Arthur Harley Davidson

March 28, 1914 - April 16, 2011

Arthur Harley Davidson was born March 28, 1914, and died Saturday, April 16, 2011.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Clara Davidson; his sister, Margaret; his brother, James; his son, John McClay Davidson; and his wives, Janet Harris, Francesca "Peter" Eschweiler and Gertrude Barrett.

He is survived by his daughter, Mary L. Davidson; eight grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and his very special caregivers, Vickie and Leslie Antonneau.

One of Mr. Davidsonís treasured memories is of his childhood summers spent at Lake Ripley with his sister, Margaret, and his cousins, Tiger and Johnny Marx. In his recollection, "We really lived the Mark Twain experience."

Mr. Davidson attended Washington High School and graduated from Milwaukee University School (now the University School) and Dartmouth College. In 1941, he and William Wenthe started a company called Wenthe-Davidson Engineering Company that celebrates 70 years in business this year.

Mr. Davidson had a lifelong love affair with golf. He was an excellent golfer from a young age and was still shooting his age when he was in his 80s. And, he loved all things Scottish: golf, Robert Burns, bagpipes and the Davidson tartan.

Mr. Davidson was active in the Milwaukee community, serving on numerous boards and supporting organizations, especially the Milwaukee Boys Club, the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (founded by his wife, Peter, as Music for Youth), Alverno College, and Milwaukee Hospital.

In 1973, he and his wife, Peter, built a home in the U.S. Virgin Islands that became one of the loves of his life. He spent many happy times there - fishing, swimming, sailing and generally living the simple life. And, he and Peter were active supporters of the St. John School of the Arts.

Mr. Davidson was a warm, friendly and fair man who chose to do business on a handshake. He believed that business and personal relationships should be based on trust, and his were. He will be greatly missed by those he leaves behind.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. today, April 27, and continues from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral service Thursday, April 28, all at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 815 S. Concord Road, Oconomowoc.

Those who choose to attend his funeral are requested to wear a touch of red, his favorite color. And, those who have a special memory to share are asked to write it down and bring it to the church for the grandchildrenís scrapbook.

Memorials to the Milwaukee Boys Club, the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and the St. John School of the Arts are preferred.

Schmidt & Bartelt Notbohm-Kreutzmann Funeral and Cremation Services is serving the family. For more information, call 567-4459 or visit online at