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Robert O. Davison

Obituary for Robert O. Davison

August 13, 1933 - May 6, 2019
Holland, Michigan | Age 85


Robert O. "Bob" Davison passed away peacefully May 6, 2019 surrounded by his children Tim (Tammy) Davison, Janine (Marty) Boysen and Darlene Belanger. Married to the love of his life, Francess Elizabeth (Liz) (Black) Davison for 50 years, Bob and Liz left Northern Ireland and emigrated with their young family to Canada and then to the United States in the late 60's. After several moves, they raised their family in Muskegon, Michigan, where Bob pursued a career as a Mechanical Engineer with Teledyne Continental and Textron.

Born August 13, 1933 in Ashington, England, Bob led a truly remarkable life having survived many hardships and overcoming many obstacles. Bob nearly lost both feet in a devastating accident at nine years old and spent many months undergoing surgeries and confined in traction to a hospital bed near London. This occurred during the Blitz of World War II and while others were in the safety in air raid shelters, Bob, accompanied only by a nurse, endured the terror of the bombs falling around them. Raised by a poor single mother and wanting to avoid work in the local coal mines, Bob, who was fortunate enough to be blessed with creativity and amazing intelligence, and a mentor who believed in him, had the opportunity at 16 years old to attend night college. He moved to London where he worked while pursuing a professional degree in engineering. Bob's first job was with the de Havilland Aircraft Company in England. He later worked with the Triag Toy Company, which took him to Belfast. There he met Liz and they built a new home where Timothy and Janine were born. In an attempt to escape the 'Troubles' of Belfast at the time, Bob moved with Liz and his young family to Toronto, Canada, where they lived a few years before pursuing a job in the United States, in Virginia, where Darlene was born.

Bob's children describe their Dad as loving, selfless, humble, honorable, dedicated, incredibly intelligent, funny, and kind. He had several patents to his credit for design work that he did. Dad led by example, always treated others with respect, and never had a word of complaint. He had a strong work ethic and instilled this in his children and grandchildren. He was truly an authentic person, dedicated to his family and his work. A "proper" Englishman, Bob had a quiet, gentle demeanor that drew in children and animals, especially dogs. He was always willing to help his kids with school projects, fix a car or provide fatherly counsel. Bob enjoyed travel, Tigers baseball, classical music and could complete a New York Times crossword puzzle in record time! Dad/Papa also cherished his five grandchildren and loved attending their sporting events.

Preceded in death by his wife Elizabeth in 2010, brother-in-law Edward Keers, and nephew Earle Black, Bob is survived by his son Timothy and wife Tammy of Spring Lake; grandsons Connor and Cullen; daughter Janine and husband Martin of Holland; grandsons Nathan and Sean; daughter Darlene of Holland; granddaughter Reid. Also surviving are in-laws Sydney and Ethel Black; their children Joanne, Michael, Karen and Hilary; Helen Keers; her children Linda and Philip; Brian and Sylvia Black; their children Pamela and Gary.

He will be missed dearly by those fortunate to know him.

Bob's wishes were for a private family graveside ceremony and reception. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Alzheimer's Association

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Donate to Alzheimer's Association

Arrangements By

Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home

315 E 16th St
Holland, MI 49423
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