Remembering Our Friend, Geoff Davis
Friends, and cherished colleagues,
I was so saddened to hear that our colleague, Geoff Davis, passed away in August as a result of a vehicular accident. Today I’d like to ask you to take a moment to pause and join me in a reflection on the life and legacy of a remarkable individual who touched our lives in thoughtful ways. With the passing of Geoff, this world has lost a dedicated patriot, a trusted ally, and a peacemaker.
As we reflect on our dear colleague, our mind searches for the memories and lasting impressions he has left behind. Human nature takes our thoughts to the place in time where we may have last spoken, shared a handshake, or laughed while bonding over a shared experience.
As a colleague, friend, and community member, Geoff was a man who was the epitome of reliability. He was the person to count on to attend a gathering, provide feedback, and deliver a thoughtful opinion. In fact, Wanda Wright recently shared with me that Geoff “was a mainstay in the Veteran ecosystem. He could be relied on to support any effort or initiative that helped Veterans.”
And he was a man who listened. He created a space for dialogue by offering his ear, leaning in to understand viewpoints, and discussing pathways.
As the Chairperson of the Phoenix Veterans’ Mental Health Advocacy Council, Geoff used his own lived experience as a driving force to serve others. He did not allow challenges to sideline him. No, Geoff was fueled by his sense of service to volunteer, lead, and forge a pathway so others who were on a similar journey might have an easier time. He was dedicated to serving those who served and the communities he helped foster will forever remain etched in our memories, in programs, and in the hearts of those he shared so many meaningful moments.
Our mutual friend, Travis Burns, shared “Geoff Davis was a veteran, and he showed up for other veterans when they really needed him, and that’s all we can expect from anyone.”
As I think back to the formation of Be Connected, I can recall that it was not the easiest trail to blaze. Over the year the program was forming, there were challenges and some tough days. One person I could always count on to be a safe harbor through the “storming” phase of program development was Geoff. He was patient and kind and would certainly not be dissuaded by the difficulty of the task. His presence was a reliable gift that, now looking back, served as a guidepost throughout the entire process. He stuck it out, regardless of how choppy the waters would get. His legacy as a great listener will continue to inspire us to be more present, more attuned to the needs of others, and more willing to offer our time and understanding.
This spirit of supporting others is a common thread woven throughout Geoff’s distinguished career from his days in the U.S. Army as a 1st Lieutenant at Fort Dix to his decades of service in supporting others through crisis. Geoff was a trusted and thoughtful consultant to the Phoenix VA, focusing his efforts on advocating for the needs of Arizona’s veterans.
Geoff will be missed by so many. His work as an impactful community leader made Arizona a better place for veterans to call home.
As the resounding “voice of the veteran” in Arizona, Geoff’s enduring contributions to the veteran community echo the essence of unity and collective progress.
Today, I invite you to join me in paying tribute to Geoff Davis, acknowledging his remarkable legacy as a statesman, a fervent advocate for Arizona’s veterans, and a shining embodiment of servant leadership. Our condolences to Geoff’s daughter Elissa, his cherished grandchildren, and his family.
Director, Arizona Coalition for Military Families