James Keith Davidson passed away peacefully on Aug. 13, 2019, at the Robert Packer Hospital, following a brief period of declining health and a broken heart.
Keith was born on Oct. 16, 1934, in Waverly, N.Y., to John Rodney and Sara H. Davidson. He married Betty Anne Hollenbeck of Cape Vincent, N.Y., on July 9, 1960.
Keith was born and raised in the family home on Levis Road that his father built and was proud, lifelong resident of Waverly. He graduated from Waverly High School in 1952 and was a good athlete. Keith excelled at both basketball and track. He was honored to be a member of the relay team that ran at the state championships at West Point. Keith always valued his high school and lifelong friendships, especially friends who dropped in to see him. His door was always open. Keith was drafted and proudly served his country in the U.S. Army from 1958-1960. Upon his return from Wiesbaden, Germany, where he served in a chemical company, he continued his service as a reservist in the National Guard for two additional years.
Keith was employed by Hardinge Brothers from 1953-1966. He was employed by and retired from Penelec, Sayre, Pa., as a meter reader from 1966-1994.
Prior to reporting for active duty, Keith met the love of his life quite by accident. Betty collided into him at Fraley’s Roller Rink in Waverly, N.Y. He told her he wouldn’t let her go until he taught her how to stop on roller skates, and he never let her go! Keith proposed to Betty on her birthday after he returned from overseas.
The couple was married at St. Vincent of Paul Roman Catholic Church in Cape Vincent and recently celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary. Betty and Keith proudly raised four daughters who survive: Lisa (John) Friedlander with children Cherisa, James Alan, Ryan, Scott, and Thomas of S. Attleboro, Mass.; Linda (Joseph) Clemenzi with son Nicholas of Troy, N.Y.; Anne (Kenneth) Curtis with children Katelyn, Kevin, Kamren, and Kerilyn of Waverly, N.Y.; and Ellen Curtis with sons Wynndham and Clayton of Big Flats, N.Y.
He is also survived by his brother, C. Wayne Davidson of Towanda, Pa., and sister, Barbara Deitzer, of Annapolis, Md.; along with many nieces and nephews.
Keith was predeceased by his beloved wife, Betty, on Aug. 10, 2019. He peacefully joined her in Heaven 56 hours later. He is also predeceased by his parents, siblings J. Edward (Frances) Davidson, Rita (Nathan) Cole, sisters-in law Jean Davidson and Marian Davidson, brother-in-law Gerald Deitzer, in-laws Walter (Grace) Hollenbeck, and sisters-in-law Mary H. Ransier, Ivy Sinnott, and brothers-in-law Richard W. Hollenbeck and Anthony Sinnott; and grandson Keith A. Curtis.
Keith was a devoted husband and father who sacrificed and supported his wife and daughters fully. As a father, he was always present on the sidelines at sporting events, band concerts, and parades. You could be sure he’d be wide awake sitting in his armchair at curfew time!
Keith enjoyed motorcycles, traveling, trips to NASCAR races, watching college basketball, NFL, whistling, and smoking his pipe. He told us he was a naughty young boy who once got caught smoking a corncob pipe, but his mother said, “He’s a pretty good lad.” He was a lifelong, faithful member of St. James Church.
Dad’s passing so soon after Mom is an unimaginable hole in the hearts of his four girls that can never be filled. We are filled with peace knowing they are together.
The family will receive friends on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, from 3-5 p.m. at Blauvelt Funeral Home, 625 Broad St., Waverly, N.Y. A Mass will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, at 10 a.m. at St. James Catholic Church, 503 Clark St., Waverly, N.Y. Burial will immediately follow in St. James Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Keith’s name to the Waverly Free Library, 18 Elizabeth St., Waverly, NY 14892.
Those wishing to send a message of sympathy may visit our Facebook page or in “Obituaries” at www.blauveltfuneralhome.com.