When Robert S. Davis, better known to those around him as Bob, shared stories, his personality bloomed. You saw insight into his life, his family, and the memories he held dear.
As the second of four Davis Children, sitting between siblings John and Jane and a few years before his brother Steve, he was a source of laughter and gentling ribbing to his siblings.
For years, the Davis family has been an integral part of the community through their work as stewards of The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation. With a focus on improving the quality of life for residents in Hampden County, the Davis trustees recently made a generous contribution to support the Operating and Interventional Procedural Rooms at Baystate Medical Center. The recognition of this gift holds a special place in their hearts, as it will be in memory of Bob, who passed away in 2021.
Friends that Become Family
Growing up, Bob experienced some developmental delays, but these were never setbacks for him. He valued his independence, graduated from Longmeadow High School, and lived on his own through his adult life. Bob’s hobbies and interests kept him busy from childhood. A lover of local hockey, he was a season ticket holder for the former Springfield Indians and Falcons, and then the now Thunderbirds. During the warmer months, you could find him enjoying car racing at the Stafford Motor Speedway or, in his earlier years, at the Riverside Park Speedway. For his family and friends, Bob’s personality really came to life when he shared stories from childhood, especially when they highlighted the experiences and hijinks of he and his siblings as children – a favorite story genre of nieces, nephews, and grand nieces and nephews.
“Bob was definitely a character. He was social, enjoyed getting out and being part of the community, and had many friends to share in his hobbies,” shared John of his brother. “He also had incredible caregivers and friends over the years who were part of his medical care and also his personal life.”
These friends include Chris Cassesse, who spent eight years closely knit with Bob.
“I spoke with him every day and he was a caring, genuine person. He loved to tell stories about growing up and family lore, especially ones about his brothers,” laughed Chris.
“My time with him started as a job, but really, he turned into a friend and then became family.”
“His care team really became like his immediate family,” shared Bob’s sister-in-law, Robyn. “They took great care of him but also became some of his closest friends.”
A Legacy Lives On
In May 2023, the new Robert S. Davis Wing at Baystate Medical Center, formerly known as the South Wing, was unveiled in Bob’s memory. The Wing houses a portion of the upgraded Operating and Interventional Procedural Rooms, as well as the Pediatric Procedure Unit, the Sadowsky Center for Children, the Baystate Medical Center inpatient pharmacy, and two floors of patient rooms. The tribute was fitting, as Bob spent time at Baystate Medical Center during his final year receiving care and dialysis treatment.
“He experienced first-hand the medical advances at Baystate, especially in the last year of his life, and we are so grateful for that care,” shared his niece, Laurel Davis Ferretti.
For the family, this is a special way to remember their loved one and support local healthcare. “Robert just liked mankind,” said John with a smile. “For him, this honor was the right thing.” His brother, Steve, agreed. “We’re honored to be able to honor him,” he said.
Today, when patients and families visit Baystate Medical Center, they can pass through the Robert S. Davis Wing and join the Davis family in thinking fondly of the man who loved his family, his friends, his community, and served as a wonderful storyteller for those around him.