The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 18, 2003


Jim Davis, Judy Larson are Most Honored Citizens

Jim Davis' widow, Wendy, and son Jic hold the Outstanding Citizen Award given postumously to Jim at Old Home Day. Behind them is the truck Jim Davis owned since he was 16. (Photo by Ellen Huber)
The following are excerpts from the presentation by Doug Stevenson:

I am honored to be before you all this morning to present this year's Most Honored Citizen Award. Our friend Howard Hensleigh has been making this presentation for many years and I hope I am able to help carry on this great tradition.

Once again, this year's selection committee was faced with many fine nominations. The quality and quantity of giving by the residents of Carlisle for the betterment of their community never ceases to amaze me. Selecting one person to receive the honor is a difficult task. This year, as has been done in the past, the committee decided to honor two individuals as Carlisle's most Honored Citizens.

Both of this year's honorees have been prolific givers. They have not only participated and volunteered for years, but for decades. They have contributed in many areas of Carlisle life and have, without a doubt, made Carlisle a place we are all proud to call home.

The first honoree is a man whom we all wish could be with us today. Since moving to Carlisle in 1954 he was an enthusiastic giver of his time to our Town. He was an auxiliary fireman, a selectman, a founding member of the Carlisle Minutemen, and a member of both the Carlisle Historical Society and the Historical Commission. By now, I'm sure you are aware of the man of whom I speak, James C. Davis, Jr., or Jim as he was familiarly known.

I would like nothing more than to be able to hand this award to Jim himself today, but as we all know he lost his struggle with cancer this past January. Jim was nothing short of a great Carlislean and few are held in such high esteem in recent memory. He was an engineer, an inventor and an unforgettable Carlisle character. I would now ask Jim's family, his wife, Wendy, and any other family members present to join me for the presentation of the award.

Jim Davis, Jr. was born in New York City on September 3, 1926. He graduated from Dartmouth College and the Thayer School, where he received a master of science degree. He later taught at Piedmont College in Georgia, where he met his future wife, Wendy. They were married in 1950 and just three years ago celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Jim and Wendy moved to Carlisle in 1954, where they raised three children on East Street. Many of us will never forget Jim driving around town in his 1931 Ford Model A, which he purchased at age sixteen and maintained throughout the rest of his life.

Professionally, Jim worked at Raytheon, Spectran, Metritape, and Brooks Automation. He also worked as a consultant for T.A.O. Gross Associates and is well-known for his invention of the wafer transport system known as the "frog."

Jim's list of community accomplishments is endless. He was a two-term selectman, a founding member of the Carlisle Minutemen and a regular marcher with that outfit. He was a Carlisle Auxiliary Fireman. He was a long-term member of the Carlisle Historical Society, serving terms as president and vice-president, a member of the Carlisle Historical Commission and the Historic District Commission (only Jim could explain the distinction), a member of the State Park Advisory Committee, the local Fair Practices Committee and the Conservation Restriction Advisory Committee. I believe Jim and Wendy have the distinction of being the first or one of the earliest Carlisle residents to place a Conservation Restriction on a piece of their property, thereby preserving Carlisle's beauty for future generations.

And now I will present to Wendy Davis and her family the award that so rightfully belongs to Jim, loving husband, father and grandfather and for all of us a Most Honored Citizen.

Our next honoree is also an inexhaustible contributor of her time to the betterment of our fine town. She, as well, has spent decades volunteering in many aspects of Carlisle life. She possesses a unique sense of dedication and has always looked for ways to strengthen our community.

She was born in Fairfield, Connecticut in 1935. She attended the Walnut Hill School in Natick and graduated from Connecticut College. As a young adult she moved to Boston and went to work as an advertising production manager for Cahners for seven years.

She married and after moving eight times in five years, eventually arrived in Carlisle in 1968. Here she has raised her three children, and remarkably has found the time to assemble an unbounded list of volunteer accomplishments.

For her children, she has been a room mother, a Cub Scout volunteer and a member of the Carlisle School Association. For others, she has been a member of the Carlisle Unit of the Emerson Hospital Auxiliary, serving as vice-chairman and chairman. She was editor for two years of the Emersary, an Emerson Hospital publication, and has spent countless hours raising money in support of the hospital.

For her community, she has served on many committees in a variety of capacities, including: the Old Home Day Committee, Clerk of the Town Caucus for over a dozen years, Registrar of Voters for six years, Council on Aging for five years and the Celebrations Committee for 24 years.

She was also appointed by the Board of Selectmen to study the need for a Town Administrator and for many years was a volunteer at the Carlisle Community Blood drives.

If these activities were not enough, she is perhaps best known for producing three original community musicals, each serving to unite the citizens of Carlisle.

Following our annual drum roll I'll announce our second recipient. Drum roll, please.

The winner of the 2003 Most Honored Citizen Award is Judy Larson.

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito