Dr. Carol Ann Rymer Davis of Denver, CO and her flying partner, Richard Abruzzo, of Albuquerque, NM, were lost at sea on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 in an area of severe thunderstorms over the Adriatic Sea. Both were world champion gas and hot air balloonists and were competing in the Gordon Bennett Race which had launched from Bristol, England on Saturday, September 25, 2010.
Carol was born in Denver, CO, on November 28, 1944, to Drs. Charles and Marion Rymer, both deceased. She is survived by her husband of 42 years, John C. Davis IV; two daughters, Heather Mead Davis Benavidez (Jody), and Marne Anne Davis Schmitz (Jon F.); and five grandchildren: Isaiah and Ryan Benavidez, and Margaret, Hunter and Tanner Schmitz. A woman of uncommon capacity and accomplishments, Carol excelled in a number of fields. One of Denver's leading radiologists, she received her bachelor's degree from Colorado College; her medical degree from The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and completed her residency in Nuclear Radiology at the Lovelace Medicine Center in Albuquerque, where she also began her career. Until her death, she was a partner at Diversified Radiology, specializing in women's health. By the time she was 18, Carol had climbed all of Colorado's 14,000 ft. peaks. She was an accomplished and avid skier and held the Senior Women's championships for Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G and Downhill. Carol and her husband, John, began hot air ballooning in 1972 and were considered among the founders of the now-popular sport of hot air ballooning in America. Carol held numerous aviation world records and titles and had received the top honors given to balloonist and to all of aviation. She served 22 years in the United States Army Reserve as a flight surgeon and retired as a full colonel in 2001. Military honors and awards included being an Honor Graduate of the Expert Field Medical Badge School at Fort Carson, Colorado and the Meritorious Service Medal for her service during Desert Storm. She is also survived by her sisters, Sue Rymer Gordon (Brian) of Andrews, TX, and Ruth Rymer (Ron Borden) of Castro Valley, CA; a brother Dr. Robin (Marilyn) Rymer of Kansas City, MO; her mother-in-law Margaret S. Davis; and her sister- and brother-in-law: Marne Davis Kellogg (Peter M.) and Andrew S. Davis, all of Denver, CO. A memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, October 16, 2010, at St. John's Cathedral, 1350 Washington St., Denver. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the donor's favorite charity in Carol's name.