Mark Joseph Davis
Mark Joseph Davis, Ph.D., 60, son of Grace E. Davis and Sheldon Davis, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by his family on April 2, 2021. Mark fought a courageous battle with brain cancer for 17 months.
Born in the San Fernando Valley of California on December 19, 1960, Mark fell in love with science from a young age. He started his college career as a wandering and unfocused student at Los Angeles Pierce College in 1980. After realizing his future was in his hands, he began taking academics more seriously and went on to earn his B.S. in Geology from California State University-Northridge in 1986; his M.S. in Geology from the University of Southern California in 1989; and his Ph.D. in Geology at Yale University in 1996. Mark’s love of geology was rooted in his love for the outdoors, sparked by countless backpacking trips through the Sierra Nevadas with his older brother, Paul Davis.
While at Yale, Mark met the love of his life, Joan Albert Davis, through a cycling club. Mark and Joan got married on June 27, 1993. Daughter Emily was born in 1994, and daughter Sarah was born in 1998. After completing a postdoc at Yale, Mark accepted a position at SCHOTT North America Inc. in Duryea, PA and moved his young family to Clarks Summit, PA in 1999, where they have lived ever since. Mark had an illustrious career at SCHOTT, where he forged deep relationships with colleagues all over the world and pioneered new areas of research. Mark loved his work and was valued as an innovative researcher. He was a Fellow with the American Ceramic Society and most recently was proud to serve as chairman of TC7, a technical committee with the International Commission on Glass.
Mark was an incredible dad and often said his daughters were his proudest achievement.Family camping trips at Lake Elmore in Vermont each summer were a particular source of joy for Mark, where he taught his family everything he knew about stargazing, hiking, and the importance of quiet nights with no technology. Mark also kept up close relationships with his college geology buddies, particularly Daniel Farber and George Freitag, and looked forward to annual reunion trips out into the desert. The Grand Tetons and Switzerland were particularly special places to him. He was also a dedicated cyclist for many years, continuing to ride well into his illness. Long bike rides on backroads brought him significant peace and clarity. He was a longtime member of Temple Hesed, where he served as President and a member of the Caring Committee. He was known as a kind-hearted and thoughtful man to all who knew him. He will be loved and missed forever.
He was preceded in death by his beloved mother Grace Davis, dear father Sheldon Davis and stepmother Nona Ferdon, his uncles Donald Davis and Arthur Sussman, and aunts Ada and Faith Sussman. He is survived by his devoted wife of 28 years Joan Davis and adoring daughters Emily and Sarah of Clarks Summit, PA; cherished brother Paul Davis of Venice, CA; dear cousin Sherrill King; loving stepsister Sharon Springel of Gloucester, England; beloved sister-in-law Debbie and husband Rob Cohen of Oceanside, NY; beloved sister-in-law Beth and husband Jon Barnes of Basalt, CO; and nephews Kyle and Jake Cohen and Jason and Daniel Barnes.
A graveside service was held in Temple Hesed Cemetery, Dunmore, by Rabbi Daniel Swartz. All those attending were asked to follow current safety guidelines by wearing a mask and social distancing. Those family and friends unable to attend are invited to the funeral home’s Facebook page where Mark’s funeral service can be viewed via livestream.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to MAZON – A Jewish Response to Hunger (https://mazon.org/) in Mark’s honor.
This obituary is published on the web site: https://www.nepafuneralhome.com/obituary/MarkJoseph-DavisPhD