Obituary of Gerald Davey
Gerald (Jerry) Leland Davey, loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, died on September 7 with Sherry, his wife of sixty years,
by his side. He was 84 years old.
Intellectually curious, he was a mathematician, businessman, professor, and life-long reader of literature, philosophy, and science. He loved music, particularly opera, and all of the fine arts. Most of all, however, he loved his family, his friends, and his students.
Jerry was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on April 9, 1930 to Claude Leland (Lee) Davey and Sarah Ardella Anderson Davey. He attended South High
School in Salt Lake City and then left Utah as a seventeen-year-old to study at Stanford University, where he received a master’s degree in 1954 and in 1959 a doctorate in mathematics. From 1949 – 1952 Jerry interrupted his studies to serve a mission for the LDS Church in Germany. When he returned to Stanford he met Shery (Sherry) Stoddard, a fellow student. They fell in love and married on September 7, 1954.
Jerry was in the Air Force ROTC during college, and in 1957 he received his commission as an officer. He was posted to Edwards Air Force Base, a flight test center in the Mojave Desert. He worked on determining the inflight stability of various test aircraft. Later, at Hughes Aircraft Company in Los Angeles, he worked on a project to launch a spacecraft for a soft landing on the moon. Jerry was the scientist who calculated the trajectory for Surveyor 1, which successfully landed on the moon as planned on June 2, 1966.
For more than 30 years he worked in business as a manager, director, or president of various companies including Hughes Dynamics (Los Angeles), Credit Data Corporation (New York City), MedLab (Salt Lake City), Sierra Properties (Nevada City), and Utah Innovation Center (Salt Lake City). In the early 1990’s he joined the faculty of the University of Utah where he taught courses for both the mathematics department and honors program. After retiring in 2004 he and Sherry returned to Nevada City.
He is survived by his wife, Sherry, their four children, Claire Davey Ellis (Walter G. Ellis), Mark Stoddard Davey (Cheryl Davis Davey), Anne Davey Morrell (Kenneth S. Morrell) and Lynne Davey DeMartini (Jon H. DeMartini), fourteen grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren, and by one sister, Joanne Davey Hardy, and two brothers, Russell J. Davey and Keith A. Davey.
There will be a funeral service at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at 615 Hollow Way, Nevada City, CA on Friday, September 12, 2014.
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