Rev. Robert N. Davis, 79, Episcopal priest, veteran


The Rev. Robert Nelson Davis, an Episcopal priest and interim rector of a West Baltimore congregation, died Saturday of heart failure at St. Joseph Medical Center. He was 79 and lived in Guilford.

He was interim pastor at St. Katherine of Alexandria Church, Presstman and Division streets, and earlier at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Essex.

He was a member of the Episcopal Diocese's Commission on Ministry and helped run a program called Finding Our Way for persons interested in becoming priests. He was a pastor at parishes in North Carolina and central New York before coming to Baltimore several years ago.

Born and raised in Takoma Park, he was a 1945 graduate of the Naval Academy. He earned a master's degree in divinity from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1964.

During World War II, he was in the Marines and fought on Okinawa, where he was severely wounded. A platoon leader, he was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star. He achieved the rank of captain.

A gardener, Mr. Davis studied wildflowers and ferns. He enjoyed hiking and canoeing in Maryland's state parks.

Services will be held at 3 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation, 4 E. University Parkway.

He is survived by the Rev. Elizabeth R.H. Gillett, his wife of 11 years; two sons, Robert N. Davis Jr. of Bethesda and William B. Davis of Wilmington, N.C.; a daughter, Molly B. Davis of Arlington, Va.; and three grandchildren. His marriage to Audrey Donaldson ended in divorce.

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