Davidson, Franklin Dillard, Age 79, born October 11th, 1933 to Paul and Ruth Davidson of Armona, California now resides with the Lord after passing gently at his daughter's home in Spring, Texas on Wednesday March 27, 2013 with his loving wife of 56 years, Polly Ann Mann Davidson, by his side. He was a caring husband, an iconic father, a pillar of his church, a respected scientist, and a beacon of compassion to a large extended family. Over the years Frank and Polly opened their home with great hospitality and selflessness to many who were in need. He is preceded in death by his parents and his older brother, Harry Davidson of Los Altos, CA.
Frank led a long and full life. His childhood was full of 4-H activities, farming and serving as the starting left guard for the Hanford High School football team. He dropped out of the last two months of his senior year in high school to serve in the USMC from 1951-1954 where he saw active duty as a radar operator during the Korean War. While in Korea, the young farm boy was overwhelmed by the poverty and dismal living conditions he encountered. As a result of his letters back home, his mother organized the Armona Women's Auxiliary to collect donations of clothing and food for the orphans living near his base of Kunsan, Korea. This continued for the duration of his time in Korea.
Upon returning from Korea, he attended Fresno State University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Physics. He was able to attend FSU thanks to the GI Bill.
Moving to Tucson, AZ for graduate school in 1959, he first studied under and later worked as a Research Associate for the esteemed x-ray spectrologist, Dr. Ralph W.G. Wycoff. This association lasted from 1959 to 1978 during which time he published over 24 articles in such prestigious journals as Nature and the Journal of Applied Physics. Their work centered around the use of x-ray spectroscopy, SEMM and x-ray diffraction with an emphasis in the later years on the study of amino acids in fossil teeth and bone using soft x-rays. During these years he explored the Tucson area first as a spelunker and later as a scuba diver where he served on the Pima County Underwater Search and Rescue.
During those early Tucson years, Frank and Polly became very active in a folk singing group. Many nights were spent out in the Catalina foothills singing around campfires or in other member's homes. These sings were to establish a large extended family of friends which have continued through today. While not as frequent, the folk sings still do happen. Frank's last folk sing was at Christmas a few years back in Sedona, AZ
In 1978 he was hired by Duvall Corporation to run a spectroscopy lab for analysis of their mining samples. This continued until 1985 when Pennzoil purchased Duvall and moved the lab to their Woodlands Research Center where he served out his final work years as a Research Scientist applying x-ray techniques to a wide array of analysis needs.
Starting in the mid 1960's he was called to do the Lord's work. For his last 20 years in Tucson he served as the Treasurer of the Parkview Wesleyan Church. After moving to the Houston area, he served for 18 years as the Treasurer of the Woodlands Community Church of the Nazarene where he and Polly were known as the first family from The Woodlands to attend the church. In his later professional years he served with The Gideons organization, funding and placing bibles across the US.
But by far the most important part of his life was family. His devotion and dedication to family and friends has been a shining beacon to all who came in contact with him. He leaves behind a large extended family for which he has provided a lasting legacy of gentle love and kindness.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Polly of Conroe, TX, his oldest son Paul K. Davidson and wife Dr. Peggy Spencer of Albuquerque, NM and their children, Granddaughter: Serena Davidson of Albuquerque, NM and Grandson: Derek Davidson of Goodyear, AZ,
His son Colonel Pete Davidson (USAF Ret.) and wife Lisa, now of Hanford, CA and their children: Grandson: Major Paul T. Davidson (USAF) and wife Megan of Alabama. Grandson: Pastor Daniel Davidson and wife Samantha of Pasadena, CA. Granddaughter: Tory Bair and husband Captain Daniel Bair (USAF) of Winterville, NC. Grandson: Philip Davidson, Granddaughter: Sherell Davidson and Granddaughter: Moesha Davidson, all of the Hanford, CA area.
His loving and darling daughter, Amy Arel and her three sons: Grandsons: Micah, Aaron and Sidney of Spring, TX.
He is also survived by 7 Great-Grandchildren, all boys and all of whom have spent time resting in their great-grandfather's arms. There is no doubt that Frank was happiest when he had a grandchild or great-grandchild in his arms.
A new journey has begun for Frank and his family. Our father, husband, father-in-law, Grandpa & Great-Grandpa is now resting peacefully in his Father's arms.
A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, April 12, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at the Church of the Nazarene; 726 E. "D" Street, Lemoore, CA 93245 with Burial to follow at Grangeville Cemetery; 10428 14th Avenue, Armona, CA 93202 with U.S. Marine Corps Military Funeral Honors.