Issue Date: March 12, 2012
James W. (Wendell) Davis
James W. (Wendell) Davis, 84, an emeritus professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and the first director of the Office of Environmental Safety at Saint Louis University (SLU), died on Dec. 15, 2011, in Augusta, Maine.
Born in Tulsa, Okla., Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Tulsa in 1949 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Oregon State University in 1954.
He worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a biochemist for three years before joining the faculty of SLU’s School of Medicine as a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in 1957. His research focused on nutrition.
After teaching biochemistry to medical students for 30 years, Davis led the effort to create the Office of Environmental Safety at SLU and served as its director for nine years until his retirement in 1997.
Davis was a member of the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and an emeritus member of ACS, which he joined in 1950.
Davis and his wife, Dorothy, moved to Augusta in 2007 to be near many of their children and grandchildren. In retirement, he studied German, enjoyed many trips to Europe, and played golf.
He is survived by his wife, whom he married in 1952; sons Timothy and Glen; daughter, Peggy Barnes; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son Gary.
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