Eric H. Davis, obituary

Posted:  Friday, January 25, 2019 - 4:30pm
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OWLS HEAD — Eric H. Davis of Owls Head, Maine, lost his long and courageous battle with Cancer on January 24, 2019. He passed away at the Sussman Hospice House in Rockport, surrounded by family and his partner, Bonnie. 

During the last days of his life he was fortunate to have a number of visitors, including several who brought their musical instruments and played for him, which was a comfort and joy, as well as a tribute to his many years of involvement in the Midcoast jazz music community.

Eric was born in Gardiner, Maine on September 29, 1961, spent his early years in Randolph, and attended Gardiner Area High School, graduating in 1979. He lived and worked for the majority of his life in Maine, and was a Midcoast resident for the last twenty years.

He spent many years working in the I.T. Departments of several organizations, including the Maine Employee’s Association, Gardiner Savings Institution, and Camden National Bank. 

While at Camden National, Eric recalled that they’d do annual software updates that he helped to coordinate. Despite their detailed advance preparations, inevitably something would go awry during the process. He was greatly appreciated for his calm demeanor in helping to sort out the snafus and reassure his fellow employees.

For most of the last eleven years he worked as an optician for Dr. Robert Dreher at Maine Coast Eyecare in Rockport, and most recently he worked briefly for Peter Nesin Optician in Belfast.

In 2007, Eric became a licensed massage therapist after graduating from the Namaste Institute for Holistic Studies in Rockport. He also became a certified level II Thai yoga bodywork practitioner in 2011 through the Shivashakti School of Yoga in Union. Through his part-time business, Calming Presence Holistic Therapies, his many Midcoast clients enjoyed and benefited from his knowledgeable and extremely caring approach to relaxation and pain management.

During his lifetime, Eric’s interests included playing and watching tennis, downhill skiing, sailing, and spending as much time as possible at his family’s summer cottage (known simply as “Camp”) on Dyer Long Pond in Jefferson. 

He served several terms as a board member of the Acadia Village Resort Homeowners Association in Ellsworth, and was a member and past treasurer of the Maine Massage Guild. 

Eric was an active volunteer and past chapter chair of the Friends of the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, which more recently became known as the Friends of Rockland Harbor Lights, and was a board member as well as a past president of the American Lighthouse Foundation. During his time with the Foundation he became known and respected for listening to all sides of issues with his particular brand of objectivity, and then leading the discussion respectfully towards an effective consensus and resolution.

Eric was a life-long musician and his biggest passion was traditional jazz music. He played trumpet starting in grade school, added flugelhorn and upright bass in high school, and also sang in the school chorus, including in a barbershop quartet.

Eric played upright bass for many years in several Midcoast jazz groups, including the Eric Davis Jazz Trio, Three Button Deluxe, Bel-Isle Trio, and the Wayne Delano Jazz Quartet. He touched many lives through his jazz music performances, and whenever and wherever he played, it was always a toss-up as to who was getting more enjoyment out of the performances – his audiences, or Eric and his fellow musicians!

Shortly before he died, Eric created and endowed the Eric Davis Jazz Fund, as his legacy to promote and support traditional jazz music performance and education in Midcoast Maine. Per his request, a primary beneficiary will be the Midcoast Music Academy in Rockland.

Eric will be long remembered for his kindness to, acceptance of, and non-judgmental approach to others. One of his few regrets at the end of his life was that he would not be around longer to spread the simple message of the importance of loving our fellow human beings, which he lived by example so well.

He is survived by his mother, Beverly Clark Davis of Randolph, Maine; his brother, Craig Davis of Rochester, New Hampshire; his sister Kimberly Davis of Laconia, New Hampshire; his partner, Bonnie Farmer of Rockland; his nephew, Ryan Davis, Ryan’s wife Melissa, and their son, Camden, of Nashua, New Hampshire; and his nephew, Adam Davis of New York City, NY.

A celebration of Eric’s life will be held in the Knox Ballroom at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine, Saturday, Feb. 16, from 1 to 4 p.m. The Celebration will include light refreshments and a cash bar. There will be a few scheduled speakers, plus an opportunity for other attendees to share a memory or two of Eric, and per Eric’s request, we will enjoy some live jazz music performances. Fellow musicians, please bring your instruments, arrive a half-hour early (if you can) to get set up, and be prepared to jam!

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Donor Services, P.O. Box 98018, Washington, DC 20090-8018. To donate to LLS by mail, download and complete their Donation Form at www.lls.org, or you may donate online via their website.

For those wishing to contribute to the Eric Davis Jazz Fund, specific information will be shared at his Celebration of Life.