Lee Davis, 88

TV Producer
Lee Davis, 88

    Lee Davis, a former TV producer and adman who was, in recent years, a volunteer in East Hampton for Meals on Wheels, died at home in Amagansett on Aug. 5. He was 88 and his death was due to natural causes.

    Mr. Davis, a summer resident starting in 1961, moved permanently to Amagansett in 1990, where he lived on Handy Lane. He could often be seen around town in his signature cowboy hat and bright red jacket, reading a newspaper in his car, or taking a nap at Indian Wells Beach in his hamlet.

    Always involved in his community, Mr. Davis lobbied then-Gov. Mario Cuomo, successfully, for a traffic light at the intersection of Montauk Highway and Abraham’s Path near his house. He also had been a member of the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee.

     A native of Philadelphia, where he was born to Alfred Davis and the former Naomi Fineman on Nov. 22, 1924, Mr. Davis attended West Philadelphia High School and then the University of Pennsylvania.

    In 1942, he interrupted his education to enlist in the Navy. While stationed in China, he worked at a radio station. After returning to the United States, he went back to the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in journalism and performed in musical shows with the school’s Mask and Wig Club. He graduated in 1947.

    Mr. Davis’s television career began sweeping floors at WFIL in Philadelphia. He moved to New York in 1953. Working at WABC-TV for three years, he directed shows such as “The Big Payoff,” starring Bess Myerson, “Strike It Rich,” and “Feather Your Nest.”

    In 1958 he produced TV commercials at Dancer, Fitzgerald and Sample, an advertising firm, and he continued to work in TV ad production, making commercials, through 1991. He also became a member of the Screen Actors Guild.

    Mr. Davis said that his interest in Amagansett stemmed from reading about Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe’s vacationing here. He loved the serenity of the area, his family said, and the beauty of farmland and beaches. He had delivered meals to the homebound through Meals on Wheels and recorded public service announcements for that organization at WLNG radio in Sag Harbor.

    Mr. Davis and Paula Stabins were married in 1954; they divorced in 1969. He is survived by a daughter, Paula Davis-Mulderrig of California, and by two grandsons. A private memorial service will be held on a date to be determined. Contributions in memory of Mr. Davis have been suggested to Meals on Wheels, 33 Newtown Lane, East Hampton 11937.