Dorothy A. Davis

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DOROTHY ANN DAVIS, 85 of Bellingham, WA, died August 3, 2018 with her husband of 64 years, Robert S. Davis, at her side. She was born April 11, 1933 in Brooklyn, NY to Ernest F. Voigt and Anna Eckhoff Voigt and is survived by her husband; her brother Ronald Voigt; her daughters Kathleen Davis, Andrea Kosaka, and Melanie Davis; and grandchildren Brittany Madderra, Jon and Carolyn Harris; Robert and Anthony Kosaka; and Brianna, Tai, and Paige Davis-Kleppinger. Davis was a bright, inquisitive woman of many talents, interests, and accomplishments. Her personal pursuits evolved from playing jacks on the stoop of her Brooklyn childhood home to learning to drive, then ski, camp, backpack, bicycle, fly fish, power boat, and sail. She was a graceful ballroom dancer and lover of the arts. She was active in the Spring Valley and Women of Morey book clubs, the Spindrifters spinning guild, and the Silver Sneakers walking group. She was accomplished in knitting, spinning, yarn dying, and black and white photography. She and her husband were coxswains in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, for which Dorothy taught water safety courses and went on patrols. Davis was a long-time member of the League of Women Voters and was passionate about social justice. She worked for fair housing, immigrant and LGBT rights and against war, nuclear weapons, and coal trains. She was a volunteer teacher at the Lummi Reservation, and she served on the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship Social Justice Committee, among other capacities. She studied psychology at Cazenovia and Queens colleges in New York and earned a Master of Arts in Education from California State University Chico while raising her daughters and working fulltime. Davis was a popular and innovative fourth grade teacher at Shasta Elementary School, Shasta, CA, where she and her husband established an enrichment program for disadvantaged students and a county-wide program for intellectually gifted students . In the mid-seventies, she brought her bold educational approach to Shasta Community College's Remedial Reading program. She later directed the college's Basic Skills/English as a Second Language program through which she built relationships with the Mien and Hmong immigrant communities. Davis's professional accomplishments led to her being the first California woman elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and first woman elected to the Shasta County Chapter of the Honorary Society of Junior College Professors. She earned the International Reading Association Literacy Award and was published in academic journals. In every community of which she was part, Davis was known for being outgoing and warm, bold, and innovative. She recognized talent and potential in others that they often did not see in themselves; in doing so, she empowered them to grow and achieve more than they imagined possible. Davis's Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth St., Bellingham, WA. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County, PO Box 4041, Bellingham, WA 98227-4041 or Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship Social Justice Committee, 1207 Ellsworth St., Bellingham, WA, 98225.
Published in Bellingham Herald on Aug. 11, 2018