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John F. ‘Jack’ Davies, retired career counselor and former college lacrosse player, dies

John "Jack" Davies enjoyed watching and participating in sports throughout his life.
John "Jack" Davies enjoyed watching and participating in sports throughout his life.

John F. “Jack” Davies, a retired career counselor and former college lacrosse player, died of cancer March 3 at his home in Ruxton. He was 78.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Homeland, he was the son of Landon B. Davies, who sold insurance, and his wife, Julia Roome, a homemaker. He was a 1960 graduate of St. Paul’s School for Boys.

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“He was a star athlete during his high school years at St. Paul’s School, where he received the Andrew M. Kirkpatrick Award for excellence in lacrosse and leadership,” said his daughter, Lynn B. Davies.

Mr. Davies was a graduate of the University of Virginia and later earned a degree in business administration from Virginia. He was a member of the Seven Society at the university.

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He played lacrosse at Virginia and was named to the 1964 All-America lacrosse second team.

Mr. Davies joined the Air Force and was known by his buddies as “Horse,” a nickname his father had given him.

“I have never met anyone with a stronger moral compass,” said David Lowell, a friend from the time they served together in the Air Force. “He was a natural leader with such an inner strength of character. He had an easy, even temperament and was a terrific role model. It has been such a privilege to know him.”

Mr. Davies became a marketing executive and initially worked at the old Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Co. in downtown Baltimore.

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He later joined General Foods in White Plains, New York, and went on to hold a marketing post at the McCormick spice firm for nearly six years in the 1980s.

“After many years in the marketing industry, my father found his greatest joy in his work as a career consultant for over 20 years with Right Management Consultants,” his daughter said. “He assisted others in using their skills and strengths to find new possibilities.”

“I recall some of his peers saying he was one of the best counselors in Baltimore. He was excellent at helping people at a crossroads. He shifted to that job halfway through his own career. It turned out to be a great fit for him,” said his son, John F. “Jay” Davies III of Timonium.

Said his daughter: “He guided persons who had been recently laid off with career counseling and advice. He helped them with interviewing and networking skills. He made people see their possibilities.”

She said he took pleasure in the successes of others and preferred to support and encourage his clients.

“I have almost no memories of his ever getting angry. He would grant credit to others. He was humble,” said his daughter. “He was also meticulous and methodical and was a responsible person. He drilled into me to balance my checkbook to the penny and pay off my credit cards.”

Mr. Davies made numerous friends during his 40 years as a member at Grace Fellowship Church. He served on many church committees and ran workshops for engaged couples to deal with financial responsibilities.

His daughter said Mr. Davies’ love of sports continued throughout his life. As a young man, he coached lacrosse and played competitively in paddle tennis tournaments. He later stayed active with biking and golf. He avidly followed football, basketball, and lacrosse.

As a father and grandfather he attended family dance, theater, cello, karate and piano performances.

“We can recall family game nights, bike rides and driveway basketball games,” she said. “He read us stories while snuggling on the couch and built fires on winter nights.”

He spent summers with his extended family at Henlopen Acres outside Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

“Visiting there was a special tradition for my father and his family,” his daughter said. “He was known to dive into the waves alone first, then to come back to shore to carry in his children and grandchildren. He held us safely in his arms above the waves until we could reach calmer waters.”

In addition to his daughter and son, survivors include his wife of more than 52 years, Caroline Bourne, a volunteer church secretary; a brother, Landon Brooke Davies of Charleston, South Carolina; a sister, Prentiss Murphy of Englewood, Florida; and three granddaughters.

A memorial service is being planned.

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