Andrew D. “Andy” Davis
Andrew D. “Andy” Davis of Verona, Wisconsin, passed away on Friday morning, January 6, 2023 following a 1 ½ year battle with prostate cancer. He fought courageously and never lost his positive attitude despite the challenges. He passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family.
Born on August 13, 1954 in Richland Center, WI, Andy was the youngest of Mary M. Dorgan and Charles K. Davis’s 7 children. The family moved to Kenosha, WI in 1960. Andy attended St. Mark’s school (where his mom was a long-time 1st grade teacher), St. Joe’s (9th grade) and graduated from Tremper HS in 1972. He was voted the most outstanding math student of his 800 member graduating class, an honor he remained proud of all his life. He met his future wife Rita Schultz in the Tremper band room where she played the bassoon and he played the French horn.
Andy attended UW-Parkside for two years majoring in math before changing majors & transferring to UW-Madison. He graduated with a BBA – Actuarial Science in May, 1977. On June 25, 1977, he married his high school sweetheart Rita and the pair moved to Indianapolis, IN where Andy began his actuarial career at American United Life Insurance Company (AUL). He spent four years with AUL where his favorite memories included playing Santa Claus at the company holiday party and contributing a memorable weekly saying to the AUL sign board “When the chips are down, the buffalo move on.”
In Fall, 1977, Andy joined the Indianapolis Jaycees, a young men’s volunteer network. He played a major role in organizing & running the group’s “America 204” celebration in 1980 – a huge 3-day music, food & fireworks festival honoring America’s 204th birthday in downtown Indianapolis. This experience came in handy in later years when he used the America 204 event as a template for Brat Fest.
While Andy enjoyed the people he worked with at AUL, he came to realize that sitting at a desk all day crunching numbers and working on mortality tables wasn’t for him. He was too much of a “people” person. He & Rita also missed Wisconsin, so together they moved back to Madison where Andy began working as a financial advisor for what was then IDS Financial Services. It was here that Andy found his true passion. He quickly moved from an individual advisor to a district manager to a division manager, and from there to a division vice president (DVP) where he found himself in charge of numerous IDS/Ameriprise financial planning offices across multiple states. Unfortunately, being a DVP precluded him from working face-to-face with clients, something he came to miss greatly. In the early 2000s, he stepped back into an advisor role and became an equal partner with the newly-created Jahn Kruschke Davis team. The team bought out Mary Kruschke, acquired additional offices in Reedsburg, Richland Center, Janesville and Rockton, IL and evolved into the Capital Wealth Advisory Group, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial.
Andy’s Jaycee connections continued when he moved back to Madison. He served as chairman of the “Wisconsin Torch Run” – part of the Badger State Games in 1984. He obtained actual Olympic torches which were used by countless people who ran throughout the State bringing the Olympic spirit to many.
By mid 2017 Andy came to realize that the goals & vision of others in CWAG conflicted with his, preventing him from serving his clients the way he felt was best. In August, 2017 Andy left CWAG and began Remagiment Advisors, still under the Ameriprise umbrella. By early 2021 Andy felt the affiliation with Ameriprise was no longer the best option to serve his clients so in Feb. 2021 Remagiment switched to Commonwealth. It marked the end of his 40-year career with IDS/American Express Financial Advisors/Ameriprise Financial Advisors where he’d served on many committees and received numerous accolades for his innovative work with “complex teams”.
Like other great literary geniuses – Lewis Carroll, Shakespeare and Dr. Suess – Andy liked to make up his own words, including the name of his new financial practice. Remagiment, a term coined and trademarked by Andy himself, is the process of reimagining your life, particularly at major milestones like retirement or buying a first home. Andy was always the guide on the side, encouraging everyone around him to become the best versions of themselves. Clients and friends remember his advice to NOT “slaughter chickens” but rather, “spend the eggs”.
Andy’s propensity for offering guidance and support led him to write and publish a series of books. Charlie’s Journey, a leadership fable, is a three book series following a young man named Charlie as he moves into leadership roles within his company. Andy also wrote and published The Fulfilling Aging Plan to explore the concerns, issues and opportunities we face as we age, while understanding your identities and purposes, and where they come from. All funds raised from selling his books are donated directly to the nonprofit organization Andy founded: The Madison Youth Performing Arts Foundation (MYPAF).
