Davison, Mary Lou
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Webster: Mary Lou Davison, born Mary Lewis Adams of Webster NY. She was born in Newport News, Virginia, January 22, 1932, died January 28, 2014 unexpectedly. She is survived by her husband, John E. Davison of Webster, daughter Jeanne A. Davison of Rochester, son Brian H. Davison of Knoxville, TN, grandsons John and Jim Davison and daughter-in-law Beth Davison of Lakeville, NY. She was preceeded in death by her parents Henry Louis Adams and Jeanne Dalgleish Shankland Adams and her son David J. Davison.
Davison was active in advocacy for major causes wherever she lived.
Currently her major causes have involved the Seneca Park Zoo and the Presbytery of Genesee Valley. At the zoo she has served as the docent (educational volunteer) in charge of the Biofacts Collection. Biofacts are what the animal leaves behind when it dies (skulls, bones, pelts) which can be used to teach about animals and appreciation of them. She was also a member of the docent and the zoo's conservation committees. A four-term Presbyterian elder, she has worked for 13+ years as Presbytery Journal Clerk, recording happenings and producing minutes for meetings of the Presbytery. She was a member of the Presbytery Committee on Preparation for Ministry, which advocates for those in the process of becoming Presbyterian Ministers. At her current home church, Webster Presbyterian, she has served as Clerk of Session, the governing body of the church, chair of the Peacemaking Committee, and member of the Mission, Stewardship, Adult Education, and Fellowship committees.
In Westfield, she first became an advocate for Conservation and the Environment. Astonished by the "Lake Erie Is Dead!" slogan and brought into activity by the Association of University Women's study of "Our Beleaguered Earth" she became involved in the Chautauqua County Conservation organization and the unsuccessful campaign to stop the building of a bridge across Chautauqua Lake. She was at times secretary of the conservation organization and president of AAUW. Simultaneously she worked as a member and then as president of the Westfield Memorial Hospital Auxiliary in the hospital's successful battle to keep the NY State Department of Health from closing the 32-bed hospital. Her Presbyterian connections called her to serve on the Western New York Presbytery Publicity and Christian Education Committees and to write the Presbytery's portion of the denomination Mission Yearbook of Prayer. For 12 years as their Church school teacher, she followed a group of students throughout their school years, utilizing costumes and camera to capture and implant Bible stories and their messages into their lives. She also led a group of high schoolers to conceive and deliver monthly Youth Experimental Worship services.
First coming to Shelby, North Carolina in the sixties, she and others were appalled by the lack of a two-party system in the state. The Republican Party had been basically dead since Reconstruction. They joined forces to resurrect the two-party system, persuading a local mill owner to serve as Republican Party chair and Mary Lou (with her hint of a Southern accent) to take on vice-chair duties. Because of their efforts, and those of others throughout their district, the first Republican Congressman since Reconstruction from the district was elected. Always involved in the Presbyterian Church, she attended training by her North Carolina Presbytery and participated in Workshops to introduce a new denominational curriculum to the churches of the Presbytery. As president she led her garden club to join others in beautifying portions of the area, similar to the "Monroe County in Bloom" effort.
Trained in Journalism and holding a Bachelor's Degree with honors from Pennsylvania State University, she has had a varied career, saying often, "Your destination in the beginning is not always where you turn up at the end." She began as a copy writer and on-air women's voice for a radio station in her hometown of Newport News, Virginia. Veering from her normal career path, she was the Director of Christian Education for the Westfield (NY) Presbyterian Church, explaining, "I took time out to be a publicist for God."
She was tapped to edit the 125th year anniversary edition of the Westfield Republican, the weekly town newspaper whose roots were in the Republican Party and the election of Abraham Lincoln, but which had long-since outgrown party affiliation. After that she was chosen as editor for the paper, a position which she held until moving to Webster.
Her last employment in Webster was for Beechwood Software Company, a computer software company which wrote software for the nursing home and long term care industry. At Beechwood she filled many functions, finally as software computer manual writer.
Friends may call on Friday from 6-8pm at Dierna Funeral Home, 2309 Culver Rd (near Norton). Her memorial service will be celebrated Saturday 11am at Webster Presbyterian Church, 550 Webster Rd, Webster, NY. Private interment. In lieu of flowers - donations may be made in her memory to the Seneca Park Zoo Society or to the
Dierna Funeral Home
2309 Culver Road Rochester, NY 14609
Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on Jan. 30, 2014