School 09

Gordon B. Davis

August 9, 1930 ~ May 6, 2022 (age 91)

Obituary

Gordon B. Davis 1930 – 2022

Gordon Davis died on May 6, 2022 at the age of 91 at his home at Carondelet Village in St. Paul, Minnesota after a long and full life of personal and professional achievement. 

Gordon was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho on August 9, 1930 to Orson Pratt Davis and Olive Bitter Davis. Gordon attended college at Idaho State University, where he met and married LaNay Flint in 1954, prior to receiving his undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Accounting in 1955. Gordon then went on to study at Stanford University where he received his MBA in 1957 and his PhD in business in 1959.

Gordon worked as a management consultant from 1959 until 1961 when he joined the business school (now the Carlson School of Management) at the University of Minnesota as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1963 and Full Professor in 1967. In 1981, he was appointed to a chaired professorship as Honeywell Professor of Management Information Systems, the first chaired professorship in Management Information Systems in the United States. He was on leave from Minnesota in 1966-67 as a consultant to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in New York City, as professor at the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management in Brussels, Belgium from 1971-1972, and from 1986-87 as Shaw Professor at the National University of Singapore. He became an Emeritus Professor at the University of Minnesota in 2004.

Gordon was internationally recognized as one of the founders of Management Information Systems (MIS) as an academic discipline. In 1967, he and two colleagues at the University of Minnesota started the world’s first formal academic degree program in MIS, which continues to consistently rank as a leading MIS degree program. Gordon’s continuing influence on the field of MIS is felt through the over 100 doctoral students for whom he served as advisor, co-advisor, or committee member; his lectures in 25 countries, including academic visits in Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China; and his many academic works.  Gordon published 23 books with translations in several languages and over 150 articles and book chapters. His book, Management Information Systems: Conceptual Foundations, Structure, and Development, first published in 1974, is considered the classic MIS foundational text. Gordon continued to mentor doctoral students, many of whom he never met, through his book, Writing the Doctoral Dissertation, which has been used by more than 60,000 doctoral students around the world, with the 3rd edition being published in 2012.  For many years, Gordon managed MIS Quarterly, started by a Minnesota colleague, which became the field’s most prestigious academic journal.  Gordon also served as a leader of the academic associations related to the field of Management Information Systems. Gordon received many awards from these associations recognizing his role in advancing MIS as well as honorary doctorates from universities in France, Switzerland, and Sweden.

In addition to his family and his professional achievements, Gordon’s faith was integral to him, and he was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all of his life. He served as a missionary in Sweden and held many church callings including Bishop of the St. Paul Second Ward from 1973-1976, counselor in the Stake Presidency of the St. Paul Stake from 1976 to 1986, Bishop of the St. Paul Singles Ward from 1987-1990, and his final calling as Patriarch in the Anoka and St. Paul Stakes beginning in 2000 and continuing until his death.  However, in keeping with his love of teaching and mentoring, Gordon always said that his favorite church calling was that of Gospel Doctrine teacher in Sunday School, a weekly class he taught from 1990 - 2014. 

Gordon is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years, LaNay F. Davis; his children: daughter Alison Davis-Blake (Michael Blake) of St Paul, Minnesota; daughter Jennifer Lammers (Mark Lammers) of St Paul, Minnesota; son Clark Davis (Missy Davis) of St Cloud, Minnesota; son Flint Davis of Woodbridge, Virginia and grandchildren: Kent Blake, Gordon Blake, Madeleine Lammers Essman (Chad Essman), Steven Mayer, Joshua Davis, Zachary Davis, and Cassandra Davis.  Also survived by three siblings, Brent Davis (Hurricane, Utah), Reed Davis (Topeka, Kansas), and Margaret Weist (Bountiful, Utah). He was preceded in death by his sister Donna Janna Davis (New York City).

Visitation will be held at O’Halloran & Murphy Funeral Home, 8700 Valley Creek Road, Woodbury from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Wednesday, May 11. Funeral Services will be held at noon on Thursday, May 12 at the Edgerton Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 2335 Edgerton Street, Little Canada. A visitation from 11:00-11:30 will precede the funeral. A private burial at Lakewood Cemetery will follow the funeral services.

Gordon’s positive outlook, intellectual curiosity, and compassion for those around him will be greatly missed by his loving family, former students, colleagues, and fellow church members. His family requests that, in lieu of flowers, you memorialize Gordon by continuing his mentorship of MIS students through contributions to the University of Minnesota Foundation designated to the Gordon B. Davis Undergraduate Scholarship in Information Systems. Checks can be sent to UM Foundation PO Box 860266 Minneapolis MN 55486-0266. Gifts can be made online at giving.umn.edu by searching Gordon B. Davis Undergraduate Scholarship in Information Systems. For questions, please contact Kate Ostrem, kostrem@umn.edu or 612-624-5256. 

To send flowers to Gordon's family, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Wednesday
May 11, 2022

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
O'Halloran & Murphy - Woodbury
8700 Valley Creek Road
Woodbury, MN 55125

Visitation
Thursday
May 12, 2022

11:00 AM to 11:30 AM
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Edgerton Chapel
2335 Edgerton Street
Little Canada, MN 55117

Funeral Service
Thursday
May 12, 2022

12:00 PM
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Edgerton Chapel
2335 Edgerton Street
Little Canada, MN 55117

Private Interment

Lakewood Cemetery
3600 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55408

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