Luise Davis

Obituary of Luise Davis

Luise Davis, 85, of State College, PA, formerly of Pittsburgh, passed away on February 17, 2018 at her apartment at Juniper Village.

Luise was born on January 27, 1933 in Pittsburgh, to the late Herta (Buse) and Herman Kalberkamp. She was raised in the South Hills section of Pittsburgh and spent several years as a young girl in Cheshire, England, prior to World War II.


It is nearly impossible to capture the life of such a vibrant woman. Luise studied at Iowa State University and the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), and graduated with a dual undergraduate degree in fine arts and chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. As a young, newly-divorced single mother, she pursued degrees in the sciences, working full-time as a reservationist for Trans World Airlines, going to school full-time, and raising her daughter. She received an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry and a master's degree in aquatic ecology from the University of Pittsburgh and, later in her career, her doctorate in forest resources with an emphasis on wetlands ecology from Penn State.

In the early 1970s, she embarked on her career as an environmentalist, working for several consulting firms in the Pittsburgh area, conducting environmental impact studies; for Westinghouse as a licensing engineer in the nuclear technology division; and for Consolidated Coal Company (now CONSOL) as a manger of environmental sciences. The emphasis of her career was on the safe disposal of coal combustion and other hazardous wastes, coal refuse reclamation, the licensure of nuclear power plants, and the construction of wetlands to mediate contaminated water and soil. After retirement, she continued her passion for the environment by serving as a volunteer land steward for Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and in advocating for clean energy, air, and water at the state and federal levels.

Luise immersed herself in a wide range of interests. She was an accomplished artist, creating vivid abstract water colors and was a long-term member of the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society. She possessed a sophisticated taste in classical music, art, literature, history, and science. She studied the red crowned crane in Upper Mongolia; explored the mountains of Nepal; and traveled extensively in the U.S., Great Britain, western and eastern Europe, and Central America. Her greatest joy later in life was her love of rowing a single racing shell, being part of a racing team, and her years as a member of the Three Rivers Rowing Association.

Luise is survived by her daughter, Lisa Davis, son-in-law Mark Fatula, and cherished granddaughter and namesake, Rachel Luise Jane Fatula, all of Boalsburg, PA; her brother Carl Kalberkamp of Carlisle, PA; one niece and nephew; several cousins; and many extended family members and dear life-long friends. She will be dearly missed and remembered for her intellect, keen wit, passion for causes, and her devotion to her family.

A memorial service will be held from 11a.m. until 1p.m. on Sunday, April 22, 2018 at The Makery, 209 W. Calder Way, State College.

Memorial service in Pittsburgh will be held in the spring and announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Luise's name may be made to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, 800 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 or to a charity of the donor's choice.

Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at