Obituaries 6-8-12

0:00 Howard Van Cortlandt Davis Howard Van Cortlandt Davis died May 13 at his home in Paradise Valley, Ariz., shortly before his 96th birthday.    […]

Published June 20, 2012 8:45 PM
5 min read


Howard Van Cortlandt Davis

obitdavisHoward Van Cortlandt Davis died May 13 at his home in Paradise Valley, Ariz., shortly before his 96th birthday. 


Born Orrie Vaughn on June 9, 1916 in Etowah, Tenn., he was adopted by Nellie and David James Davis. He grew up at Lane’s End, off North Purchase Street, which dated back to the late 1600s and had been a working farm.


After graduating with honors from the Thacher School in Ojai, Calif., he became a First Lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol during World War II. He was awarded an Air Medal for meritorious achievement from President Harry Truman.


An avid pilot, he enjoyed flying small planes most of his life.


After the war he returned to Westchester County, where he worked as a photographer, and was a pioneer in stroboscopic photography (capturing stop action from a cycle of multiple flashes). He created the first stroboscopic photographs of a helicopter in vertical flight for Sikorsky Aircraft Company. His photographs were published in Fortune Magazine in 1945. In addition to editorial photography, he also performed commercial and industrial photography for a variety of companies and photographed several Presidents, including Dwight Eisenhower.


His career in photography came to an end as he expanded his horizons. Mr. Davis was the owner of the historic Charlemont Inn in Massachusetts, overseeing its renovation while the Thunder Mountain Ski area was being developed.


In the mid-1970s he lived in Saratoga, Wyo., where he became the mayor and was responsible for the expansion of the airport and sponsorship of a new airport terminal.


While living in Arizona, he served on the Board of Directors for the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra and Arizona Heart Association.


He was later responsible for fundraising millions of dollars for Fordham University in New York.


While living in Rye, he played polo on the old polo grounds where Pepsico is today. He also spent many summers fishing and boating in the lakeside community of Glenburnie-On-Lake George in the Adirondacks.


He will be remembered as a caring, good-natured, and gracious man, who followed his heart, maintaining his optimistic spirit, sense of humor, and passion for music until the end of his life.


Mr. Davis was pre-deceased by three wives: Dorothea Crigler Davis, Mildred Schofield Davis, and Amazon Kerr Rooks Davis; and a son, Cortland (Corky) Davis. He is survived by three children: Jon H. Davis of Nyack, N.Y., Susan Davis Eley of New York City, and Robert Davis of Eden Prairie, Minn.; and four grandchildren: Amie


Delles, Jonathan Davis, Rachael Davis, and Xian Eley.


A memorial service will be held in Rye at a later date. Contributions to the Alzheimer’s Foundation may be made in his name.

George Doty Sr.

obit-georgedotyGeorge Espy Doty Sr., Wall Street legend and leading Catholic philanthropist, died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, April 24 after a long illness. He was 94. He lived in Rye and Naples, Fla.

Born in Manhattan, he was the fourth of six children of Dr. George E. Doty and Lillian Gertrude (Bergen) Doty. 


He graduated from Collegiate School in 1934, and received a B.S. from Fordham University in 1938 and an M.S. from Columbia University in 1939. 


He began his career in 1936, working nights as a clerk for the City of New York Department of Sanitation. After graduating from Columbia, he joined Price Waterhouse. He continued his career at General Motors before enlisting in the Navy in 1942. 


Upon his return from the war, Mr. Doty went to work for Richards & Ganley, eventually joining Lybrand, Ross Brothers and Montgomery where he became a senior partner. In November 1964 he joined a client firm, Goldman Sachs, as a general partner. Upon his retirement, 20 years later, he became a limited partner.


Mr. Doty had an extraordinary professional career filled with accomplishment, but he was most proud of his philanthropy, largely inspired by the example of his mentor Gustave Levy, whom he often said was the most generous man he knew.


His loyalty and generosity to his family, business partners, and friends was unmatched. He was an inspiration to all who knew him.


He served as a trustee of Fordham University from 1971-1980 and chairman from 1977-1980, and was honored to be considered the university’s most consistent donor. He was president of the Collegiate School Board of Trustees from 1972-1977. 


He was a director of Foundations & Donors Interested in Catholic Activities and a former chairman of the board of St. Vincent’s Hospital. A founding member of the American Federation for Aging Research, Mr. Doty served as chairman from 1987-1993.


He served as Lieutenant of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem Eastern Lieutenancy, and was a Knight of the Order of Malta.


A descendant of Edward Doty, who came to the United States on the Mayflower, he served as governor of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of New York and as president of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York from 1967-69. 


He received an Honorary Doctorate from Fordham University in 1981 and from Adamson University in 1994.


In his eulogy, Bill Doty described his father as a “fascinating and complex man. He was easily the smartest person I have ever met. He was generous and loving in his unique way.”


He will best be remembered for his 63-year marriage to Marie (Ward) Doty, who died in 2008. He was a doting and loving husband, providing exemplary care particularly during the later stages of her life.


Mr. Doty is survived by all of his children: Anne Marie Paine (C. Lawrence) Paine of Fairfield, Conn., Barbara Doty of Sag Harbor, Virginia Doty of New York City, George (Le-ellen Spelman) Doty Jr. of New York City, and William (Jana Hale) Doty of Harrison. He is also survived by a sister, Joan (Peter) O’Rourke of Palm Springs, Calif.; 16 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren, with another due in July; and 17 nieces and nephews.


A Mass of Christian Burial was held April 30 at Church of the Resurrection.


Donations in Mr. Doty’s memory may be made to Asian Relief, Inc., 180 Admiral Cochrane Blvd., Suite 240, Annapolis, MD 21401, or Catholic Near East Welfare Association, 1011 First Ave., New York, NY 10022.


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