Dr. J. Kenneth Davidson Sr.

October 25, 1939September 1, 2013
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John Kenneth (Ken) Davidson, Sr., of Round Rock, Texas, passed away in Austin, Texas on Sunday, September 1, 2013. He was born in Augusta, Georgia, to the late Larcie Charles Davidson and the late Betty Corley Davidson. He was raised in Martinez, Georgia.

After receiving a teaching diploma at Augusta State College, Ken graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master of Arts in Sociology. He went on to earn his PhD in Sociology from the University of Florida. At the University of Georgia, he met and married the late Josephine Frazier Davidson. Ken and Jo were married for almost 40 years until her passing in 2003. Ken and Jo had two sons, John and Stephen.

His 40 year teaching career began at Augusta State College. After spending 2 years teaching at Indiana University-South Bend, Ken and his family moved to Eau Claire, WI where he had a 30 year career at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Ken retired as Professor Emeritus of Sociology. During his distinguished career at UWEC, Ken was recognized as a Certified Family Life Educator by the Nation Council on Family Relations.. He also published more than 80 research publications, as well as co-authoring numerous textbooks in the areas of sociology, marriage and family, and human sexuality. Many of these textbooks are used in classrooms across the country to this day.

In 2005, the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University acquired the lifelong collection of research files and scholarly work on human sexuality compiled by Ken and his collaborator, Nelwyn B. Moore, Professor Emerita, Texas State University-San Marcos.

During his retirement years, Ken stayed active in many of his professional and teacher’s organizations, including the Groves Conference on Marriage and the Family, the National Council on Family Relations, the Texas Council on Family Relations, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. Also, the American Sociological Association, the Midwest Sociological Society, the Southern Sociological Society. Ken served as President of the Mid-South Sociological Association and as President of Alpha Kappa Delta, the International Sociology Honor Society that has named its distinguished service award in his honor.

He is survived by his two sons John Kenneth Davidson, Jr. of Houston, Texas and Stephen Wood Davidson of Atlanta, Georgia as well as John’s wife Emmy Davidson, and grandsons John Kenneth (Jake) Davidson III and William Laughlin (Will) Davidson of Houston. He also leaves numerous friends, including: Nelwyn and Jerry Moore of San Marcos, Jean W. Vining of Houston, Texas, and his special friend - Marie Moreland of Austin, Texas.

A memorial service to celebrate Ken’s life will be held at eleven o’clock in the morning of Saturday, the 14th of September 2013 at St. Richard’s Episcopal Church at 1420 East Palm Valley Blvd. in Round Rock, Texas with The Reverend Stuart Shelby officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to: Alpha Kappa Delta, Lemoyne College, 1419 Salt Springs Road, Syracuse, NY 13214.

Arrangements by Cook-Walden Davis Funeral Home, 2900 Williams Drive, Georgetown, Texas 78628 (512)863-2564.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, September 14, 2013

Dr. J. Kenneth Davidson Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Esther Wilder

November 25, 2013

I'm so sorry for this sad loss. I met Ken about 15 years ago when I interviewed for a position at U-Wisconsin Eau Claire and we have stayed in touch ever since. He has been a colleague and friend and I will miss him greatly. I am so sorry that he will not longer be here to share stories. My thoughts go to his sons and grandchildren, who I know he loved beyond words.

Elliott Sons Funeral Home

September 28, 2013

Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.

Terry Sullivan

September 19, 2013

Please accept my condolences for your loss. I just learned of Ken's passing.

Prior to my retirement I worked as the Controller in Business Services and had a good deal of contact with Ken both professionally and personally. I enjoyed the many conversations that followed his darkening of my office doorway. We talked often during the extended process of getting his textbook, Marriage and the Family, published. I prize my autographed copy.

I hope your many memories will help you through this time of sorrow and sustain you in the future.

September 17, 2013

I was Chair of Sociology for three years at UWEC between 2002-2005 and came to know Ken well during this time and also stayed in touch with him regularly after he left for Texas and I left UWEC for another faculty position. Ken was a valued advisor during my Chairship and, perhaps as importantly, a good friend during the subsequent years, retaining a concern not only for our common academic interests, but also for me and my spouse Jane's life more generally. I always enjoyed the chance to see him regional meetings and always profited from my conversations with him. We will both miss him greatly. Please accept this expression of our deepest sorrow and condolences at this unhappy time.
Donald A. Nielsen, PhD
Department of Sociology & Anthropology
College of Charleston
Charleston, SC 29424

David Sprick

September 16, 2013

Please accept our condolences from the UW-Eau Claire Police Department. Ken was a trusted ally and solid advocate for our department over the years as we transitioned to a full-fledged law enforcement agency. Ken was the only faculty member we've ever taken to the pistol range to participate in firearms training. Ken was a gracious and generous man, and a true friend of law enforcement.

Jerry Pankhurst

September 12, 2013

Ken was a genuine friend and supporter over many years, and I am sorry to learn just now of his death. He was a serious scholar and a true gentleman, and I always enjoyed getting together with him, even if just for a cup of coffee at some conference. When we had more time to talk, he demonstrated his deep commitment to the academic life and his compassion for all those in family or other relationships who were in distress, that is, the kind of people who he hoped to touch through his rich teaching, research and writing career. Please accept my sincere condolences.

September 11, 2013

Dr. Davidson was my colleague and friend at UW-Eau Claire. He was a wonderful person. He will be missed. Please accept my condolences.

Michelle Kettler

September 11, 2013

So sorry to hear of Ken's passing. In the late 1970;s when my husband started teaching here, Ken was such a help. My husband taught the Biology part of the Human Sex course and Ken helped with the areas that he specialized in...he was so supportive during that difficult time when young professors are just starting out. I am now the oldest person age-wise in my department and have been in the department longer than anyone...but remember well how helpful Dr. Davidson was when I and my husband were young professors. My condolences. Michelle Kathleen Kettler

Cynthia Hofacker

September 11, 2013

I am so sorry for your loss. Ken was the ultimate gentleman. I work in the College of Business at UWEC, and for many years Ken and I would visit over lunch in the faculty lounge. He was a great listener, a wonderful colleague, and a true supporter of student research long before it became standard at UWEC.

I enjoyed viewing the photo gallery and seeing Ken with his family and enjoying his retirement.

I thought of Ken last week and was surprised to open my UWEC email today and see the notice of his passing.

I am sure you have many memories to share and hope over time the memories turn your sadness into laughs as you share stories with each other.

Cindy Hofacker - Business Communication Department

September 11, 2013

I'm sorry for your loss. May your family be comforted by your memories of him. Dr. Davidson was one of my sociology professors at UW-Eau Claire in the late 1990s, and I enjoyed his class very much. God bless.
Carrie Butler Becker