In Memoriam: Raymond E. Davis


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of retiree Raymond E. Davis on June 13, in East Falmouth. He was 71.

Ray was born in Milwaukee, WI, on September 11, 1941, but spent most of his formative years growing up in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. He graduated from Hastings High School, The Williston School, The LaGuardia Academy of Aeronautics, and received his degree in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Ray soon became a project engineer at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, CT, a time highlighted by meeting the love of his life, Linda, whom he married in 1968. Ray was transferred to Santa Ana, CA, where he was one of the first to work on terrain-following helicopter radar guidance used during the Vietnam War. He was also deeply involved in the design and testing of helicopter sea rescue technology.

After returning to New England, he and Linda moved to Falmouth where for a few years he worked in the home construction business and built his own home on Green Harbor Road. He began his career at WHOI in 1973 as a Research Assistant under Richard von Herzen.  In 1974, he was promoted to Research Assistant III.  He retired in 1978 as a Research Associate. Ray worked on the French American Mid-Ocean Undersea (FAMOUS) Project.

Ray later moved to the United States Geological Survey where he worked until his retirement in 2010. Among many other accomplishments, Ray designed and built seafloor seismic detection systems, hydrophones, and a specialized undersea rock drill.

From a very early age, Ray was fascinated with aircraft. He was a model builder extraordinaire and became nationally known for his radio-controlled jets in competitions and shows all over New England. His best- known model of a Grumman F6F Hellcat will be on permanent display in the USS Intrepid museum in New York City. Ray was past president of the Otis Model Aero Club where he not only involved himself with all the club's activities but also found a second calling in mentoring young people interested in radio- controlled aircraft.

Ray was unusually skilled and talented with his hands and also had an active and engaging mind. He loved talking politics, sports, especially the Bruins, and everything concerning his wonderful family. He was an Eagle Scout, enjoyed boating, he loved fixing just about anything, and was an accomplished golfer.

 Ray is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Linda; his son, Gregory and wife Zondra; his daughter, Lisa and fiancé Simon; his mother, Arliss; his brothers Franklin, and Brian; nieces, and countless friends.

A memorial service will be held at a later date and will be announced through Chapman, Cole & Gleason.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Falmouth Service Center or the Falmouth Military Support Group would be greatly appreciated.

For online guestbook and directions please visit

Information for this obituary was taken from the Cape Cod Times.


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