- October 6, 1959 - January 7, 2017
- Tampa, Florida
of Cody's Passing
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605 South MacDill Avenue
Tampa, FL 33609
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Cody Fowler Davis lived his life and raised his children according to an important mantra: “Salt water cures everything.” This included bumps and bruises, a grumpy attitude, daughters’ broken hearts from failed high school relationships, and even a deep wound in his back caused from falling on his deep sea spear gun. Cody grew up fishing and boating around Davis Island and the Hillsborough River with his brother, Jim Davis and sister, Kimberly Davis Rehyer. He attended Jesuit High School, and was as an all-American tennis player. He headed inland to play tennis for Vanderbilt University, where he was their #1 player.
He met his wife, Beth, as a sophomore at Vanderbilt. He offered to purchase her meal tickets off of her after seeing her poster in the cafeteria, but his check bounced (which may have been intentional), so Beth had to seek him out across campus. They were married four years later in 1983, while Cody was attending the College of Law at Florida State University.
Cody began his career at MacFarlane & Ferguson in Tampa and became the youngest partner in the history of their firm. He subsequently founded several firms: Davis & Scarritt, Davis & Harmon, and, most recently, Cody Fowler Davis Trial Attorneys. Cody was one of the few attorneys in Florida board certified by the Florida Bar in both civil trial law and business litigation. He was also a certified circuit court mediator and federal court mediator. Recently, Cody was voted the #1 lawyer in Tampa Bay by his peers for plaintiff’s personal injury litigation and insurance law.
Cody was a long-time board member at Berkeley Preparatory School, the Hillsborough County Bar Association, Tampa General Hospital, the Tampa Yacht and Country Club, the University Club, and Useppa Island. Most importantly, he continued to beat his peers and much younger players every Monday night at the Tampa Yacht Club tennis league. Cody and his wife Beth were a critical part of the founding team of the Akilah Institute, a women’s college in Rwanda, and the first supporter of the organization. For many years, he provided his Tampa office as the U.S. office for the Akilah Institute and loved joining in on event planning and strategy meetings. He was an award-winning author of two legal thrillers: “Green 61” and “Implied Consent” and had outlined a third novel.
His favorite place on earth was Useppa Island in southwest Florida. He spent most weekends there with Beth and their four daughters, Elizabeth Hughes (32), Mary-Patton Davis (28), Caroline Davis (25), and Cody Davis (21). His daughters were raised on the beaches of Useppa and Cayo Costa, where they learned important life skills including snook fishing, scuba diving, and lobstering. His tutelage efforts expanded to include his granddaughters, Lorraine and Tamsyn Hughes, who were holding fishing rods as soon as they were old enough to walk.
Cody left us on the evening of Friday, January 6, 2017 after suffering a massive heart attack in his home in Tampa. He had just finished doing what he loved – playing racquetball with friends– after having spent two weeks with the whole family on Useppa, helping organize a surprise engagement for Mary-Patton to her fiancé, Matt Eisen, and getting deep satisfaction from beating his sons-in-law, Dave Hughes and Brennan Smith, in bocce ball. He will be missed dearly.
The funeral service will be held at 1pm on Friday, January 13th at St. John's Episcopal Church in Hyde Park of South Tampa.
In lieu of sending flowers, please consider contributing in Cody’s name to one of the following initiatives:
1. The construction of a memorial arbor on Useppa Island. Send checks to Dan O’Connell, Useppa Island, 8115 Main Street, Bokeelia FL 33922.
2. The Akilah Institute, a women’s college in Rwanda founded by the Davis family www.akilahinstitute.org
3. Captains for Clean Water, working for the preservation of the Everglades www.CaptainsforCleanwater.org