Hal Davis died with dignity in Taos on September 18, 2010.
Hal was born in New York City in 1951 and grew up in Manhattan. He attended Stuyvesant High School and the University of Pennsylvania. He trained as a physician at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Hal worked nationwide and worldwide in pediatrics and public health, including serving as a commissioned officer in the United States Public Health Service. He traveled widely and was concerned with world affairs. He worked in refugee camps in Thailand and in the segregated black ‘homeland’ of Ciskei in South Africa. On his return from South Africa he made presentations to groups trying to influence the racism that was apartheid.
When disability prevented continuation of his work in the Public Health Service, Hal retired to Taos to regain his health. What was intended as a temporary residency became a permanent change because of his great love for the community and the area. Despite his disability he was an avid outdoorsman. He hiked the peaks and traveled the back country in all seasons. Many of his happiest moments were spent in the wilderness. He loved the area.
Hal enjoyed dancing tremendously. He joined, whenever he could, with local groups doing international folk dancing, swing dancing, contra dancing and five rhythms dance. The movement of dance gave him freedom and release.
Hal was an enthusiastic supporter of the arts. He enjoyed opera, music in all its forms, literature, theater, film, painting, photography, sculpture and the fiber arts. He strove hard to understand the creative process and had a discerning critical eye. In his last years he created several sculptures and paintings of his own.
For more than two decades Hal struggled with the severe pain of fibromyalgia. This crippling, progressive disorder is much misunderstood. Learn more about it from the National Fibromyalgia Association. Hal believed that every human being has a right to die with dignity, and at the end he acted consciously in the fulfillment of that belief.
Hal is survived by his mother, Ruth Davis of the Bronx, New York, and his sister Joyce Davis, of Belmont, Massachusetts. He leaves behind many friends and colleagues.
A memorial ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 13, 2010 beginning at 3 PM Mountain Time. The remembrance will be held at the Taos Jewish Center, 1335 Gusdorf Road, Suite R. Please come join in this celebration of Hal's life.