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Bicyclists to ride in memory of Middle Village man

Dennis T. Davis, who lived in Middle Village before he died of pancreatic cancer in 2008, will be remembered as a family man who loved exploring the city on his beloved bicycle when riders from throughout New York embark on the second-annual bike tour named for Davis this Saturday.

Brian Davis, Dennis’ son and a former Middle Village resident, with the help of family and friends organized this year’s Dennis T. Davis Memorial Bike Ride to raise money for pancreatic cancer research.

“I wanted to put something together in his memory that could also do something that could help other families,” Davis said.

More than two dozen bicyclists are expected to begin their ride at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge in Manhattan, make their way through Brooklyn — Dennis Davis’ home borough — maneuver their way through Queens and end the event at Juniper Valley Park. There, a group of people will conduct yoga, another activity Dennis Davis loved. He was 52 when he died.

Following the bike ride that begins at 3 p.m. and the 5 p.m. yoga event, individuals will gather at The Woodhaven House in Rego Park for food, drinks and raffles.

Last year, the event raised about $5,000, all of which goes to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

About 42,470 individuals are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer annually and more than 35,000 die, according to federal statistics. Less than 5 percent of those who have had pancreatic cancer live more than five years after the diagnosis, and those who have died from the disease include actor Patrick Swayze and opera singer Luciano Pavarotti.

A man with a big heart — and moustache — Dennis Davis poured his all into his family, often taking bicycle rides with his only child, Brian. Dennis Davis’ widow, Rosemarie, still lives in Middle Village. Brian Davis, a graduate of Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, is now a social worker in Manhattan.

“He was a very humble guy, very family- and community-oriented,” Brian Davis said. “He was very important to many different people, which is why I wanted to pick something that people could participate in at all different levels. So, people can do the bike ride or the yoga, but he has family across the country so people could also donate.”

Dennis Davis worked his way up the ladder at Verizon, beginning his 25 years at the company working on and repairing phone lines and ending it in management. He then went on to work for the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, where he was at the time of his death.

An accomplished guitar player, Dennis was “very into music,” his son said and loved such artists as Jimi Hendrix, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jim Croce and Bob Dylan.

For more information about donating or the event, e-mail Brian at briandavisnyc@hotmail.com or visit www.lustgarten.org/den2010.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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