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Mary Agnes Sullivan Davison

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Mary Agnes Sullivan Davison

AGE: 94 •

Mary Agnes Sullivan Davison was called home by her Lord on January 9, 2016. She died peacefully at Sunrise of North Hills in Raleigh, NC, at the age of 94. Mrs. Davison is preceded in death by her husband Robert W. Davison of Wilmington, DE, her sister Alma M. Sullivan, MD of New Orleans, LA, and her brother Bartholomew P. Sullivan, Jr. of New Orleans, LA. She is survived by her daughter Mary Davison Mellen of Yonkers, NY, and her daughter Anne Davison Baden and son-in-law Joseph H. Baden of Raleigh, NC. She is also survived by seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Mrs. Davison was born in New Orleans, LA, in 1921. She was the daughter of Alma Marie Salvant Sullivan, a high school math teacher, and Bartholomew P. Sullivan, Sr., a businessman and community leader. She attended Sophie Newcomb College of Tulane University, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1941. She earned a Master of Science degree in Physical Chemistry at Tulane University in 1943. She was a teaching fellow at Mount Holyoke College from 1944-45. She was admitted to the doctoral program in Physical Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1945, where she was the only woman in her class. In 1950, she graduated with her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry. She was one of ten women - graduate or undergraduate - who received a degree from the university that year. She was a laboratory instructor in chemistry at Wellesley College from 1948-1949 and at MIT in 1950.

Mrs. Davison married Robert W. Davison in 1949. She moved with him to Wilmington, DE, when he accepted a position as a research chemist at Hercules Incorporated in 1950. She lived nearly 50 years in Wilmington, DE, with her husband and two daughters and was active in various philanthropic organizations such as the American Association of University Women, the Winterthur Guild, and the Delaware Memorial Hospital Junior Board. She was active as a Lay Minister of the Eucharist at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Wilmington.

Mrs. Davison returned to New Orleans in 1999 after the death of her husband, and lived for many years at the Chateau de Notre Dame, a Catholic retirement community. She was active in Tulane alumni activities and attended theology classes at Loyola University and the Notre Dame Seminary. She was a Lay Minister of the Eucharist at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in New Orleans, where she had been confirmed 70 years earlier.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 23, at 11 a.m. in the St. Mary of the Angels Chapel at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in North Raleigh. The family will receive visitors at the Chapel after the service. In appreciation of the excellent care provided to Mrs. Davison, the family requests that memorial donations be directed to Transitions LifeCare Hospice at 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.

Published in The News Journal on Jan. 16, 2016
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