (Dr.Charles) Brown of Wooster; his sons, Jonathan Davis of Wooster and Richardson Davis of Palm Harbor, Florida. Grandchildren: Joshua Wilburn, David Grenert, Taylor Grenert, Kristina (Sean) Tweed, Joshua Davis, Tyler Davis, Michael Davis and Emily Davis and several first cousins.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 31st, 2012 at 1:00 pm at St. James Episcopal Church with Evelyn Manzella officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. James Episcopal Church, 127 W. North St, Wooster, OH 44691 in his memory.
The family has entrusted McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home with the arrangements.
St. James Episcopal Church 127 E. North St., Wooster, OH 44691
Memorial service on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church
No Calling Hours