In memory of Dean Davis, 1955-2020

Photo of Dean Davis
Dean Davis

JYM is very sad to announce the passing of alum Dean Davis (JYM 1977-78) at the age of 64. Dean's obituary describes him as "a proud gay man, linguist, perfectionist and grammar a 'gentleman and a friend'." View his complete obituary.

Dean was popular among his classmates of a very large group of students, where he developed lifelong friendships. Frau Dr. Riegler's assistant that year Susan Henricksen Thompson (JYM 1975-76) wrote: "There were a record 94 of you in the program that year if I remember correctly. FDR always called you her 'Voegelein'."

Dean's classmates may recall that Frau Dr. Riegler chose him to represent the group in a newspaper article in the Münchener Merkur about the 25th anniversary of the JYM program. Dean remained an active member of his alumni group until the end and posted regularly in the alumni Facebook groups.

After his junior year, he went on to finish college with a B.A. from Middlebury College European History and German and returned to JYM again as FDR's assistant for the class 1980-81. He was well-loved in his position. This is reflected in the comments made by alumni in their Facebook group: Jane Kirby-Zaki wrote: "Remembering Deanchen and Olympiadorf" Sarah Wittig wrote: "I know Dean cherished his years studying and working at JYM." Martin Norman wrote: "He was such a major figure in our JYM experience."

Picture of Dean Davis during his year with JYM
Dean Davis and Sarah Wittig (JYM 1980-81).

His love of travel and languages continued as he lived in many places on the east coast and ended up in Florida. He even picked up Spanish and Italian along the way. Anyone who knew Dean and his witty sense of humor would understand why this is a favorite German quote: "Alles was Spass macht, ist entweder illegal, unmoralisch oder macht dick."

In honor of Dean Davis, classmates of 1977-78 as well as his students from 1980-81 are calling for donations to the JYM program.

To give a gift in his memory, please make a donation to the Junior Year in Munich program.

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