Dr. Starkey Davis, former Chair of Pediatrics, dies Dec. 27
Jan. 07, 2013 College News - Starkey D. Davis, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and the former Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), died Dec. 27, at the Lutheran Home in Wauwatosa following a prolonged illness. Dr. Davis was a Professor of Pediatrics and Pediatrician-in-Chief at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
While at the University of Washington, Dr. Davis and his research team were the first to identify what was commonly called “Job Syndrome” (now known as the Hyper IgE Syndrome), a genetic condition which affects the immune system, in 1968. His work in the study of pediatric infectious disease led to new standards. In 1983, He co-authored the textbook Infections in Children.
Dr. Davis was born in Atlanta, Texas, in 1931. He attended Baylor University on a full football scholarship, and played in the 1951 Orange Bowl. He received his BS in 1953, and received his MD from the Baylor University College of Medicine (now Baylor College of Medicine) in 1957. He did an internship at Confederate Memorial Medical Center in Shreveport, La., and did residency training in pediatrics at Baylor University College of Medicine. He also completed two research fellowship programs at the National Institutes of Health in 1965.
Dr. Davis joined the MCW faculty as a professor of pediatrics in 1975, and led the section of pediatric infectious disease until 1983, when he was named chairman of the department of pediatrics. He served in that role until his retirement from the department in 1993. Dr. Davis then served as assistant dean for admissions at MCW until his final retirement in 1996. Since his retirement, he has been a volunteer for the first grade at Ben Franklin Elementary School in Menomonee Falls.
“Dr. Davis’ commitment to children’s health was evident throughout his career and his life,” said John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin. “His legacy is a robust and highly regarded pediatrics program that trained hundreds of the physicians who now care for children in Wisconsin and beyond.”
In addition to his research and administrative leadership, Dr. Davis was a champion for medical education. From 1977-1979, he served as director of the medical students clerkship in pediatrics. As department chair, he oversaw the expansion of the department of pediatrics into a multi-specialty practice. The pediatric residency program also expanded significantly during that time. Dr. Davis was also instrumental in the location and design of the current Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin on the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center campus.
"Dr. Davis and I worked together closely for many years. He was an exceptionally effective leader as Chairman of Pediatrics when we successfully relocated Children's Hospital to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Complex and did an excellent job in building our faculty and our pediatric residency training program," said Jon E. Vice, former president & CEO, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
After his retirement, Dr. Davis and his wife Kathryn Maegli Davis travelled widely, enjoying cruises and trips through Europe. They were also both avid tennis players for many years.
Dr. Davis is survived by his wife Kathryn, son Michael Davis, daughters April (Mark) Roshak and Kim Davis, and two sisters.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, Jan. 13, at 1 p.m. at the Milwaukee Yacht Club, 1700 Lincoln Memorial Drive.