Richard Davis

September 11, 1937 - November 6, 2023


Richard “Skip” Albert Davis, Jr. was born on September 11, 1937 in Joliet, Illinois. He died peacefully on November 6, 2023 in Texarkana, Texas. Skip graduated from Plainfield High School. He went to Beloit College, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and graduated with a BS in Geology. He received his Master’s in Geology with a minor in Marine Science from the University of Texas and then on to the University of Illinois to receive his Ph.D. in Geology with a minor in Ecology. He completed his studies with a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin and began his life’s work at Western Michigan University. He then went to the University of South Florida for 33 years. At USF he served as Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus. After his retirement from the university he worked at the Hart Research Institute, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi as a Visiting Professor and Research Associate. Skip has authored 26 books on Coastal Geology and Oceanography.

Skip loved being raised in Plainfield. He enjoyed playing football and participating in track and field in high school and then Beloit College. He met the love of his life, Mary Ann, in Port Aransas, Texas where he was doing research for his master’s degree. They were married and began their adventures. They raised their two children, traveled all over the United States and the world lecturing, teaching and researching beaches. He became a world-renowned scientist in Coastal Research Oceanography and Shore Protection.

Skip is proceeded in death by his parents, Dolly and Dick Davis. He leaves behind his wife of over 61 years, Mary Ann Davis; their 2 children, Laurie Booker of Texarkana, TX and Lee Davis and his wife Patty, of Raleigh, NC. Six grandchildren; Ben Booker of Texarkana, TX, Bailey Booker of Memphis, TN, Dylan Davis of Charlotte, NC, Leanne Booker of Birmingham, AL, Libby Davis of Alexandria, VA, Julia Davis of Raleigh, NC; and his brother Doug Davis of Naperville, IL.
A visitation will be held at Texarkana Funeral Home, 3515 Texas Blvd. on Sunday, November 12, 2023 from 4-6 pm.

A funeral mass will be held at 1:00 PM on Monday, November 13, 2023 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 4505 Elizabeth St., Texarkana, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Richard A. Davis Jr. Endowed Fellowship in Geology (fund #426002) at the University of South Florida. Checks should be made to the USF Foundation and sent to USF Foundation, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CPR 107, Tampa, FL 33620. To make a gift online visit:

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