Dr. Dorothy S. Davidson, executive chair of Davidson Technologies, Inc., passed away peacefully at her home on Tuesday, the Huntsville company announced on Wednesday.
Davidson, 86, had fought a multi-year battle with cancer.
The company wrote the following of Davidson, a trailblazing member of the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame and one of the Tennessee Valley’s most beloved philanthropists:
Davidson was a vanguard, not only for women in her field, but a pioneer within the engineering industry as a whole. She began her professional journey after earning her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics in 1956. Throughout her storied career, she attained many accolades and achievements, but none as rewarding as assuming the role of CEO and Chairman of the Davidson Board of Directors following the death of her husband, Davidson Founder, Dr. Julian Davidson in 2013. She took great pride in both maintaining Davidson’s reputation of performance excellence, and in transforming the company into what it is today. She remained active in the daily business operations of the company until her final days.
Davidson was also a pillar of community philanthropy for more than 25 years, diligently donating her time and resources in support of dozens of organizations including Huntsville Museum of Art, where she funded the construction of the Davidson Center for the Arts; Huntsville Symphony; the Saturn V Restoration Executive Committee; The Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the US Space and Rocket Center; National Children’s Advocacy Center; Kids to Love Foundation; Calhoun Community College; Auburn University School of Engineering; Auburn University Museum of Art; Decatur’s Cook Museum, and Huntsville Botanical Garden, among others. Her servant-leadership, community stewardship, and altruism will be deeply missed.
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center also released a statement on Dr. Davidson’s passing. She was a longtime member and former chair of the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission (ASSEC), which governs the Space & Rocket Center.
Davidson first joined the efforts to restore the National Historic Landmark Saturn V rocket in 2004, and she and her husband made a significant contribution to build the Davidson Center for Space Exploration, which now houses the Huntsville-designed rocket and landmark.
Over her more than two decades of service to the Rocket Center, Davidson also served as chair of the ASSEC Development Committee and on the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation board of directors.
“This is not only a great loss of a friend and mentor to the Rocket Center, but to so many in our community,” stated Brenda Carr, executive director of the Foundation. “She infused her spirit and enthusiasm in so many of us who had the great fortune to know and work with her. She and Julian made a lasting impact on this city and we are forever grateful.”
The Rocket Center will light the vertical Saturn V blue, the color of Davidson Technologies’ logo, to honor Dr. Davidson’s legacy of support for the Rocket Center and her community.
Read more about Davidson here.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn