Frederick Athie Davis

Birth: April 9th, 1938
Death: February 9th, 2019
Age: 80 years
Residence:Port Austin
Previous Residence(s):Port Austin


Captain Fred Davis, 80, of Port Austin passed “over the bar” to calmer seas Saturday, February 9, 2019.  He climbed aboard the Miss Port Austin and cruised up through the rolling clouds to meet old friends and family members. His very last wish was to “go fishing.”  He was born on April 9, 1938 in Detroit, Michigan.  He and Patricia A. O'Keef were married there on October 12, 1957. 


The Captain enjoyed many memorable times on the water; first pleasure fishing in little boats and later on larger cruisers. Family fun filled weekend get-a-ways and extended cruises to distant ports were so looked forward to.  He took special delight in taking families on the Miss Port Austin and teaching youngsters how to perch fish.  He was also able to take many shore-bound people aboard, often for their first ride on the water, for sunset cruises.


His greatest contributions were made on the waters he loved along Lake Huron’s shores as his company, Thumb Marine, responded to the MayDay’s of countless mariners.  With his Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla crews and then his band of tough, and hearty salvage crews, he traveled from Port Sanilac along the shoreline to Alpena.  Over a span of 33 years, he and his crews fought the seas and elements to save lives and bring them and their vessels safely ashore.  Rescues were accomplished with very little digital guidance- just old-fashioned knowledge of the sea, grit and fearlessness.


Down through the years, he shared tales of his exploits in many publications to help educate people and often said, “I hope those who read my articles will learn what NOT to do.”  His book; “Perils of the Fresh Water Sea’s,” soon to be published, is a compilation of many of his sea adventures.


Captain Fred is survived by his wife of 62 years, Pat.  He loved his family and enjoyed wonderful times traveling to visit with his four girls and their spouses; Lori and Dahn Smith, Phoenix, Arizona & Port Austin. Lynn and Mike Harner, Ocoee, Florida. Leah and Fred Bellucci, Fairfield, Connecticut. Lucynda and Scott Thrushman, Lake Orion & Port Austin. As each grandchild joined the family, they were a joy to him; Lisa Smith and Brad Scott, Nathanial Harner, Kayla Thrushman, Amy Bellucci, Kyle Thrushman, Richard Bellucci and of special delight were the new great grandchildren arrivals; Rayland Scott and Little Nate Harner.


Captain Fred’s sisters, Gail Thompson, Lynda Aimone, Penny Ventline and Nephew Jarrett Pearson were able to travel to Port Austin and bid him farewell.  He is survived by several nieces and nephews and their children, Sister-in-law, Kathleen and her husband Lester of Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. were special people in his life.


At his request, cremation was handled by Knoblock Funeral Home in Kinde and condolences may be shared on their website. A church memorial service will take place Wednesday, July 3rd,  at Port Austin United Protestant Church followed by a celebration gathering and meal at the Pasta House in Kinde.


Memorial contributions are asked to be made to United Protestant Church, P.O. Box 129, Port Austin, MI. 48467.

Please contact the Funeral Services Provider if you wish to report any errors in this notification, or if you would like any additional information.


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