Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday's Obituary: Mary Frances and Walter

Sunday’s Obituary is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers asking us to post obituaries along with other information about that person.

Mrs. Davis Dies;
Funeral Friday

Mrs. Mary Frances Davis, widow of Walter Beriah Davis and a resident of Harrisonburg for the past 13 years, died Wednesday afternoon at three o’clock at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Violetta Ryan, 473 South Mason Street.

Mrs. Davis suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on October 6 and was for three weeks a patient at the Rockingham Memorial Hospital.  She returned to her residence on October 27 and seemed to be improving until three weeks ago when her condition became critical.

A daughter of the [sic.] James F. and Lucy Ann Jollett, she was born in Greene County, where she spent the early part of her life and attended public schools.
Following her marriage on February 11, 1890 to Walter Beriah Davis, Mr. and Mrs. Davis resided at Shenandoah for forty years.  For the past 13 years, Mrs. Davis has been making her home with her daughter in Harrisonburg.

Mrs. Davis was a quiet, unassuming person with many fine qualities.  Her cheerful disposition and lovable nature endeared herself to all with whom she came in contact.

Mrs. Davis united with the church in early life and was a faithful member of the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Shenandoah where she had taken an active part in its various organizations.

The last surviving member of a family of nine children, Mrs. Davis is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Velma Woodring, Martinsburg, W. Va., and Mrs. Violetta Ryan, Harrisonburg; two sons, Millard M. Davis, Shenandoah and Orvin O. Davis, Portsmouth; two grandchildren Orvin O. Davis, Jr., Shenandoah, and Miss Mary Eleanor Davis, a student at Madison College; two great grandchildren Glenn Edward Davis and Miss Barbara Ann Davis, both of Shenandoah.  Her husband, a well known building contractor, preceded her in death on October 31, 1934.

Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon at two o’clock from the Shenandoah Evangelical United Brethren Church, with her pastor, the Rev. P. W. Fisher, in charge of the services assisted by Dr. E. E. Miller.  Burial will be in the family lot in the United Brethren Cemetery in Shenandoah.  Nephews will serve as active pallbearers.

The body now rests at the Lindsey Funeral Home on South Main Street where it will remain until twelve o’clock Friday when it will be taken to the church to lie in state from one o’clock until the hour of the services.  Relatives are asked to meet at the home of her son, Millard M. Davis, 407 Sixth Street in Shenandoah, Friday afternoon at one-forty.


Walter B. Davis, aged 66, died at his home in Shenandoah on Thursday night after several years of declining health. The immediate cause of his death was Bright Disease and heart trouble. He is survived by his wife, who before marriage was a Miss Jollett and four children: Millard M. Davis, of Norfolk, Va.; O. O. Davis of Shenandoah; Miss Violetta Davis of Harrisonburg and Mrs. Velma Woodring of Martinsburg, W.Va., and several brothers and sisters. The deceased is a native of Greene County though has been living in Shenandoah for the past forty years. For many years, he followed the carpenter trade and later operated a grocery store in Shenandoah now run by his son O. O. Davis. Mr. Davis was quiet and unobtrusive and had many friends who regret to hear of his passing. The burial will take place Saturday at 2 p.m. preceded by short services at the U. B. Church by Rev. Lee E. Sheaffer.

from the Richmond Times Dispatch Nov 4, 1934

Shenandoah, Nov. 3 – Funeral services were held today for Walter Davis, 67, well-known Shenandoah merchant. Services were conducted by the Rev. Lee E. Sheaffer. Mr. Davis is survived by his widow and four children: Orvin Davis, Shenandoah; Miss Violeta Davis of the State Teachers’ College, Harrisonburg; Mrs. Woodring, Martinsburg, W.Va., and Millard Davis, Norfolk. The following brothers and sisters also survive: Mrs. Marshall, Mrs. Morris, and Lorenzo Davis, Washington, and Mrs. Bruce Davis McGaheysville.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. I've always felt for those who are the last to go in their family. I know every family has someone, and yet I remember how my own grandmother felt so alone when she was the last in her family living.

    1. Oh I know! I remember when Aunt Lil agonized over everyone dying ahead of her. She was the oldest of 9. She said, "If I don't hurry up and die, there will be no one left to come to my funeral." That was really sad.

  2. I too feel sorry for the last of the siblings. My mom was the youngest and the last of the 10 siblings to pass on. I often wondered how sad that was for her. I for some odd reason like to read obits, even if I don't know the person.


    1. I like reading old obits but not today's so much. Where I live we have to pay for an obituary, and it's not cheap. So now it's usually just the bare bones.

  3. Obituaries which are full of information - love it! I guess there is good news to being an only child like my mom - she didn't ever have to worry about being the first or last sibling to die. LOL!