Eleanor McMichael Davidson, a longtime resident of Williamsburg, passed away on January 12 in Gillette, WY, after a long illness. She was 89 years old.
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Eleanor McMichael was born in rural Oakdale, PA, near Pittsburgh. She received her early education there and met her future husband, Charles Davidson, when they were young. They married in 1954, and she joined him in Williamsburg, where he was a professor of English at the College of William and Mary for 40 years.
Eleanor had a bachelor's degree from Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA, and a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and she taught history in Milwaukee and in the rural Ozarks. Later she completed graduate studies in social work at William and Mary, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University, and worked for several years as a school social worker at Rawls Byrd and Berkeley Elementary schools in Williamsburg. She was politically active and outspoken on behalf of those in need, and a member of many voluntary organizations. In her retirement she served as a mentor for Colonial Community Corrections and as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate looking out for the best interests of children in the court system.
She was a voracious reader, and traveled extensively in Europe and to Africa. She loved children and animals, and is remembered by her family and friends for her warmth, quick intelligence, vivacity, and great compassion.
Eleanor is preceded in death by her husband, Charles Davidson, and survived by her three daughters, Ellen Brown of Gillette, WY, Kristin Davidson of Victor, ID, and Anne Davidson of Droichead Nua, Ireland; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Published in Virginia Gazette from Jan. 22 to Feb. 21, 2014