Gordon F. Davis, Sharon, PA

J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.

October 20, 2021

Gordon F. Davis, Sharon, PA - obit
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SHARON, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – Gordon Fombelle Davis died unexpectedly on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. He had lived for many years with congestive heart failure.

Gordon F. Davis was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania to Stanley Davis (née Davies) and E. Elizabeth “Libby” (Fombelle) Davis on September 29, 1935.

He grew up on the north side of Pittsburgh where his father was employed by Alcoa as Manager of Rates and Routings. His younger brother, Bobby, died at age four when Gordon was nine years old. In 1952 his father died from cancer, leaving behind Gordon and his mother.

At age 16 and a junior at Perry High School, Gordon worked at a local hardware store to supplement their income. His life trajectory was forever changed when Mr. Shepherd, Vice President of Traffic at Alcoa and his father’s former boss, offered Gordon an internship at Alcoa. As Gordon told the story, on hearing that Gordon aspired to go to college, Mr. Shepherd said, “Why don’t you plan on working here; summers, after school, weekends – we will go through school together!” 

Gordon enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh, majored in transportation, minored in economics and graduated in the spring of 1957.

He was hired by Alcoa as a motor carrier cost analyst and was transferred to Alcoa’s second-largest plant in Massena, New York the following Fall. This move complicated his love life, as he had been dating Mary “Babe/Babs” Mountain, a nursing student in Pittsburgh, since the previous autumn. Long-distance dating proved challenging, so they married on February 7, 1959. Shortly after their marriage, the couple moved to the Tidewater area of Virginia, where Gordon completed military training at Fort Eustis. 

In 1961 Gordon and Babs returned to Pittsburgh, where their daughters, Tami and Teri, were born.

In 1966 Gordon accepted a position with Sawhill Tubular Products as Manager of Purchasing and Traffic.

The family relocated to Sharon, where a third daughter, Kristen, was born.

In 1968 Cyclops bought Sawhill. Gordon often referred to that period under Cyclops ownership as the golden years; he found the work enjoyable and challenging and valued the relationships he developed. He pursued graduate work at Duquesne University but ultimately obtained certification to practice law before the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Federal Maritime Commission. In 1970 Gordon joined the part-time faculty at Youngstown State University, while also working at Sawhill, teaching courses in basic Transportation and Interstate Commerce Committee Regulations. He taught evening courses at Youngstown State into the early 1980s and was remembered for the dumb jokes and stories he employed to begin each class.

In 1992 Armco, Incorporated acquired Cyclops Industries and Gordon was given the opportunity to travel overseas to purchase steel for the mill. Gordon made multiple trips to steel mills in Russia, Brazil, Germany, and England. On one such trip to England, over a weekend when there were no meetings, Gordon drove to Wales and met his long-lost cousins. This began a warm correspondence that continues between the families.

In 1998, by then, Vice President of Purchasing, Gordon retired from Armco and started his own consulting firm. He relished identifying ways for his corporate clients to realize savings on their transportation and purchasing costs.

He and Babs traveled extensively with friends, both in the United States and to England, France, Thailand and Spain. They enjoyed meeting people from other cultures and hosted Rotary Exchange Students and international professionals in their home. 

Gordon loved western Pennsylvania and the Shenango Valley and was committed to giving back to the community. Over the years he served as Chairman of the Trucking and Transportation Division of the United Way of Mercer County, President of the Sharon Kiwanis Club, Chairman of the Sharon Redevelopment Project and was head of the Campus Development Committee of the Shenango Valley Campus of Penn State.

He was also an active member, deacon and trustee of the First Presbyterian Church of Sharon. The community at First Presbyterian Church welcomed the family warmly when they came to Sharon and was the heart of their social life.

Gordon enjoyed games and sports and played handball nearly daily at the Buhl Club until he experienced a heart attack on the court in 2006. He claims he would have won had his heart not failed him. He cheated at Dominos but was usually caught. He had the good fortune to hold Steelers season tickets and was a passionate supporter. 

Gordon’s gift was his interest in others and his ability to connect with people through stories and jokes; his tales were much enjoyed if sometimes met with groans. The family will never see a “Falling Rock” road sign without thinking of Chief Guyasuta and his daughter. He was an enthusiastic father and grandfather.  He organized neighborhood games for his children and grandchildren, took them on many adventures, and often traveled to watch his grandchildren’s sporting events and school plays. Family vacations to the Outer Banks were the highlight of every year. He was unfailingly generous.

Gordon was preceded in death by his wife, Babs, by only seven weeks.

He is survived by his daughters, Tami Davis Entabi of Alexandria, Virginia, Teri Davis Boldt (Bryce) of Scottsdale, Arizona and Kristen Davis (David Bivins) of Brooklyn, New York, as well as six grandchildren, Hilmi and Sammy Entabi, Brodie and Bergen Boldt, Vernon Farmer and Arlo Bivins. 

Gordon left a legacy of a life well-lived through hard work, a sense of humor and by serving others. In honor of his life, the family asks friends and family to consider donations to the First Presbyterian Church of Sharon and/or the Buhl Park Corporation.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 13, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Sharon, followed by a luncheon in Fellowship Hall. 

Arrangements are being handled by J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.

A television tribute will air Sunday, October 31, at the following approximate times: 8:58 a.m. on FOX and 9:58 p.m. on MyYTV.

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