James E. Davidson “Jed”
Born March 13, 1937. Passed away June 25, 2019 at the age of 82 in Stillwater, as a result of injuries sustained in a tragic fall. Preceded in death by parents Robert Joseph Davidson and Katherine Ober Davidson, sister Virginia G. Morgan, and stepmother Mimi K. Davidson. Survived by loving wife Gretchen (Dornfeld) of 53 years; sons Robert (Stacy) and Steven (Shelly); grandsons Andy, Adam, Aiden, and Ashden; his niece, nephews, cousins, extended family and numerous friends, plus his beloved animal companions. Jed grew up in White Bear Lake where he graduated from White Bear Lake High School and went on to attend the University of Minnesota. He then served in the U.S. Army from 1960-1963. After returning from active duty, he worked in property management for the family firm, The Davidson Company, in St. Paul. He resided in the City of Birchwood Village for 42 years. For the last 15 years, he lived in May Township near Stillwater.
His hobbies and interests were eclectic. He created ornamental iron work, tinkered with his many tractors and machines, collected and built model trains, read voraciously, and regularly attended classical music concerts. His most cherished pastime was boating. He loved churning the waters at the family cabin on the Whitefish Chain in Minnesota, or on the Gulf around Marco Island, Fla. His generosity was exemplified by 35 years of service on the Mardag Foundation Board beginning with its founding in 1969. His personal philanthropy included supporting charities that improved the lives of people in Minnesota, increased interest in science and the natural world, mirrored his love of animals, and fostered an appreciation of classical music. Jed will be dearly missed by family and friends, especially for his love of family, his open generosity, his wry sense of humor, and for being a noted raconteur.
A memorial service was held Monday, July 22 at 3 p.m. with visitation one hour prior at Bradshaw, 2800 Curve Crest Blvd., Stillwater. Memorials preferred to charities Jed supported: Nature Conservancy, MN Raptor Center, Bell Museum, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Union Gospel Mission or donor’s choice.