Gordon Dale Davis II
COLUMBIA — Gordon Davis II spent countless hours in the laboratory conducting experiments with plants and loved planting rose of Sharon in his mother's backyard garden with his 4-year-old niece, Samantha, who would help him dig holes with her toy shovel.
"She likes plants, too," said Douglas Davis, Gordon's brother and Samantha's father.
Dr. Gordon Davis had a soft spot for Samantha, now 9, because he didn't have any children of his own, Douglas Davis said.
"He would spoil her," he said. "Whatever she said, he would just do it. She had him wrapped around her finger."
Dr. Gordon Davis also loved Penny, Douglas Davis' red heeler, and always had dog treats in his pocket, Douglas Davis said.
"Penny was his favorite pet," he said. "He was a pushover for dogs."
Dr. Gordon Dale Davis II, died Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, at University Hospital. He was 54.
Dr. Gordon Davis was born April 21, 1956, at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu and grew up in Ponca City, Okla.
In 1974, he graduated from Ponca City Senior High School and received a bachelor's degree from Oklahoma Christian College in 1978. In 1995, he earned his doctorate degree in biochemistry at Oklahoma State University. He also conducted research at UCLA.
He never received a grade below an A during his doctorate studies, Douglas Davis said.
Dr. Gordon Davis studied how plants make a natural resistance to bacteria and pests and researched the hormone responsible for plant growth.
"He was a really smart guy," Douglas Davis said. "Wherever he worked, people would go to him for advice."
Growing up, the brothers worked on their uncle Larry Davis' farm and in their free time would ride dirt bikes, jumping over mounds and occasionally wrecking. When Douglas Davis started college at Oklahoma State, he moved in with his brother for three years.
"If I was taking a science class, he would help me out and clue me in on what I needed to know," Douglas Davis said. "When I was young and irresponsible, he really saw me through all of that."
Dr. Gordon Davis is survived by his mother, Marilyn (Mitchell) Davis of Columbia; one brother, Douglas W. Davis and wife, Georgia, of Columbia; one niece, Samantha C. Davis of Columbia; two uncles, Garry and Larry Davis of Tonkawa, Okla.; and one aunt, Maureen Simonson of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
His father, Gordon, died earlier.
Services are still being planned.