After a brief illness, Dr. Harry K. Davis completed a full and energetic life passing away peacefully with his loving family at his side on Wednesday, February 8, 2017.
He was born on March 10, 1926 in eastern Oklahoma and lived there during his childhood and youth. His B.S. degree was from Carson Newman College, Jefferson City, Tn and M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Tx in 1949. He completed an internship at Jefferson Davis Hospital in Houston, Tx. Immediately he was called to active duty as a Flight Surgeon in the USAF where he served with distinction in Korea and Japan during the Korean War. In 1953 he returned to the general practice of medicine in League City, Tx and founded the Davis-Dudney Clinic (now the Clear Creek Clinic). His busy years of practice were complimented by his lifelong companion and wife, Joanne, who worked as a nurse at his side. His presence in League City was met with immediate acceptance while the clinic grew to four doctors in size.
In 1960 Dr. Davis returned to UTMB in Galveston to specialize in Psychiatry and Neurology studying under the late Dr. Titus H. Harris. Following his training program, he established a private sector practice of psychiatry while remaining on the clinical faculties of UTMB and St. Mary’s Hospitals. During Dr. Davis’s graduate education he tried to balance academic excellence with pragmatism. He was a gentle and highly ethical person; respected by both patients and professional colleagues. His students, professional associates, and friends said his personality was such they called him a “normal psychiatrist.” He was known for putting patients first as was reflected in his warmth, empathy, compassion and caring. Patient recovery and reintegrating personalities into society of even the sickest patients was always his goal. Strongly believing in these basic principles, he was eager to share his knowledge with students, residents, and non-psychiatric physicians. He was a pioneer in teaching medical doctors about the interface of Psychiatry and Medicine. Lectures, small group discussions, teleconferencing, and frequent articles in medical journals were his teaching techniques. He also pioneered the concept of “emotional education” in public education.
Dr. Davis received many professional honors during his long professional career. He was recognized by colleagues by certification in the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He was a Distinguished Life Fellow in the American Psychiatric Association, Charter Fellow of the American Board of Family Practice and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UTMB. He also was a member of local, state and national medical societies.
In 1991 he received the Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award for “unselfish service in the practice of medicine, for outstanding leadership in community and professional affairs and for uncompromising ideals with serve as a model for future physicians”.
His years of professional career were also involved in research with the World Health Organization and was recognized on two separate occasions by receiving on two separate occasions the “Excellence in Research Award” by the Straub Clinic and Hospital of Honolulu, HI.
As two-way videoconferencing was developing in medicine, he was among the early physicians to develop Telepsychiatry. While Director of Telepsychiatry at CMC UTMB, he developed “The Virtual Clinic” at TDJC making it a convenient, economical, yet effective method of managing prison inmates with psychiatric problems. Even after retirement, he remained active on the Development Board of UTMB for fund raising and the Sealy Society for donor recognition.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 66 years, Joanne, three children, a son, Stephen Keith Davis of Galveston Tx, two daughters, Kathryn (Kay) Harson of Pearland, Tx. and Dr. Sue Carter and husband Dr. Doug Carter of Greely, CO., and four grandchildren, Jessica Ann Harson, Friendswood, Victoria Carter, Cameron Carter and Spencer Carter all of Greely, CO.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 11:00 A.M. at Moody Memorial United Methodist Church, with Reverend Dr. Randall Robinson officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Shriners Burns Hospital, 815 Market Street, Galveston, Texas 77550-2725.