Herbert G. Davis


Herbert G. Davis passed away peacefully on April 21, 2019, at Grace Living Center in Norman, Okla. A memorial service will be 2 p.m. Friday, April 26, 2019 at The First Christian Church, 220 S. Webster, Norman.
Herb was a petroleum geologist who devoted his life to his family, education, science and the energy industry. He was born on June 23, 1930, in Buffalo, N.Y., to George and Pearl Davis.
After high school graduation, Herb moved to his mother's hometown in Perry, Okla., in 1948. He enrolled at Oklahoma A&M College, (Oklahoma State University), where he earned his B.S. in Geology in 1953.
During college he was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Men's Honor Society, Sigma Gamma Epsilon, Geology Honor Society, ROTC Honor Society, Society of American Military Engineers and the ROTC Officers' Club.
Herb met Shirley Etheredge at Oklahoma A&M in 1952 and they married in 1953 in Fort Belvoir, Va. They lived in Heidelberg, Germany, while he served his tour of duty as a military geologist and intelligence officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1953-1955. He retired as a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve in 1962.
Upon returning to the U.S. in 1955, he began his career as a petroleum geologist with Stanolind Oil & Gas Co. in Wichita, Kan. He later worked in Liberal, Kan., and Oklahoma City, Okla., with the same company, then Pan American Petroleum Corporation, which became AMOCO.
He resigned in 1967 and became a consulting petroleum geologist. Herb and his long-time friend, Bob Northcutt of Ponca City, formed Davis & Northcutt Consulting Geologists in 1968. They also operated as Westside Service Company, then D-N-C Exploration Company, and Davis, Northcutt & Cochrane Consulting Geologists from 1968-1972.
Herb and Shirley formed Herbert G. Davis Inc., an oil and gas exploration company in 1973, which they operated until 1988 with oil and gas production in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Herb was a people person and enjoyed friends and colleagues throughout his life. He was networking before it was in vogue, truly a man of vision before his time. He believed in and loved participating in his profession and became a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in 1956. He served as Chairman House of Delegates, President of the Division of Professional Affairs, Chairman of the Trustee Associates, and was a Director of the AAPG Corporation and Trustee of the AAPG Foundation for 13 years. He received the Distinguished Service Award in 1982, Honorary Membership in 1986, DPA Life Membership in 1995, was elected a Trustee Emeritus in 1999, and received the Foundation "Chairman's Award" in 2012.
In his dedication to support the needs of students who desire to further their studies in the field of geology, Herb and Shirley established the first Presidents Distinguished Scholarship in 1980 for a geology student at O.S.U.
In 2006, they established the Herbert G. and Shirley A. Davis Named Grant for a geology student at O.S.U. with the AAPG Foundation.
They also established a scholarship for a geology student at O.S.U. with the Oklahoma Geological Foundation in 2007. These noteworthy actions of giving back will be the legacy of Herbert G. Davis.
In 2009 Herb was honored with the Living Legend Award by the Oklahoma Geological Foundation and in 2019 awarded the Oklahoma State University Boone Pickens School of Geology Super Cowboy Legacy Award in recognition and appreciation for consistent dedication, generosity, and significant contributions to the school.
Herb is survived by his wife, and best friend Shirley of almost 66 years (June 2019).
He is also survived by his daughters and their families: Linda Dorfman and husband, Jan of Littleton Colo., and Teresa Pope and husband, Don of Norman; grandchildren, Joe Davis Cobb and wife, Hannah of Edmond, George Cobb and wife, Courtney of Oklahoma City, Karen Dorfman of Littleton, Colo., and Jason Dorfman and wife, Claire; and great-granddaughter, Evelyn of Vancouver, Wash.
He is also survived by many life-long friends in the oil industry, Oklahoma State University, and his many affiliations through his interests.
Herb was a life member of the OSU Alumni Association, and received the Distinguished Alumni Award and Arts & Science Distinguished Alumni Award in 1990. He served the OSU Foundation Board of Governors 12 years and as a trustee for 10 years, serving as chairman in 1985 and 1991. He also served on the OSU Athletic Council and as an Adjunct Professor in the Arts & Science School of Geology.
Herb and Shirley were members of the First Christian Church of Oklahoma City and moved their membership to Edmond First Christian Church in 2008. In 2015 they relocated to be near family and transferred their membership to First Christian Church in Norman.
Herb was a Master Mason, member of Edmond Blue Lodge No. 37, a 32 in the York Rite, and a 32 KCCH in the Scottish Rite, Guthrie, Okla., a Noble in the India Shrine Temple OKC, and a member of the Red Cross of Constantine Saint Omer Conclave. He was a past member of Jester Court No 78.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Oklahoma Geological Foundation or Oklahoma State University Foundation.
Published on April 23, 2019
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