"There are no
ordinary people..."
C. S. Lewis

Melvin Gordon Davidson

Born: 
Thursday, April 7, 1938
Died: 
Sunday, May 12, 2019
Birthplace: 
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Service Information: 
An informal celebration of his life will be on Thursday, June 20th, 5 pm at  the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Avenue, Fairhaven, WA.  A buffet supper will be served. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to a non-profit of your choice. 

Melvin Gordon Davidson sailed away to another shore on May 12, 2019. He was born on April 7, 1938, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. His parents were James Francis Gordon Davidson and Winifred Martha Collins. He is survived by his wife, Barbara (Bolster); his son Iain (Megg Pedlow) and her daughters Jessica (Felipe Trevino), Maddie, and Hannah; Mel’s daughter Diana and her daughter, Celestina Davidson and son Spencer Sumpter (their father Michael Sumpter),  Mel’s brother Larry (Beverly Dekker-Davidson) of Carmel, CA. and many other family members, ‘almost’ family and friends. Mel graduated from Whitman College in 1960 and earned his PhD in Theoretical Nuclear Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York in 1964. He met and married Barbara in 1962. They lived in Canberra, Australia 1964 to1967 where their son Iain was born. They moved from there to Bellingham, WA.

 
Mel enjoyed family and friends, sailing, car enthusiast groups, hiking, camping, soccer, skiing, dancing, playing the banjo, fiddle, and bagpipes, walking and supporting community efforts wherever he lived. Mel was active in the development of soccer in Whatcom County. Mel and Barbara promoted new computing innovations each place they lived; first using plug-boards and punch cards, then vacuum tubes, cathode ray tubes, and the first microprocessors. Mel was a Physics Professor at WWU.  In 1972 , as a heavy user of the campus computer, he was asked to temporarily act as the WWU Computer Center Director, a job he kept for almost 20 years. He later retired from WWU in 2001.


Mel enjoyed people and they enjoyed him and his humor. He never failed to amaze people with his extended knowledge of any topic that was discussed. He was proud of his Scottish heritage, wore a Davidson tartan kilt, played bagpipes and danced Scottish Country Dances. He and Barbara sailed thousands of miles all over the globe. They took their 34’ sailboat on many trips to Alaska then to Panama, the Caribbean and the East Coast. He played, coached and refereed soccer. He owned over 55 vehicles in his life and knew every nut and bolt of most of them.

 
Mel fought Idiopathic Interstitial Lung Disease for over 6 years. Many thanks to all the family, friends and medical assistance, with special thanks to the Palliative and Hospice Care Teams. With all this support Mel was able to enjoy much in his final months and he maintained his playful sense of humor. [1]   It is a good bet that he either took an old Ford truck or a Porsche on his last run away from life, then boarded a sailboat and sailed away. We miss him dearly. You may share memories with the family here or at Mel Davo’s Facebook page.

[1] Many people left with a longer leg or shorter fuse.

Guestbook Entries

Submitted by Evan Wert on

So sorry to learn of his passing. he was a funny guy and I enjoyed him helping me with my cars and enjoying his. I also knew him from sailing as well. He was always willing to lend a hand on anything. 

Evan Wert

Submitted by Trish & Bob Henifin on

So Sorry to hear of Mel's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and family during this hard time.

Submitted by Aaron Booker on

I am so sorry to learn of Mel's passing.  I sure enjoyed every minute I spent with him.  He was always interested in the people he was with and made me feel intelligent and valued in every interaction.  I will be there for for his celebration of life in June.  My love to all of you, Aaron

Submitted by Ted & Femmy Stannard on

We were sorry to read of Mel's passing. Our paths on campus rarely crossed, and even less often in the decades since retirement, but when they did, he was invariably engaging, cheerful, stimulating, informed, and wryly humorous.
His predawn risings for early morning walks were impressive to a slow riser, his interests were myriad, and his leadership of the computer center is remembered as admirably proactive in encouraging faculty use.
Good memories ....

Submitted by Larry and Carol... on

Dear Barbara,

So sorry to hear of Mel's passing.  He was a wonderful friend, always interesting and fun to be with.   We will miss him very much.  Our thoughts are  with you and your family..  Warmly, Larry & Carolyn

Submitted by Bill and Susan on

We sure enjoyed our visit last summer with Mel, His body may have been weak,  but his mind and clever retorts were on spot.  He lived life well and to the very end.  May we all live as he did. 

With love

Billy and Susan

Submitted by Jim Sellers on

I can still remember when my brother and Mel took my Boy Scout patrol on a trip into the Olympics.  I was about 13 years old.  All of us bonded to Mel. I am sorry to see that he is gone and I hope that you are doing well under the circumstances.  He was great guy and my  brother's friend of many decades.

Submitted by Anna Carlson on

What fantastic pictures!! I love the one of him monkeying in the tree and the one of the four of you by the fireplace.  He had such a full and spectacular life!  My love to you all.

Submitted by Rick & Fran Helberg on

Barbara & family,

Although we will miss Mel's Celebration of Life, we will have great memories of Mel's 'Scottish" humor and his "leadership" of driving tours with Chuckanut Sports Car Club and with Car Buddies.  Even though a few missed turns or lost cars would happen, we always finished at the correct destination with a smile on our face. 

Rick & Fran

Submitted by Ron Davidson on

We were so sorry for the loss of my first cousin and good Clan Davidson member. We will miss you.

Ron and Lynne

Submitted by Rebecca Sellers... on

To Barbara and family: Dubs and I are so sorry to miss Mel's celebration of life. I have fond memories of some hikes with Mel and Dad (Walter C Sellers) over the years. Greatest one was when Dad and Mel summitted Mt. Maude (int their 60s) and left Dubs and I (in our early 30s)  in the dust who were uncomfortable with the trail and scree to get to the top!.  Mel was full of factoids and conversations and smarts. Dubs and Mel just gelled on that instantly and you were never bored with Mel on the trail. He had a clear passion and love of adventure, outdoors, science, history, cars! and treasured times with family and life long friends. He spoke with  all the love in the world at my own Dad's celebration of life and his sorrow was deep too for the lose of a dear friend. When I think of Mel --I shall imagine him in the heavens now on a great trail with my Dad!. Love to you Barbara and all Davidsons and we'll try to come visit soon.

-Rebecca Sellers

-Rebecca Sellers

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