George Robert Davidson

Mechanical engineer who founded his own company

May 26, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

George Robert Davidson, a mechanical engineer and Korean War veteran, died Monday from an aneurysm at his Riderwood home. He was 83.

Mr. Davidson, the son of a Baltimore & Ohio Railroad freight clerk and a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised in Overlea.

After graduating from Polytechnic Institute in 1944, he earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1948 from Duke University, where he had been a member of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps.

He began his engineering career as head of a branch office of James Posey & Associates in Richmond, Va.

He was called to active naval duty in 1951 during the Korean War and was stationed at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in New Hampshire, where he worked on submarines.

Discharged with the rank of lieutenant commander, Mr. Davidson moved to Rider Avenue in Riderwood in 1953. He worked as an air-conditioning engineer for James Posey & Associates in Baltimore from 1953 to 1957.

In 1957, he and co-partner Milford A. Niles established Niles & Davidson. One of the firm's most notable projects was the design and building of the state correctional facility in Hagerstown, where Mr. Davidson was in charge of designing the power plant and all mechanical systems.

In 1971, Mr. Davidson founded G.R. Davidson & Associates and had not retired at his death.

An accomplished woodworker, Mr. Davidson enjoyed building ship models, surf fishing and cooking Chinese food. He also enjoyed playing golf and photography.

He was a former longtime communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Ruxton, where he had been a member of the choir.

Mr. Davidson was a member and choir member of St. James Episcopal Church, 3100 Monkton Road, Monkton, where a memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Surviving are his wife of 61 years, the former Norma Bell Nelson; three sons, Richard R. Davidson of Denver, Christopher G. Davidson of Riderwood and Neal M. Davidson of Rodgers Forge; a sister, Arline Slagle of Minneapolis; four grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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