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Joseph "Joe" Davidson Jr. '52 August 20, 2021 4:27 PM updated: August 30, 2021 10:06 AM

Joseph “Joe” Vernon Davidson, Jr.
April 22, 1931 - August 18, 2021

Joseph Vernon Davidson, Jr., devoted husband and father, native Texan and proud Aggie, died peacefully at his home in Tomball, Texas, with his daughter by his side, on August 18, 2021.

The oldest of three sons, Joe was born in San Antonio, Texas, on April 22, 1931, to Joseph Vernon and Ethel Mae Byrom Davidson of Poteet, Texas. He graduated from Poteet High School in 1948, and Texas A&M University in 1952, with a Bachelor of Business Administration. Joe served as an officer in the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1954, stationed at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio before serving a year in French Morocco. The Air Force shipped Joe’s 1953 Ford Customline overseas, and the young Texan spent his leave traveling the country, capturing the landscapes, culture, and Moroccan people with his prized Leica IIIf. It was there he developed an appreciation of French butter, orange marmalade, sauteed mushrooms, and much to his disappointment, discovered olives could not be eaten directly from the tree.

Upon returning to Texas, Joe worked for Central Freight Lines while attending The University of Texas School of Law in Austin. In 1957, before he could graduate, Joe landed a job as an oil scout working for Texaco in Corpus Christi. There began his more than 42-year career in the oil and gas industry as a petroleum landman.

In May 1968, while in Houston for business, Joe met the love of his life, a brilliant, beautiful, registered nurse named Willa Brucine Dearman. A tap of his Aggie ring on Brucine’s sliding glass door led to a whirlwind courtship, and the two were married on October 12, 1968, at the Texas A&M All Faiths Chapel. In 1970, Joe and his “Dolly” welcomed their daughter Robin Jill, bringing her home from the hospital to their new house in Sharpstown. His green eyes would twinkle when he talked about “his girls.” After 20 years with Texaco, he worked 11 years for The Louisiana Land and Exploration Company, and three years as an independent consultant before retiring after eight years with Agip Petroleum (Eni).

Joe truly enjoyed his work, from his days as a scout visiting county courthouses across south Texas, to negotiating offshore leases in the Gulf of Mexico. The very embodiment of Texas friendly, Brucine would tease him, saying there wasn’t an airport or city in the world where someone didn’t recognize her husband and extend a friendly handshake.

In 1981, Joe and Brucine bought 11 acres in Tomball, where Robin could keep her horse Prissy. Joe loved every moment of retirement with his horses, cattle, cats, and an abundance of birds and other wildlife, calling Davidson Farm, “Heaven on Earth.” Aside from the tragic death of Brucine in a car crash in July 1995, Joe considered himself, “the luckiest man alive.” He and Robin survived Brucine’s death by drawing strength from each other, and when Robin married Kevin Parker in February 2007, Joe loved Kevin, too.

Joe was happiest when Robin and Kevin were at the farm, grilling on the patio, drinking margaritas, watching the big screen, singing along to Willie, and just being together. Always with a big smile, he’d say, “Life is good, Kev. Life is good!” Joe’s quiet generosity and kindness left an impression on all who had the pleasure of knowing him. His legacy is one of enjoying the simple pleasures of life: nature’s beauty, the immeasurable love of his wife and daughter, the loyalty of good friends, and the devoted companionship of his late cat Abigail (August 1, 2021).

Joe is survived by his daughter Robin Davidson and her husband Kevin Parker, and his brothers Dewitt (Helen) of Grand Prairie, Texas, and Jim (Jeanette) of Cleveland, New Mexico.

Instead of a memorial service, Robin established the Joe V. Davidson, Jr. ’52 Memorial Foundation Excellence Award to honor her father’s commitment to education and giving. Please send donations to the Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, Texas, 77840. Designate gifts to the “Joe V. Davidson, Jr. ’52 Memorial Foundation Excellence Award.” To donate online at, select “An Unlisted Account (Enter Manually)” and enter “Joe V. Davidson, Jr. ’52 Memorial Foundation Excellence Award” in the text box.

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