Carol H. Davidson

Date of Death

May 20, 2024

Carol H. Davidson, a dedicated parent, community volunteer and accomplished equestrian, left our world peacefully at the age of 93 on May 20, 2024 following a life richly lived. Born on her father’s birthday in Waukegan, Illinois, Carol’s life was characterized by a vibrant spirit and a steadfast commitment to education, family, and music. Carol’s parents, early South Dakota pioneers, left their family farms to pursue education, moving through Wyoming, South Dakota, Texas, and finally to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Carol spent her teenage years.

Graduating early from high school, Carol attended San Jose State University before transferring to University of California, Berkeley, taking general studies with a minor in piano and vocal music. After graduating, she cherished her time working in San Francisco before marrying William Davidson, her brother’s friend and fraternity brother. 

They resided in San Francisco during William’s medical school years, welcoming two children. Following William’s graduation, they moved to Los Angeles for further training and had their third child. Eventually, they settled in William’s hometown of Santa Barbara, where he began his medical practice and they raised their family.  Carol was a devoted mother who took great pride in supporting the education and personal growth of her children and grandchildren.

Carol was known for her exceptional intellect and diverse talents. She began playing piano at age four, and her family recalls her beautiful soprano voice accompanying romantic compositions she played. An energetic and involved mother, wife, grandmother, and friend, Carol was deeply engaged in volunteer work with organizations such as United Way, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Hope Ranch Wetlands and the Santa Barbara Symphony. She also served on various local boards, was the financial planner for the family, and was dedicated to numerous charitable causes. In addition, Carol had a profound love for all living creatures and instilled in her family a deep respect & love for the natural world. She was equally at home in social circles, where she dressed with style and panache and was gracious and authentic in conversation. 

As her children grew older, Carol pursued her lifelong love of horses. She became a skillful equestrian and a member of the Santa Barbara Sage Hens, participating in biannual group riding treks through the Santa Ynez Valley and central coast ranches. She mastered the demanding sport of dressage, a form of horsemanship where horse and rider work together to perform intricate movements in harmony, showcasing her grace and skill as a rider. 

In retirement, Carol and William traveled to several developing countries to provide hands-on medical aid, reflecting their lifelong dedication to improving the wellbeing of others.

Carol is survived by her three children, Todd, Grant, and Wendy Davidson, and her five grandchildren, Janette, Erin, and Alec Davidson, and Jance and Lauren Kosty.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to Direct Relief (, a humanitarian charity she actively embraced.


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