Skip to content
For WHOI personnel, vendors, and visitors: COVID-19 Guidelines

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of former employee Lee Calvin Davis, at the age of 94. Lee worked at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) from 1949 to 1960.

He died peacefully on Sunday, October 20, 2019, the Lord’s Day. He was predeceased by his wife Priscilla Knott Davis. Lee was born in Vanceboro Maine, the son of Mary Holbrook and Harry Davis. He is also predeceased by four sisters, Elisabeth, Kathryn, Ruth, and Harriet. He leaves behind children, Elizabeth Davis Grade (Liz), Lee Calvin Davis Jr. (Chip), and his companion, Cindy Brackett. He is predeceased by his son-in-law, Richard Dean Grade (Dickie). He also leaves behind one grandson, Nathan Alexander Grade, and one great-grandson, Richard Dean Grade (Deano), one cousin, Raymond Titcomb, many nieces and nephews, great friends, Don, Jerry, and Kelley, and special advocate and niece Margi.

After graduating from the University of Maine, he came to Cape Cod and started his WHOI career in 1949 and sailed on the Atlantis for many years. He resided in Barnstable Village. After leaving WHOI he was director of the Natural History Museum in Brewster, and Ashumet Holly Reservation. He subsequently continued his lifelong love of science and education by teaching science at Lawrence Junior High School in Falmouth. After retiring from teaching he made many trips to Iceland with his traveling companion, Asdis.

He was active in local government and was a member of the Old Kings Highway Committee, keeping the antiquity of the Cape safe. He was also an active member of the Unitarian Church in Barnstable, working hard on many committees, especially on providing holly and other greens for their Christmas fair.

He was passionate about the environment, and soil and water conservation, serving as Chairman of the Cape Cod Conservation District for many years. One of his proudest moments was meeting Rachel Carson shortly after she wrote the novel, “Silent Spring”, often credited with drawing attention to the environmental movement in America.

He was a lifelong Masonic member in good standing. He joined the craft at Baskahegan Lodge in Danforth Maine at the age of 21, making him a 73 year mason. He was an affiliate member at DeWitt Clinton Lodge in Sandwich where he encouraged his son-in-law and grandson to become Master of the Lodge.

Special thanks to Dr. Timothy Biliouris who kept him running many years after his warranty expired, and Nurse Practitioner Shannon List who made sure his enormous heart kept bringing joy to those he loved. Thanks also to the nurses at Cape Cod Hospital, especially South 2.

Services, including a Masonic service, will be held at the Unitarian Church in Barnstable Village at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 2.

As he would say, “Bye for now.”

This obituary was published in the Cape Cod Times.