Earl Warren Davie passed away of natural causes at his home in Clyde Hill, Washington on June 6, 2020. He was a distinguished scientist and an inspiring teacher and mentor who deeply loved his family.

Earl was born in Tacoma, Washington on October 25, 1927, to Charles and Teckla Davie, and grew up in La Grande, Washington. He attended Eatonville High School where he was senior class president and also followed in his older brother’s and sister’s footsteps, earning the Honor Cup for scholastic excellence. He was a talented all-around athlete, and at 6’4” was a double threat on the basketball court as both a great shooter and rebounder. He dreamed of being a professional basketball player or a jazz clarinetist. Ultimately, it was the pursuit of scientific discovery that captured his imagination.

Earl earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry at the University of Washington in 1950. It was Professor Donald Hanahan who inspired and encouraged him to continue there as a Ph.D. student in the relatively new field of biochemistry. After following Dr. Hanahan’s advice and earning his doctorate in Seattle, he went on to post-doctoral studies at Harvard University.

In 1956, he moved to Cleveland and conducted blood protein research as a faculty member at what was then Western Reserve University. In 1962, Earl was recruited by the University of Washington Medical School where he created one of the largest research programs in biochemistry. It was there that he developed novel genetic engineering techniques, which subsequently provided the basis for other significant biotechnology research throughout the world. His techniques led to the founding of Zymogenetics, one of the first biotechnology companies in Seattle. His pivotal discoveries in the intricacies of the blood clotting cascade brought about treatments for many blood-related clotting disorders, which have improved and saved millions of lives.

When he was asked “what he did”, Earl would simply say he was a teacher. This was not so much to downplay his many academic and scientific accomplishments as to highlight what he thought was the most valuable part of his work: teaching and learning. His love for supporting the education of others could be seen in Eatonville High School’s Honor Cup Scholarship that he created in his parents’ name as well as the Donald Hanahan Scholarship that he established at the University of Washington. In recognition of Earl’s contribution to learning and scientific research, Novo Nordisk established the Earl W. Davie/Zymogenetics Endowed Chair for the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington in 1993. Earl’s love for learning could be seen in his ongoing pursuit of knowledge, attending seminars and symposiums well after he had transitioned to an emeritus faculty member. One such symposium was the Annual Earl W. Davie Symposium for Blood Research, in British Columbia, Canada. Earl embodied the phrase: “Love what you do, and you will never work a day in your life”.

Earl was a gifted storyteller with attention to detail that made his stories come alive, a talent that served him well as a teacher and the family patriarch. He expounded on family lore about how his father was self-educated via a set of encyclopedias, the outstanding beauty of his cousin the Daffodil Queen, and the tragic death of his brother, John, in WWII at the Battle of Leyte in the Pacific Theater. His stories helped to keep their memories alive.

Earl was a gregarious, funny, generous and kindhearted person who, with his beloved wife Anita, raised four wonderful children. One of the last things he heard was Anita reading him a letter from yet another grateful student thanking him for his scholarship support. She is studying bioengineering and mathematics with the goal of developing zoo habitats and prosthetics for injured animals! She will be one more part of Earl’s legacy.

Earl was preceded in death by his parents, his brother and his cherished daughter, Karen. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Anita Davie, his sister Patricia Cronyn, his sons James Davie and John Davie, his daughter Marilyn Davie, his four treasured grandchildren and one great grandchild.

In lieu of flowers, memorials should be made to “Eatonville Dollars for Scholars”, and designated: “Honor Cup, In Memory of Earl Davie”. Send to Eatonville High School, P.O. Box 698, Eatonville, WA 98328