Harry Kent Davis was born on February 9th, 1933, in Belleville, ON. He passed away on February 7th, 2023, at his home in Victoria, BC, at the age of 89 years, just two days short of his 90th birthday. Harry was the second of three sons born to his parents Cecil and Lillian (nee Kent) Davis. He often talked about the people (and antics) that he and his brothers got into while growing up. It was obvious he had a happy childhood and therein also learned to work hard.
Harry was predeceased by his parents and his brothers Bill and Jim Davis. Harry is survived by his wife Judith, her son Richard and grandson Nicholas. He is also survived by his former wife Shirley and their three children Kent (Christine ) Carole and Gordon Davis and two grandsons Brier and Braiden.
Harry was an avid sportsman and athlete who enjoyed hunting, fishing and coaching his son’s hockey teams. He attended Queen’s University, ON, obtained a P.Eng. in Electrical Engineering in 1955 and thereafter specialized in the communications industry in Canada. One of Harry’s major accomplishments was as the lead contractor for the design of the entire initial communications system for Vancouver’s Sky Train System in Vancouver, BC.
Harry was an extremely innovative and talented engineer who contributed significantly to the telecommunications industry in Canada. He was a pioneer in the field of telecommunications, from the earliest days of television to the current Internet world. He leaves as his legacy that he was the first President and CEO of the Seabright Corporation at Memorial University contributing to the economic development of Newfoundland in the field of technology transfer. Subsequently, he achieved the same success as President of the University of Victoria’s Innovation and Development Corporation.
Harry also had a high impact on the field of education. He set up Canada’s first educational television system on the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus. He was the recipient of the Engineering “Award of Merit” from the Canadian Consulting Engineers for the Novel Design and Management of the Ontario Educational Television Network in 1976. In 1992, he was awarded the “Certificate of Merit” from the Corporate–Higher Education Forum, for distinguished achievement in furthering university-industry research cooperation.
Harry was a key person in the establishment of the University Canada West, Canada’s first private university. He promoted e-learning through Advanced Interactive Canada Inc., providing educational support to remote communities in Canada and abroad. He was a consummate professional who worked tirelessly to the end. Everyone who knew Harry marveled at his vast knowledge and deep intellect.
Harry loved his family dearly and enjoyed spending time with family and friends, laughing and telling stories over a good meal. He was also a good cook! Over the past 12 years, Harry’s health deteriorated as he developed kidney disease and was eventually required to attend dialysis treatments three times a week at Royal Jubilee Hospital. He never missed a treatment, or a business conference call, during that time. Harry maintained a healthy work ethic and respect for everyone. He will be greatly missed by family, friends, and many others who knew and worked with him. The “Oh, so Gentle Giant”, just quietly got ‘things’ done.
An informal Memorial for Harry will be held at our home on Saturday, July 22nd, 2023, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Anyone wishing to share a “Harry” experience is encouraged to do so below.