Thomas A. Davis, 21, chef and outdoors enthusiast


Thomas Atkinson Davis, who had worked at restaurants in Baltimore County, has been presumed drowned at Duncan Lake in British Columbia, Canada. The Cockeysville resident was 21.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police ended a search-and-rescue operation in a rugged wilderness area near Howser Ridge on Saturday. Mr. Davis was last seen July 15 as he took a morning swim.

Glacier-fed Duncan Lake is located outside the city of Kaslo. Mr. Davis had been camping with a group in a remote area.

Officials speculate he succumbed to hypothermia because the water temperature is warm along the shore but drops to dangerous levels at the middle of the lake.

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Davis was raised in Towson. He attended the Waldorf School of Baltimore, Dumbarton Middle School and Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson, where he graduated in 1997. He planned to enter college this fall.

Mr. Davis had worked as a chef at An Poitin Stil, an Irish-theme restaurant in Timonium, for several months last year. He also had cooked at Paulo's in Towson.

"He was not career-oriented yet," said his mother, Joan Davis of Cockeysville. "He worked to spend his summers in the most beautiful places in the world. He did drown, but he had been completely happy to be where he was and doing what he was doing. The out-of-doors was his passion."

As a young man, Mr. Davis pitched a tent in wooded parts of the Loch Raven watershed near his family's home.

He spent his last three summers taking lengthy hiking trips. He traveled through the Blue Ridge Mountains and walked parts of the Appalachian Trail. He walked through large portions of the South. An environmentalist, he protested against logging of redwoods in northern California and Washington state.

He spent the Fourth of July on Mount Rushmore this year, watching a fireworks display. Then, after visiting Yellowstone National Park, he traveled through Montana and Idaho before crossing into Canada.

Described by family members as a spiritual person, Mr. Davis often read philosophy.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Koinonia Foundation, 1400 Greenspring Valley Road, Stevenson.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by his father, Paul Davis; a brother, Ian Davis; and two sisters, Alicia Davis and Hillary Davis, all of Cockeysville; grandparents James and Harriet Tutwiler of Lutherville; and a grandfather, Ernest Davis of Baltimore.

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