Mary Jean Atkinson Davis passed away Monday (Dec. 3, 2012) in the Cherith Care Center at Willow Brook Christian Village in Delaware, Ohio.
She was 94 years old. Mary Jean was born in Pataskala to Aimee Belle Coons and Charles Ewing Atkinson. She was the third child in the family and truly loved her older brothers Charles and Stanton. While in the third grade, the family moved to Granville where she attended schools and graduated from Granville H.S. She attended her beloved Dennison University for two years before leaving to work at Ohio Power. She met Thomas Zachariah Davis and they were married on Aug. 17, 1941. She joined our dad to work in the family business: the Zack Davis Seed Company. She talked fondly of making the large maps of Ohio, the United States and Ohio State seal out of garden seeds for display at the Delaware County Fair and the Ohio State Fair. After more than 35 years living on North Franklin Street in the original Davis home, they moved to the farm originally purchased by John and Mary Davis in the 1850s. After the death of her husband in 1986, Mary Jean lived at the farm until 2000 when she moved to her new apartment at Willow Brook with the coveted view of the pond and Blue Carpet. It was a big change for her but she adapted and was always grateful for a warm and safe place to live. She joined old friends and made many new friends while at Willow Brook.
Mary Jean loved her family, nature, any animal and her heritage. Her kids were clothed in the beautiful sweaters, hats and mittens she knitted through the years. She was a member of the Mother's Club, the African Violet Club, the Sarah Moore Home Board, the Delaware County Historical Society, the Radnor Heritage Society, the First Presbyterian Church and Alpha Phi Sorority at Dennison. She was a 73-year member of the DAR and served, at her daughter's overzealous request, as the Girl Scout Troup cookie lady several times. She and Lawrence Hardin kept the store open while Zack was away during WWII. She and Zack continued to work side-by-side at the store until they sold the business to their son, Thomas.
Mom loved all of the cats and dogs that graced her life and fed the birds religiously in town and at the farm. She never turned away a stray cat and had so many pet kittens named Skitter that her kids have lost track. Mary Jean always said she was marked for life in 1918 after the family cat decided her baby carriage was a safe place to keep its litter of kittens.
She is survived by daughter, Mary Anne Davis of Boise, Idaho; son, Thomas Z. Davis and his wife Ellen Sue of Delaware; grandson, Zack Davis of Los Angeles; grandson, Brian Davis and his wife Jaclyn; great-granddaughter, Elise Camelia Davis, all of Westerville; nephews, niece, and many great and great-great nieces and nephews in Idaho and Arizona. "Dioch yn fawr. Rydym yn caru chi mom."
Mary Jean was preceded in death by her parents; brothers; cousins; and her husband, Zack.
A Celebration of Life time of sharing will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, in the Garden Room at Willow Brook Christian Village, 100 Willow Brook Way South, Delaware.
The family is so grateful to the staff at Willow Brook Christian Village, Kandy Cox and her staff, Cherith staff, Carol Roden, Shelia and Jessica from Heartland Hospice, Dr. Anderson for his care, and all of her friends for keeping Mary Jean in their prayers. The family requests no flowers but that contributions are made to the Delaware County Humane Society (4920 Ohio 37 East Delaware, OH 43015); Cherith at Willow Brook Christian Village (100 Willow Brook Way South, Delaware, Ohio 43015); or Heartland Hospice (685 Delaware Ave, Suite 200, Marion, Ohio 43302).
The Snyder-Rodman Funeral Center is honored to serve the Davis family and condolences may be expressed and memories shared by visiting snyderfuneralhomes.com.
Published in The Delaware Gazette on Dec. 6, 2012