Roi Davis, a founder of blind ski guides, dies at 73 |

Roi Davis, a founder of blind ski guides, dies at 73

Daily Staff Report
Special to the Daily Roi Davis, who is a co-founder of a guide service for blind skiers, running the North Platte half-marathon last year. The part-time Vail resident died May 20 at 73.

DENVER – Roi Davis, who co-founded Foresight Ski Guides with his son Mark G. Davis, died May 20 in his Denver home of an apparent heart attack. An avid skier, Davis had been a part-time resident of Vail since 1969.Foresight Ski Guides came about after 1999, when Mark Davis lost his functional vision due to a rare symptom of multiple sclerosis. An avid skier from a young age, Mark decided that vision alone would not keep him away from the slopes, and with assistance from the Colorado Ski School for the Blind, he was soon back on the mountain. With the help of his father, he decided to dedicate his life to help others in similar situations, and Foresight Ski Guides was born.

Roi Davis was born Jan. 26, 1932 in Toledo, Ohio where his family ran the Park Lane Hotel. He graduated in 1950 from the University of Wisconsin, despite being kicked out of school a week before graduation. The incident involved hauling a piano up the stairs of his apartment house for a party, a broken railing and an irate landlady. But Davis happened to be dating the daughter of the dean of students, so all ended up forgiven and he did graduate. After college, Davis joined the Army and was stationed at Fort Carson. He met Ruth Gold, a University of Colorado student, in 1954. Their first date was skiing at Berthoud Pass. They married in 1956. Davis and his bride returned to Toledo where he worked at the Park Lane Hotel. Their sons, Rob and Mark, were born in Toledo. In 1969 they moved to Denver, when Davis went to work for the Sherman Agency, a commercial real estate company. Their third son, Jud, was born in Denver. The family enjoyed skiing at Vail, where Davis owned a condominium decorated with antique farm implements purchased during farm auctions the couple attended on weekends.

“Roi has always been a gardener,” said Ruth Davis. “Every year he would have a competition with a friend to see who could grow the biggest pumpkin and gourds in their gardens.” Roi and Ruth enjoyed traveling. Among their most exotic destinations were Morocco, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Galapagos Islands and, last year, China. Roi was also a long-distance runner, participating in 20 marathons, including the New York marathon 15 times. His last New York marathon was in 2003, and a 70+ category had to be created because only he and one other person in his 70s were entered in the race.In addition to his other business interests, Davis also owned the Buckhorn Exchange restaurant in Denver. It began when some friends were visiting from New York and the couple wanted to take them to a Western-style eatery. They went to the Buckhorn and saw it had been closed. After that visit, Roi inquired whether it was for sale. He partnered with the late Steve Knowlton and together they put together the ownership group that bought the Buckhorn and has kept it alive ever since.

Survivors include his wife Ruth Davis; sons, Mark G. Davis, Rob W. Davis and Jud J. Davis; brother Guy Davis and granddaughter, Jordyn.Memorial services were held Tuesday at Temple Emanuel in Denver. Memorial contributions can be made to: Foresight Ski Guide, P.O. Box 18944, Denver, CO 80218 – or charity of choice.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado

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