Betty J. Davis
1917 - 2007
Betty J. Davis, a beloved teacher, died on December 28th, 2007 at Calvary Hospital in New York City. She was ninety years old at her death, and until the end lived a full independent life in Greenwich Village.

She spent the first part of her life in Riverside, California, as a high school drama teacher, where she directed and taught until the mid sixties. She was married to Chester Hess, with whom she had a daughter, Penelope. At that time Betty also acted in the plays at the local Community Players, where she was an active member.

She remarried John H. Davis and lived in a theatre commune in San Francisco called The Gestalt Fool. In the 70's she and her husband moved to New York City, where she became an adjunct lecturer of Speech Communication at LaGuardia Community College through the 80's and 90's. After her retirement, Betty avidly kept up with all developments in the political and social landscape, as an avid reader of newspapers and listener of public radio.

Betty is mourned by her friends and family, who will never forget her wit, sharp intelligence, and keen observations of the human condition. She is survived by her ex-husband, John H. Davis, her daughter, Penelope Laraia, and her grandson, Sam Rockwell.

There will be no formal services, but donations can be sent in her memory to Broadway Cares: online at, or mail checks to BC/EFA at 165 West 46th Street, #1300, NY, NY 10036
Published by New York Times from Jan. 3 to Jan. 4, 2008.
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