Passed away on February 25, 2021

Oscar Davis, former chairman and owner of Hayward Industries, recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and legendary vintage car collector, died on Thursday, February 25, 2021, in New York City. He had just celebrated his 95th birthday. Oscar Davidovits was three when he and his family landed on Ellis Island in 1928. They settled in the Bronx, where life during the depression shaped his tenacity and ambition. Just before his 18th birthday, he left school to enlist in the army and, soon after training, was deployed overseas. Following the defeat of Germany, Davis, who was Jewish and fluent in Hungarian and German, remained in Europe, overseeing displaced persons camps where he found family members who had survived the Holocaust. Following his army service, he returned to the United States and earned a GED from Brooklyn Tech. After various apprenticeships as a tool maker, a trade he had learned from his father, he started his own small machine shop that produced specialty plastic fittings for the emerging industrial plastic piping business, an innovation used in the chemical and water treatment industries. In 1961 he sold The Oscar Davis Company, and then in 1964 he approached Irving Hayward to acquire his small metal fabrication business that is known today as Hayward Industries. Taking his expertise and background in the use of industrial plastics, he positioned the business as one of the first to engineer swimming pool products using plastic components. Through organic growth and strategic acquisitions, Hayward expanded into a global enterprise, employing more than 2400 employees worldwide, and today remains a robust leader in the swimming pool industry. He became a car enthusiast during the war, and began collecting and restoring cars in the 1950s. His passion for rare European vintage sports cars has grown over the years into a collection of over 50 cars and is recognized as one of the finest in the world. Until recently, Oscar drove his cars in the Colorado Grand and Mille Miglia, to name two notable rallies he enjoyed. He exhibited prize-winning cars at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance annually for over 30 years. He played the trumpet and was an avid listener of Big Band jazz, and remained an active member of the Friars Club until it closed last year. In 2002, Davis was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, for his distinguished achievements in business and service to the country. In 2011, he received an honorary degree from the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion), for his commitment to engineering and support for technology that advances innovative research. He had four children with his first wife Leonore Peyser. Frances, Robert, Andrew, who died in 2008, and Carol. The marriage ended in divorce in 1968. Mr. Davis is survived by his second wife, Betty, his son Robert Davis and his wife Lenore, his daughters Frances Turner and her husband Paul, and Carol Davis and her husband Joel Marcus, six grandchildren (Andrea, Karla, Jake, Charley, Isaac and Aaron) and four great-grandchildren.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.



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Aaron Jakobovits

March 22, 2021

My deepest condolences to Fran, Robert, Carol and their families. My grandmother, Bettina Davidovits, was Oscar's only sibling. My father, Lazlo (Leslie) Jakobovits, was Oscar's only nephew. I truly appreciate the Davis family allowing me and my family to visit with Oscar a little over a year ago when I was in Manhattan for business. Pictured is Oscar's mother Elisabeth in her U.S. certificate of citizenship (1936).

Vincent Amaross

March 12, 2021

To The Davis Family,
My sincere sympathy on the passing of Oscar Davis. He always would say hello with a smile whenever in the Engineering office. It is my honor to have known him and worked at Hayward.
Vince Amarosa


March 5, 2021

Pourquoi tu nous quittes
Pour moi tu as été mon exemple mon conseillé mon ami
Que de bon moments avons nous passé
Tes qualités humaines n'avais pas de limite
Reposes en paix

A toute ta famille jacqueline et moi présentons nos sincères condoleances

John Whittington

March 3, 2021

Oscar was a tremendous man that lived a tremendous life, all of us that met him are blessed to have his influence to reflect on when living our own day to day life. Thoughts and prayers to all.

Tim Golling

March 2, 2021

Davis Family,
It was an honor and privilege to have met and worked for Oscar as he has positively impacted so many lives . Mr. Davis provided me an opportunity to pursue a career with a great organization, still surrounded by that extended family....the Hayward Family. It was a pleasure to have worked for and with a true visionary. My condolences and deepest sympathy's to you all.
Tim Golling

Hans Vogt

March 2, 2021

I am deeply touched and saddened . My thoughts are with the Davis family. I will always remember him as a great person. I loved dinners with him, he had a lot of humor and we laughed often together. My thoughts are with the family in these difficult times.

I would like to express my sincere condolences. He will live in our memories for ever.


Captain Phil Pennicott

March 2, 2021

An honour and a privilege to have met such an iconic gentleman, I so enjoyed your stories and you certainly did make us laugh.
Don't be too grumpy to your new captain as he guides you through the next element of being.
Rest in peace Sir
My sincere condolences to the family I wish you all a long life.
Captain Philip Pennicott

David Hawkswell

March 1, 2021

Oscar had a profound effect on many thousands of Hayward employees and their families and his dedication to his employees will always be gratefully appreciated. I personally came away from every meeting with Oscar with a smile and new enthusiasm in the business. I always remember my private tour of his beloved car collection. Oscar personified Hayward in its success with customers , employees and shareholders , he will be missed.
David Hawkswell

Andrew Graham

March 1, 2021

I will miss my Uncle Oscar with his jovial smile and the big hug and kiss on the cheek greeting he always gave. I greatly enjoyed visiting him and talking about business, cars and model planes. One relatively recent highlight was a visit to his famed car museum with my father, (who built one of the largest RC planes hanging in the museum)and son gaping at the collection. Other memories include times on various boats with Frances, Susan, Lewis, Betty and various pets we had growing up. He wasn't the best boat captain, running out of gas several times, but he was the most generous captain often letting me drive one of his yachts as a young boy. Condolences to the entire family.

Joseph DeVito

March 1, 2021

Oscar was a great man, we will all miss him. My sorrow goes out to his family.