Kenneth W. Davis
Eagle Scout's career with the Boy Scouts of America spanned more than four decades
Kenneth W. Davis, a retired Boy Scouts of America official who was active in the affairs of Severna Park United Methodist Church, died at St. Agnes Hospital. The longtime Severna Park resident was 84. (Baltimore Sun / January 26, 2012)
The longtime Severna Park resident was 84.
The son of a garage owner and a homemaker, he was born and raised in North Haven, Conn. After graduating from New Haven High School in 1945, he served for two years in the Navy as an electrician.
In 1936, Mr. Davis joined the Cub Scouts and progressed to the Boy Scouts, where he eventually attained the rank of Eagle Scout.
He earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1951 from Purdue University and then began his career with the Boy Scouts of America.
After graduating from the National Training School for Scout Executives in Mendham, N.J., he began his first assignment in Yonkers, N.Y., where he was in charge of reorganizing and expanding Scouting programs of the Cayuga and Mohawk districts.
He eventually rose to field director and moved to Edison, N.J., in 1963, where he was responsible for overseeing the operations of 10 Scouting councils.
"I first met him at camp meetings in 1970, when I was a teenager in the Boy Scouts in Edison, and for most of my life I've called him 'Mr. Davis,'" said Bob Mersereau, who is director of the office of Chief Scout Executives at BSA headquarters in Irving, Texas.
"Ken saw more potential in me than I did. He encouraged me to stay in Scouting, and I ended up becoming an Eagle Scout. Throughout my life, he took me under his wing," said Mr. Mersereau.
"And when I graduated from college, he said that I should be an executive with the Scouts," he said. "His legacy is that he was a mentor. He helped me become who I am in life. He was there when I became an Eagle Scout. He was there when I got married."
Mr. Mersereau said that Mr. Davis moved easily among business, community and youth leaders.
"Ken was truly an executive. He got things done. He was a man who was genuinely interested in others," he said.
In 1982, Mr. Davis moved to Severna Park after being reassigned to Maryland as an area director. He retired from the Scouts in 1993.
Mr. Davis was a longtime active member of Severna Park United Methodist Church.
"He helped our Scout troop relate to the church and how the church and the troop could help each other," said the Rev. Lee Ferrell, who has been at the church for 35 years and oversees its education and youth ministry.
Mr. Davis was involved in a variety of church activities, including missions. He was a spiritual gifts leader, founder of the Extra Years of Zest senior fellowship group, and established the church's memorial garden, where he will be interred.
"He was also trained as a Stephen Minister, which helps people who are going through a rough time," said Ms. Ferrell. "It could be grief counseling or visiting the ill. He was a very caring man and a bundle of energy. It really was boundless."
She said Mr. Davis was "insightful and a visionary who always was looking ahead. He created many programs here and never wanted any credit. For him, it was for the good of the church."
Ms. Ferrell said he was closely involved with the church council and the annual planning and setting of goals.
"He helped the pastor with that. He was a constant," she said.
Mr. Davis, who moved with his wife of 54 years, the former Barbara Lane, to the Charlestown retirement community in 2010, enjoyed board games.
He was also an avid vegetable and flower gardener, and enjoyed spending vacations at Deep Creek Lake.
Services were held Saturday at his church.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Davis is survived by his son, Scott Davis of Manassas, Va.; two daughters, Sandra L. O'Donnell of Catonsville and Jacqueline L. "Jacki" Dickinson of Medford, N.J.; two sisters, Arlene Burr of Hampton, Conn., and Loraine Trudell of Cheshire, Conn.; and six grandchildren.