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Robert Evan Davis

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ROBERT DAVIS, Ph.D., D.D. Robert Evan Davis, Ph.D., D.D., 90, a resident of Elm Terrace Gardens in Lansdale since 1998, died April 6, 2012. He was the husband of Delores (Randolph) Davis, his wife of 66 years. Born July 12, 1921 in Akron, OH, he was the son of the late John and Roberta (Morse) Davis. Fueled by a love of Christian education and serving the Lord, his career began in Amherst, MA, where he served as pastor of First Baptist Church and minister to Baptist students at Amherst College and the University of Massachusetts. A few years later he was the Protestant Chaplain at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia, and Campus Minister to Baptists and Disciples of Christ at the University of Nebraska. He also taught philosophy at Nebraska Wesleyan University, and was a visiting lecturer at the American Baptist Seminary of the West, on both the Berkeley and Covina campuses. In 1958 Davis began a career with the Board of Education and Publication of the American Baptist Churches national denomination, initially as Western Regional Director of Christian Higher Education. In 1962, a promotion to Executive Director of Christian Higher Education brought Davis and his family to Valley Forge. In 1974, he accepted a position as President of Cushing Junior College in Bryn Mawr. The school merged with Eastern College in 1982. From 1980 to 1994, Davis served as an educational consultant to several colleges in Pennsylvania and other parts of the U.S., and also served as the Interim Pastor of several churches in the Delaware Valley of Pennsylvania. He was the Chaplain at Elm Terrace Gardens from 1994 to 2001. Davis held an A.B. degree from the University of Akron, a B.D. degree from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Seminary), an M.A. from Amherst College, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Nebraska. He was awarded the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Sioux Falls College in 1965. Davis and his wife, Delores, supported Christian education in many ways, including a gift to Palmer Seminary to establish a scholarship for seminarians. They also gave generously to Elm Terrace Gardens to create a space in the Skilled Nursing wing of the facility where families could sit privately to speak with the chaplain. This room, named The Jeremiah Room, opened in 2006. Davis nurtured a lifelong love of music through singing, most notably as a member of the Christian Artists Singers for more than twenty years. As a member of the Central Committee of the World Student Christian Federation in 1960, Davis traveled to Thessalonica, Greece. 1960 also took him to Strasbourg, France, as an American delegate to the World Student Christian Federation-sponsored World Teaching Conference. Davis has been a commencement speaker and leader in Religious Emphasis Weeks at many colleges and universities, and is the author of numerous articles in religious publications. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, R. Evan Davis, Jr., and daughter-in-law, Irne, of Geneva, Switzerland; a daughter, Marcia Jessen, of King of Prussia; three grandsons, Michael Jessen of Boston, MA, Jeremy Davis and Theodore Davis of Geneva, Switzerland; and a niece, Karen Holly Hebb, of Andover, MA. He was preceded in death by his sister, Mary Lou Holly in 2009. A memorial service will be held at Elm Terrace Gardens in Lansdale, in July. Arrangements are by the Huff & Lakjer Funeral Home, Lansdale.

Published in The Reporter on Apr. 11, 2012
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