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Eyre Heyniger Davisson

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MARLBORO -- Eyre Heyniger Davisson, 76, died in Marlboro on her way to church on Sunday morning, Jan. 18, 2004.

She was born in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., Dec. 16, 1927, the younger daughter of the late Marion S. and C. Lambert Heyniger. Her father was founder and head of Darrow School in New Lebanon, N.Y., where Eyre enjoyed the quiet landscapes and traditions of the Shaker community. After attending Darrow, she transferred to Westover School in Middlebury, Conn., graduating as president of her class in 1945. In 1949 she earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, where she met her first husband, Ian W. Robertson, who had served in the English navy during the war, and after university entered the Canadian diplomatic service.

They were married in August 1950, and had three children, Ainslie, Brian, and Julia. Diplomatic postings for the family were in Canada and France. The marriage ended in early 1960.

In July 1960, Eyre married William P. Davisson, and with her children they lived in Paris for four years before returning to the United States to settle in Marlboro, where William taught at Marlboro College. Here Eyre rediscovered her love of country life and involvement with a community. She became a much beloved friend to many, an enthusiastic citizen, and a good neighbor. William died in 1998.

Eyre was modest about her talents and achievements, which were many and varied. Those who knew her mention most often her smile and gracious manner, and that she always made time to talk, to listen, and often to help. One of her most endearing qualities was her sense of humor. She knew how to make people feel comfortable and she welcomed everyone who came into her life. No one who spent time with Eyre left without feeling touched by her inner joy, always abundant and informed by a sweet and warm poetic sensibility. She loved and wrote poetry, and self-published a collection of her poems, entitled “All in Good Season,” from which her family would like to share a selection:

Nocturne

I, who feared the night

Now hang upon its falling

Like bear and deer who shun the light

And feed when owls are calling,

I must wait ‘til windows close

A world of noise within

And roadways grant a short reprieve

For twilight wandering.

Then arm in arm my soul and I

Do each to each confess

A longing for a stiller world

Of love and holiness. (1989)

In addition to her children, Ainslie, Brian, and Julia, Eyre is survived by her older sister Anne Willard, her younger brother Nicholas Heyniger, nieces, nephews, and cousins; and by a step-son, Harry Davisson, and two step-granddaughters, Catherine and Ariane Boult, who still call her Aimee (French for ‘she who is loved’). She is also survived by the companion of her final years, Thomas Naugle, who helped reawaken her early delight in travel.

A funeral service for Eyre was held Thursday, Jan. 22, at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Brattleboro, and a private burial service took place in Marlboro. Eyre was also remembered Sunday morning, Jan. 25, in a service at her parish church, St. Mary’s-in-the-Mountains, Wilmington.

Donations in Eyre’s memory are asked to be directed to St. Mary’s-in-the-Mountains, in care of Covey and Allen Funeral Home, 44 East Main St., Wilmington, VT 05363.
Published in Bennington Banner on Jan. 27, 2004
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