Faith Ainsworth (Baker) Davis, MDJuly 30, 1935 ~ April 16, 2017 (age 81)
West Sand Lake - A loving mother, a caring and expert physician and a generous, concerned spouse, Faith Baker Davis died on April 16, 2017 ending her brave battle with progressive Alzheimer’s disease. She was eighty-one years old. The final year of her life was spent in a nursing home, where her disease disrupted her senses of time and place, but could not diminish her enjoyment of interactions with her caregivers and the family members who visited her regularly.
Faith Ainsworth Baker was born in Boston to Myles Pierce Baker and Mabel Bremer Baker, attended Shady Hill and Winsor Schools, was a graduate of Smith College and worked for several years as a medical research technician at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Her laboratory mentor, L. Hollingsworth Smith, Jr., convinced her to become a physician and she did so, graduating from Harvard Medical School. She and her classmate- and physician-endocrinologist- husband, Paul Davis, had their internal medicine training together at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City and she served in her final year of training as a Chief Resident on the Clinical Research Unit at the medical school’s hospital. She was subsequently a primary care internist in Baltimore and thereafter Director of Primary Care Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine. She enrolled in subspecialty endocrinology fellowship in Buffalo, serving as a trainee of her husband’s. For the final fifteen years of her professional life, she was an internist-endocrinologist and medical researcher at Albany Medical Center and the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albany. She was a very productive endocrine researcher through much of her life and co-authored 150 scientific papers, the majority of which reported the nature of thyroid hormone actions in research models and in the clinic. Her systematic mastering of concepts and techniques and unfaltering attention to detail helped ensure the productivity of all of those who worked with her and learned from her.
She loved being a mother to Matthew Mason Davis, John Bremer Davis and Sarah Baker Davis. Their regular visits at homes over the years in Baltimore, Buffalo and Albany were rarely routine and were intellectual, athletic, musical, travel-rich and often full of humor. The children’s successes in their lives are attributable in important measure to Faith’s inspiration, counsel, interest, expectations and enthusiasm. And she deeply loved and was caught up in the care of the family’s remarkable succession of dogs.
Faith and her husband were together at home, in classrooms, in the research laboratory and in her beloved Maine. Through Faith, the family was introduced to Castine, Maine, to Penobscot Bay, Mt. Desert Island and Mount Katahdin. The family’s cabin in Castine came from the Baker side of the family and remains today a part of the activities of several family members. She and Castine were inseparable in her recollections even as her memory loss affected many other parts of her life.
She is survived by her husband, by Matthew (Chicago), John (Woodinville, WA) and Sarah (Sudbury, MA), by her sister, Edith B. Baker (Martha’s Vineyard), grandchildren Seetha and Krishna Davis (Chicago) and Josie and Eva Halporn (Sudbury), by two nieces, Rachel and Marisol Martin, two nephews, Joel and Omar Martin, daughters-in-law Lakshmi Halasyamani and Kim Sgro and son-in-law John Halporn.
The family very much appreciates the expert attention provided to Faith in her final years by Home Instead and by Ludder’s Country Home caregivers, by her physicians, including Dr. Earl Zimmerman in the Alzheimer’s Center at Albany Medical Center, and remarkable friends-Gloria, Laura, Ella Mae and Kelly-who were untiringly helpful and loving in their regular attention to her.
Please think of and be inspired by Faith and her energy and concern and compassion as you care for friends, relatives and patients. Please be driven by Faith’s generosity in your gifts to schools and colleges and hospitals that are important to you.
Memorial services for Faith Davis will be conducted later in the spring at Albany Medical Center and in August in Castine, Maine.