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Dr. Donald Davidsen, of Canisteo

CANISTEO-Dr. Donald R Davidsen passed away unexpectedly at Rochester General Hospital on Saturday January 10, 2015 with his wife and children by his side.


Born in Flushing NY in 1936 to the late George and Emily Davidsen, he later moved to Greenwich, NY and graduated from high school there in 1953. He attended the New York State College of Agriculture at Cornell University and received the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1959. After graduation, Don joined the US Air Force where he attained the rank of Captain while serving in Alabama, and Aviano, Italy. After returning to the states in 1964, he opened a large animal practice in Canisteo where he practiced until 1987. During this time, Don served as a member of the Canisteo Central School Board, as a Steuben County Coroner and as a Steuben County legislator and vice chairman. He also chaired the Legislature’s Agriculture, Industry and Planning Committee, which designed and directed the construction of it’s new 10 million dollar county office building which he was very proud of. A street in front of the office “Davidsen Way” bears his name. He was elected to the Steuben County Hall of Fame in 2002.


In 1986 Don was elected to the New York State Assembly. While in the assembly he served as the ranking minority member of both the Assembly Health and Agriculture Committees. In 1995 Don was appointed Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets for the State of New York, a position he held until his retirement in 1999.


Don enjoyed oil painting, building models of tall ships, traveling the world, but mostly his family. Don was predeceased by his wife Elizabeth Warner and his brother Roger. In 2005 Don married Valarie Smith who survives. In addition, Don is survived by his brother George (Nancy) Davidsen, and three children. Karen (John) Polechetti, Kristine (Bruce) MacKellar, Richard (Loriann) Davidsen. Eight grandchildren, AJ, Christa, and Mia Polechetti, Daniel, James, and Michael Dineen, and Matthew and Aleah Davidsen, as well as Seven Step-children, 11 step-grandchildren and One Step-great grandson.


Don was a charter member and past president of the Hornell Area Art’s Council. A past president of the Canisteo Rotary Club, Director for the Finger Lakes Association, member of the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency, member of the America Legion, Morning Star Lodge #65 F&AM of Canisteo, and the First Presbyterian Church of Canisteo. He was a very active member of the Steuben County Republican Party until his death and was a great resource to aspiring politicians everywhere.


To send a remembrance to the family or to light a candle in Don’s memory, please visit The family is being assisted by Gerald R. Brown, Director.


The family will be present to receive friends at the Brown & Powers Funeral Home, 6 Spruce Street, Canisteo on Wednesday from 2-4 & 6-8 PM. A masonic memorial service will follow calling hours at 8 PM. Funeral services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, South Main Street, Canisteo, on Thursday at 11 AM. Rev. Daniel Pickering will officiate. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery, Canisteo.


Friends wishing to remember Don, are asked to consider a contribution to the Wimodaughsian Library, 19 West Main Street, Canisteo, NY 14823 or to Care First, 11751 East Corning Road, Corning, NY 14830-3657.

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