I remember that Jim, his wife and his daughter Amanda were killed in Ashville, North Carolina in 2003 in a small plane he was piloting.  He was on the staff of Stony Brook University Hospital on Long Island. 

- David Kessler
From SFGate.com:

DAVIS, Dr. James; Francie; Amanda

Tuesday, March 18, 2003
DAVIS, Dr. James; Francie; Amanda - Dr. James and Francie Davis and their daughter Amanda were realizing a dream before they died. And they were doing so together. The three were celebrating the book tour surrounding Amanda's first novel, Wonder When You'll Miss Me. And the proud parents wanted to be by her side as their 32-year-old daughter made stops at bookstores in big cities and small towns. Their plane, which Jim was piloting, crashed in the woods outside Asheville, NC on Friday March 14th. The past year was a joyous one for the Davises. In addition to Amanda's success, they also welcomed their first grandchild, Maxwell Davis, the son of their son Adam, who builds stages and set designs in Pennsylvania, and his wife Tracey, a dancer. Jim and Francie also shared excitement with their daughter, Joanna, who recently moved to San Francisco and began receiving recognition for her paintings and artwork. All three of the Davis children were artists - both by profession and at heart. And it was visiting their children and sharing in their experiences that most delighted the couple of 38 years. Jim, 63, was in his 38th year of practice as a neurologist and in his 11th year with the Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York, where he served as chairman of the neurology department. Prior to moving to Stony Brook in 1992, he was professor of neurology at Duke University for 20 years. Having published more than 130 medical papers and one book, Davis was a leader in his profession both as a researcher and teacher. He was also an avid learner, taking up flying at the age of 60. Francie, 59, was an assistant professor and librarian at Dowling College, where she helped oversee a high-tech research department and 182,000 volumes. But Francie's research beginnings were much humbler - as the librarian at her children's elementary, middle and high schools in Durham, N.C., where she helped students prepare book reports and find books to enjoy. She was a gourmet cook, taught Web programming, and loved rollerblading and shopping. Amanda grew up in Durham and graduated from Wesleyan University and received her MFA from Brooklyn College. She spent the last 10 years in New York. She recently moved to Oakland, Calif., where she taught creative writing in the MFA program at Mills College. Her first book, a collection of short stories called Circling the Drain, (Weisbach Books/Harper Perennial 1999). She was also featured in the Best New American Voices 2001. Wonder When You'll Miss Me, just published by William Morrow, has received rave reviews. Amanda was known for her empathy and wit, courage, sense of humor, and a passion for life. The Funeral will be held 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday 19th at the Judea Reform Congregation in Durham. 1955 W. Cornwallis Road (919-489-7062). A memorial service for Amanda will be held in New York City on Wednesday, March 26th at Housing Works in SoHo. The address is: 126 Crosby St. (phone 212-334-3324). There will also be a memorial service for Amanda in the Bay Area on April 19th at A Clean Well Lighted Place For Books. 601 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco. (415-441-6670). Friends and family are asked to make donations to the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference (earmark donations Amanda Davis Fund). The address is: Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, Middlebury College Middlebury, VT 05753

From the Ashville Citizen Times:

Author, parents die in plane crash
March 16, 2003  472 words  ID: ash14962922
Author, parents die in plane crash OLD FORT -- The bodies of three people and the wreckage of a small plane were found Saturday morning in McDowell County. The plane, carrying a mother, father and daughter, crashed Friday afternoon after taking off from Asheville Regional Airport. The pilot, James Davis, 63, of Long Island, N.Y., was licensed to fly only in clear weather, flight instructor Guy Maher said.

The Paid Obituary Notice in the NY Times:


DAVIS-James N., MD. The Faculty, Physicians & Staff at Stony Brook University, the School of Medicine in Stony Brook University Hospital are saddened by the passing of James N. Davis, MD, his wife Frances and daughter Amanda. We mourn the untimely death of an inspired teacher, researcher, clinician, and mentor. Funeral Services on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 at Judea Reform Temple in Durham, N.C. Interment will follow at the Judea Reform Cemetery.

Neurology, Vol. 61, Issue 6, 741 September 23, 2003

James N. Davis, MD (19392003)

Larry B. Goldstein and Mark A. Kaufman
You have reached the most complete version of this article accessible without further authentication.
More complete versions are available.
Link to article

 Amanda Davis

Davis was on her book tour last Friday, going from bookstore to bookstore through North Carolina in a Cessna 177 Cardinal piloted by her 63-year-old father, James Davis.Her mother, Francie Davis, 59, was with them. They had taken their vacations, him from neurology, her from teaching, to fly their daughter to her book dates. Davis, a Bread Loaf fellow and Paris Review contributor, had just brought out her first novel. Published by William Morrow,
it expanded from one of the short stories in her acclaimed collection, "Circling the Drain" (Perennial, $13). The novel's title is "Wonder When You'll Miss Me."
The plane crashed on a wooded mountainside 16 miles from Asheville early Saturday. It crashed shortly after takeoff from the Asheville airport. There were no survivors. No one yet knows exactly what happened.
Davis left a brother and a sister: Adam Davis, 29, of Lancaster, Pa., and Joanna Maure Davis, 26, an artist in San Francisco.