In Remembrance of DeWitt Davis, CIH, CSP

​By Joy Erdman, MS, CSP, CIH, and Gavin Burdge, CSP, CIH 

Posted January 6, 2014

DeWitt “Dee” Davis IV, CIH, CSP, passed away Sept. 24, 2013, at the age of 78.

Many of you had the pleasure of knowing Dee, a retired naval officer and giant in the safety and occupational health profession. Dee was a tireless supporter of the Navy Occupational Safety and Health Program; naval shipyards; and all sailors, mariners, and civilians working for the U.S. Navy. He was also dedicated to his profession as an active member of the National Safety Council (NSC), the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). For many years, he was chair of NSC’s Maritime Committee and active in the OSHA Maritime Advisory Committee. NSC awarded him the Green Cross for Safety in 2001 and the Distinguished Service to Safety Award in 2006.

Dee was a tremendous influence on all who had the pleasure of knowing him. He often worked without compensation because he believed in the importance of improving work operations for everyone and expanding his circle of friends. Dee provided coordination for special meetings and receptions with many international military delegates at the World Safety Congress in Orlando, Fla., in 2005, the first time this meeting was held in the United States.

Dee served 28 years in the U.S. Navy in both active duty and reserves, retiring at the rank of commander. Dee was also an Eagle Scout, Scout Master, District Scout Leader, and mentor and advisor to numerous Eagle Scouts.

Dee remained committed to safety and occupational health until the end, attending AIHce in Montreal in May 2013. He was a true leader who had a knack for bringing safety and occupational health professionals together to solve important problems.

“When we lose the truly good and kind spirits, it hurts the most,” said Paul Comolli, CSP, of OSHA. Jim Thornton, PE, CSP, CIH, chair of the OSHA MACOSH committee, marveled at how Dee was able to attend so many health and safety meetings and conferences throughout his “retirement” years. Behind the scenes was his best asset, his wife and partner, Clare Davis.

Online condolences may be expressed on the Cremation Society of Virginia’s website. Memorial donations may be made to the DeWitt Davis Memorial Fund, care of St. Andrew's United Methodist Church, 717 Tucson Rd., Virginia Beach, VA 23462.

This man who worked beyond the “call of duty” will be greatly missed. For more information, view the obituary from The Virginian Pilot.