James (Jay) Edward Davidson Jr., 71, of Bailey’s Harbor, WI died on Saturday, February 14, 2015.
“Jay” Davidson, son of the late James Edward Sr., and Mary Louise (Williams) Davidson, passed away at Good Samaritan Society Scandia Village nursing home after a long battle with cancer, with his loving wife, Karen, by his side. Jay Davidson was born on August 15, 1943, in Baltimore, Maryland. When Jay was five, the family moved to Markesan, Wisconsin, where Jay’s paternal grandparents, Edward H. and Edna (Richards) Davidson, owned and operated Davidson’s Grocery for 36 years. That move allowed Jay’s dad to work with his parents in the grocery store. Jay attended Markesan grade school, junior high, and high school, where he graduated in 1961. He was active in sports: football, basketball, and baseball. He was on the Prom Court his junior year and was named Homecoming King his senior year. He married his Homecoming Queen, Susan Kirkpatrick, and they had three children. After high school, Jay played semi-pro football for the Racine Raiders, in Racine, Wisconsin, from 1961-1963. Jay and Susan were later divorced. In May of 1972, Jay attended a friend’s wedding dance in Fairwater, Wisconsin. It was there that he met Karen M. Waters of Green Lake. Jay and Karen were married the following year on February 3, 1973. Jay and Karen’s married life started in Peoria, Illinois, where Jay was a supervisor for Peoria Production Shop. From there they changed their address at least 34 times. Jay changed his career several times also. He was a purchasing manager in manufacturing until he became interested in the financial markets, options, and trading. This interest culminated in his election to membership at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). He was a runner and desk clerk on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), a registered representative in general securities, a registered investment advisor, a commodities broker and owner of his own company.
Jay was an avid sportsman. He enjoyed duck hunting, deer hunting, and fishing. His love of fishing began at age five, when he caught his first fish at his grandfather’s cottage on Little Green Lake. Thus began a lifetime of fishing adventures. These adventures eventually led to a huge career change for Jay, a career in which he owned and operated a charter fishing boat in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, a commercial fishing business in Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii, and two fly-in fishing lodges in Canada, which he had dreamed would become a family business for generations to come. Jay loved music. He started playing guitar when he was 21. He had no formal lessons, he simply taught himself to play. Jay wrote his own songs, lyrics and music, and played for family and friends. He played during open mic sessions at local establishments where he met and befriended fellow musicians, as well as performing for assisted living/nursing homes near his home. For four years, Jay took part in the Steel Bridge Music Festivals in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Jay will be remembered for his sense of adventure throughout his life, for his love of hunting and fishing. For the way he touched people’s lives with his music, his song-writing, his guitar playing, and his deep, smooth, resonating voice. For his sparkling blue eyes, his great smile, his sense of humor. For his deep thoughtful conversations, his wanderlust (his word, by the way), his loyalty to friendship. And, most of all, for his profound devotion to the love of his life, Karen. Jay lived a life filled with all of these things.
Jay was preceded in death by his parents, and his older sister, Karen R. Davidson. Jay is survived by his wife of 42 years, Karen M. (Waters) Davidson, and by his three children, Michael D. (Kimberly) Davidson, of Phoenix, Arizona; James E. (Dena) Davidson III, of Waupaca, Wisconsin, and Amy S. (Dr. William) Risley, of Scottsdale, Arizona. He is also survived by five grandchildren: former Marine Brandyn James Davidson, of Chino Valley, Arizona; Taylor Marie and Macie Susan Davidson, Waupaca, Wisconsin, and Hannah Nicole and Emily Susan Risley, of Scottsdale, Arizona. Jay is further survived by family members and the many friends he made and kept throughout his life. He will be deeply missed. J…”see you again”… Online registration and condolences may be offered at www.caspersonfuneralhome.com