Official Obituary of

Dr. Davina J. Gosnell

May 17, 1942 ~ March 28, 2024 (age 81) 81 Years Old

Dr. Davina Gosnell Obituary

Dr. Davina J. Gosnell, RN, PhD, FAAN, age 81 of Kent, passed away peacefully on March 28th, 2024. She was born in Youngstown, OH on May 17,1942 to parents, Thomas L. and Margaret H. Gosnell (nee Jardine). Davina was raised in Brewster, OH and was very proud and thankful for the community she grew up in.  Her parents instilled in her a strong work ethic, a belief in the value of education, and they taught her to live her life with purpose.

Davina graduated from Brewster High School in 1960 and went on to study nursing at the Massillon City School of Nursing, graduating in 1963. She served in the US Air Force Reserve to serve her country and help pay for her education.  She realized a career in nursing would allow her to devote her life to caring for, educating, and serving others. Davina went on to obtain a BSN from the University of Pittsburgh, and later attended The Ohio State University where she obtained her MSN and PhD.

She spent the early part of her career in clinical practice caring for patients. In 1978, she joined the faculty at Kent State University and formally assumed her role as an educator. She worked for KSU for over 25 years, serving the last 15 years as the Dean of the College of Nursing.  She retired from Kent State in 2003. Davina joked that “she failed at retirement,” and in 2006, she joined Hiram College as the Founding Director of their Nursing Program. Her second retirement started in 2012.

Davina served as a consultant and supervisor of the Home Health Services at the Ohio Department of Health. She held visiting consultant appointments with the WHO. She also served as the Chair of the Ohio Nurses Foundation and was a member of the Board of Directors of UH Hospitals Geauga Medical Center. She was a long-time member and loved her church, the United Methodist Church of Kent.

Davina was a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a member of the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honorary. She published a number of scholarly articles and books on the practice of nursing. For her distinguished service in the field of nursing she was the recipient of awards from the University of Pittsburgh, The Ohio State University, and from Hiram College.

Davina truly loved her work, and she also enjoyed traveling to locations where her work took her, including Papua New Guinea, Denmark, Great Britain, The Bahamas, and Zambia. This international experience led her to host international students in Kent.

Special gratitude to Huaming Shen, Sherrin Kong, and Margaret & Raymond Leasure for their friendship, support, and their compassionate care during the last stages of Davina’s life.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Thomas D. Gosnell. She is survived by cousins, Scott Gosnell (Becky), Janet Grafton, and Jack Jardine (Sue); and nephew, Alan Welch (Hope).

Funeral service 11 A.M. FRIDAY April 5 at the United Methodist Church of Kent, 1435 E. Main Street. Friends may call one hour prior to the service. Interment at Union Lawn Cemetery in Navarre. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the United Methodist Church of Kent, the KSU Dean Davina J. Gosnell Endowed Nursing Scholarship Fund, or to the Hiram College Davina J. Gosnell Education Needs Fund for Nursing Students

Services in care of Bissler & Sons Funeral Home and Crematory, 628 West Main Street, Kent, OH 44240

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Calling Hours
April 5, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
United Methodist Church of Kent
1435 E. Main Street
Kent, OH

Funeral Service
April 5, 2024

11:00 AM
United Methodist Church of Kent
1435 E. Main Street
Kent, OH

April 5, 2024

1:30 PM
Union Lawn Cemetery
50 4th St NE
Navarre, OH 44662


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