Nancy Dixon Davidson – The Independent of Santa Barbara


Nancy Dixon Davidson of Santa Barbara passed away peacefully on September 15, 2021. Nancy was born on January 18, 1939 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Sigmund and Elizabeth (Brown) Eisenscher. In 1941, his mother remarried to Emory H. Dixon, who became his father. After graduating from Topeka High School, Nancy attended the University of Colorado where she became passionately involved in school politics and journaling, majoring in political science and receiving numerous honors. While attending CU Boulder, she met her lifelong partner, Roger H. Davidson, whom she would marry in 1961 in Fort Collins, Colorado.

After graduation, Nancy moved to Washington, DC, working in the office of Senator John A. Carroll of Colorado. Once married, Roger and Nancy moved to Hanover, New Hampshire in 1962, where she worked for the Dartmouth News Service. In 1966 Nancy gave birth to their first son, Douglas Ross Davidson. In 1968, the family moved to Goleta, California, where Roger joined the political science department at UC Santa Barbara. In 1969 Nancy gave birth to their second son, Christopher Reed Davidson. She will be remembered as a loving and devoted mother to her two sons. She was very involved in the local school community and volunteered as a Cub Haven Mother while continuing to work as a book editor.

In 1980, the family returned to Washington, DC, where Nancy began an eighteen-year career as a writer at the Brookings Institution, becoming their first acquisitions editor. In 1999, Nancy and Roger retired and returned to Santa Barbara. In retirement, Nancy devoted her time to worthy causes, becoming co-chair of the local Planned Parenthood’s annual book sale and serving on their board of directors. She has also been active in cultural affairs, serving on the board of directors of the Ensemble Theater Company and raising funds for the renovation of their theater.

Over the years, Roger and Nancy would cherish their time with many dear friends in Washington, New York, Boulder, Hanover, Santa Barbara, Goleta and elsewhere. Nancy was well known for playing Scrabble and leading singing groups among her friends. She and Roger frequently took to singing on the spur of the moment. She was an avid reader who also shared her love of books through her book club, and will be remembered for her insight and sense of humor.

Nancy was a loving and supportive wife to Roger, her husband of almost 60 years, and together they shared a lifelong passion for music, art, literature, theater and travel. She was a devoted mother and grandmother to her sons Douglas (Victoria) and Christopher (Theodora) and six grandchildren (Elizabeth, Thomas, James, Alexander, Emily and Olivia). She is also survived by her half-brother, Michael Eisenscher, and her half-sister, Judith Schaffner.

In lieu of flowers, gifts in her honor can be made at the Davidson Family Fund at the University of Colorado, or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease Research.


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