Isabel Davis, 81, local teacher for almost 40 years

April 01, 2001|By Laura Lippman | Laura Lippman,SUN STAFF

Isabel Thom Barton Davis, a teacher who spent almost 40 years working with generations of Baltimore children, died Thursday of congestive heart failure at Blakehurst Life Care Community in Towson. She was 81.

A Baltimore native, Mrs. Davis never strayed far from her parents' home in the Lutherville area. She attended Bryn Mawr School and Goucher College, graduating in 1941. When she married Allen Aldrich Davis Sr. in 1940, she moved to the other side of Dulaney Valley Road, to the Hampton neighborhood.

Teaching was her great love, said her son, Aldrich Barton Davis. "She still would have been teaching, frankly, if she were able," he said. "I know it's trite to say someone loves children, loves one's job, is dedicated -- but it's hard to be modest when describing her. She was such an example."

Mrs. Davis received her teaching certificate after taking post-graduate classes at the Johns Hopkins University and began teaching while her three children were in school. She taught for 17 years at the Church of the Redeemer Parish Day School. She then taught for 10 years at the Calvert School and spent another 10 years working in that school's home instruction program.

In addition to working full time and raising her family, Mrs. Davis also found time for volunteer work. She earned volunteer pins at the Women's Hospital, Maryland General Hospital, Children's Hospital and Wyman Park Medical Center. She also was a telephone volunteer for the Baltimore County Department of Aging and read to the blind.

"She gave of herself for all those things, when a lot of people would have said, `I've given enough,'" her son said. "It was something she enjoyed. She got a lot of pleasure helping other people and giving to other people. That's the kind of person Mom was, just giving and kind."

Mrs. Davis moved to a Cross Keys condominium after her husband's death in 1989, then to Blakehurst in the mid-1990s.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the chapel at the Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St.

Survivors include two daughters, Isabel Allen Davis Craig of Lutherville and Martha Carlyle Davis Strachan of Wilmington, Del.; a brother, Carlyle Barton Jr. of Baltimore; a sister, Ann Barton Brown of Millwood, Va.; and five grandchildren.

The family suggests that contributions be made to the Church of the Redeemer.

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