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Hugh "Tom" Davison '57 November 12, 2021 9:55 AM updated: November 12, 2021 10:09 AM

Hugh Thomas "Tom" Davison
April 10, 1935 - October 31, 2021

Softly call the muster….Hugh Thomas "Tom" Davison passed away October 31, 2021.

Born to Hugh Tankersley Davison and Ruth Leona Thomas Davison, on April 10, 1935, Tom was born and raised in Reagan, Texas. Tom graduated from Marlin High School in 1953. Tom followed the example set by his father and joined the Corp of Cadets at Tarleton College, then transferred to Texas A&M graduating in 1957 with a degree in Agricultural Education. On August 31, 1957, He married Ruth Cadie Fitte, a high school classmate from nearby Marlin, TX.

Tom's early career as an assistant County Agent took them to the "valley", Edinburg, TX and then to the panhandle when he was promoted to County Agent in Floydada, for Floyd County. While in the "valley" the birth of his daughter, Jyl, on May 8, 1960 served as a great introduction to fatherhood, despite the fact that Jyl's birth was on Mother's Day of that year. His son, Jeff, soon followed on July 21, 1961.

In 1963, Tom and Cadie moved to Bryan, TX and Tom finished his Masters degree at Texas A&M. In 1965 they moved into their brand new and now well-loved home just a short distance from here.

From 1967 to 1983 Tom served as the first executive director of the Texas 4-H Foundation. Tom led the efforts to build the $1.5 million Texas 4-H Conference Center on Lake Brownwood, which since 1975 has served as a year-round retreat center and an annual summer camp for 1,200 4-H youth.

In 1976, along with Don Steinbach and Milo Shult, Tom set forth a concept to expand the 4-H rifle project to include other shooting disciplines, this lead to the creation of the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Annually, teams comprised of over 650 youth from 48 states gather to compete in the 4-H National Shooting Championships. At the conclusion of the week-long event, the best performing team is presented the state sweepstakes traveling trophy, the H.T. "Tom" Davison award.

He was the recipient of the Epsilon Sigma Phi Distinguished Service Award, Texas 4-H Foundation's award for scholarship development. In 2009, Tom was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in recognition of his major contributions in serving the statewide youth development program.

"Mr. Davison's passion for placing young people first is at the very core of his character," said Dr. Chris Boleman, Texas 4-H and Youth Development program director. "The lasting impact of the Texas 4-H Center, the development of the 4-H scholarship program, and the emphasis he placed on volunteer leader development established his legacy for Texas 4-H for years to come."

In 1985, Tom received the National Rifle Association's Public Service Award and later received the NRA's Distinguished Leadership Award. Tom served on the Board of Directors of the NRA and as Chairman of the Education and Training committee.

While Tom's leadership and organizational skills furthered the efforts of state and national organizations such as 4-H and the National Rifle Association, he also had passions closer to home. He was never one to shy away from the need to serve as president, chairman, director or to simply put away the chairs and tables at the end of the day. He served with the Tri-County water board of Falls County, the Marlin High School Reunion Class of '53, the Falls County A&M club and the Reagan Homecoming association. Last and certainly not least, are the Davison family reunions and Sunday school class bar-b-ques that he and Cadie loved to host.

Tom is survived by his sister Ruth Ann Torgerson of Waco, daughter Jyl Rittman, and her husband Ken of Magnolia, son Jeff Davison '83, and his wife Sarah of Belton. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren.

A memorial service for friends and family will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, November 5, 2021 at First Presbyterian Church, 1100 Carter Creek, Bryan, TX. A graveside service will be conducted at the Waite Cemetery in Reagan, TX at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, November 6, 2021. A reception will be hosted by the family at the Aggie Barn in Reagan, TX immediately following the graveside service.

Tom's family is grateful for the compassionate care provided by Visiting Angels of Bryan, Temple and Bluebonnet Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, contributions made in Tom's name to the Texas 4-H Foundation would be greatly appreciated. Donations may be made at

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