Living in Madison, the home of the world-famous Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps, gave Andy and Rita the opportunity to serve as “American Parents” to numerous young people aged 16-21 who came here from Japan, Thailand, England, the Netherlands, and many parts of the US to march with the corps. Their house was filled with the constant sounds of drums and horns, and the lawn in their backyard was worn thin by colorguard members practicing with rifles and flags. The Easter Bunny had to work extra hard to hide nine or more baskets every Easter Sunday for corps kids to find. Andy spent many summer weeks driving a corps bus thousands of miles as the group toured and competed across the country. It was also common to find him playing his French horn right along with the corps members as they practiced. In later years the Davis house extended its hospitality to corps members from Southwind (Kentucky), Dutch Boy (Kitchner, Ontario), and Capital Sound. The state of Kentucky awarded him the honorary title of “Kentucky Colonel” for his work with Southwind.
Andy served on the Board of Directors for the Madison Scouts for many years. He worked as Executive Director during the difficult 2004-2005 season, where he was instrumental in helping keep the group afloat financially when they were in danger of folding.
To help with the corps fundraising effort, Andy established the nonprofit organization MYPAF (Madison Youth Performing Arts Foundation) in 2004. Since that time it has evolved into a major fundraising vehicle for numerous nonprofit organizations, community initiatives, and youth performing arts and sports groups in Wisconsin and Illinois.
One of MYPAF’s biggest and most involved projects was its partnership with the World’s Largest Brat Fest in Madison, WI. Andy met Tim Metcalfe of Brat Fest and Metcalfe’s Markets in 2005 and asked if he could bring the Madison Scouts to Brat Fest as a way to introduce the corps to the city. Tim was dubious, but agreed. By 2015, Andy and Tim’s partnership transformed Brat Fest into the largest free music festival in the country and together with their team they have facilitated the donation of over $1 million dollars to more than 200 local charities and nonprofits. Andy’s work with Brat Fest led to him receiving the Tradition of Music Award in 2015. Andy spent every Memorial Day Weekend since 2005 helping to make Brat Fest as successful as possible. He even worked all three days this past Memorial Day Weekend despite the fatigue he had while undergoing the brutal chemo treatments. Seeing his smile and energy while he did his usual “Brat Fest” thing was awesome. He told everyone he “felt he was home”.
Andy also found time to coach his son Chad’s hockey team for several years and to perform proudly in the “I’m Too Sexy” parent dance routine at Nicki’s Kehl dance recital.
A chance meeting, through a WHA fundraising auction, introduced Andy to Barry and Patti Levenson, the creators of the National Mustard Museum. This relationship blossomed into a long-time personal friendship as well as Andy becoming an ongoing supporter of the nonprofit museum. In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting Andy’s final fundraising project for the revitalization (and remagiment) of the Mustard Museum. Please use this link to donate: https://givebutter.com/3Mdf0b.
Andy is survived by his wife Rita Davis (Schultz) of Verona, Wisconsin, daughter Nicki (Chris) Young of Brooklyn, Wisconsin, son Chad Davis (friend Miles Tschorz) of Detroit, Michigan, “son” Chewy (Yulia) Suzuki and their children Sofia and Kota of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and “son” Tyler Pollock and his daughter Tyasiah of Madison, Wisconsin. He’s also survived by brothers Dick (Sue) Davis of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Ken (Lavonne) Davis of Muskego, Wisconsin, sisters Edie (BJ) Shannon of Scottsdale, Arizona and Ginny (Ed) Scruggs of Alpharetta, Georgia. Additionally, he’s survived by his mother-in-law Sylvia (Wilson) Shierk of Kenosha, WI, and many wonderful nieces, nephews, countless friends, and our special drum corps “kids” worldwide. He was preceded in death by his father Charles (Chick), mother Mary, brother Bill, sister Mary Ellen Burke, and nephew Darren Burke.
To our wonderful husband, father, uncle, co-worker and friend – we will miss your enthusiastic spirit, generosity, and visionary outlook. We’ll miss your cheering for the Badgers and Packers and grumbling about losing the football pool. We’ll miss hearing your highly animated voice reading “The Sneazle” with great enthusiasm. Andy wanted all of us to remember “you are the lighthouse in someone else’s storm” and to always strive to create infinities that will continue on long after we’re gone. Andy – MYNWA (may you never walk alone).
A service to celebrate Andy’s life will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 14, 2023 at Nakoma Golf Club, 4145 Country Club Drive, Madison, WI 53711. Visitation will be held from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday at Nakoma.
To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com.
Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services
220 Enterprise Drive
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