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Welcome to the memorial page for

Elizabeth Davis

October 1, 1917 ~ November 15, 2017 (age 100)

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Memorial Mass
November 20, 2017

11:00 AM
St. Basil Catholic Church
513 Monroe Boulevard
South Haven, MI 49090

Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Rose Buddy Davis, of South Haven, Mi. passed away Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at her home.  She was born on October 1, 1917 to Dr. Edward Phillip Buddy and Genevieve Rose McGinness Buddy in St. Louis, Missouri.

She graduated from Marquette with a B.A. in psychology, obtained a Masters in Psychology and Guidance and worked on a PHD at Catholic University in Washington D.C.  She was employed as Asst. Dean of Women, Director of Research in the Graduate School of Nursing and Counselor to graduate students.

Following her ambitious path, Betty joined the Red Cross and traveled to Europe where she met her husband, the gentleman South Haven came to know as Dr. James Davis. Their military career extended world-wide until they were assigned state side allowing for an eventual settlement in S. Haven.

Dr. Davis preceded Betty in death, the year 1989.  She is survived by their 3 children, Dr. James Buddy Davis, Mackey Davis (Donna) and Dr. Connell Davis Jensen (Sandy).  In addition, she leaves 4 grandchildren,  3 great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and neighbors.

Betty Davis was a visionary, always advocating for community involvement, the rights of women and basic human justice.  Listed below are a few of her many accolades which she humbly regarded as her basic lifetime duties.

  • 1st Woman Mayor of South Haven
  • Awarded – “Woman of the Year in Government-Elected Office” by Lake Mich. College, June 1975
  • State Vice President-AAUW Michigan Division
  • State President – AAUW Michigan Division
  • Member of Nat’l Board of Trustees for AAUW
  • Served 7 years as Vice President of S.H. School Board
  • Served on Kalamazoo Catholic Diocesan Board of Education
  • Board of Directors and secretary to Woman’s Resource Center, Grand Rapids, Mi.
  • Michigan Maritime Museum-Board of Trustees
  • Vice-chair of S.H. city planning commission, (21st century goals)
  • Named by Gov. Milliken to 2 terms on the Michigan Woman’s Commission.  (15 Member board)
  • Faculty of University of Hawaii, Catholic Univ., Washington, D.C.
  • Assoc. Dean of women, Webster College, St. Louis, Mo., Assistant Dean – Ohio Univ., Faculty, St. Basil, S.H. Mi.
  • Board of Directors-WAIF Adoption Program, International Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Hawaii.
  • Special Emissary- Armed Forces, surveillance of orphanages in far eastern Countries.
  • Assistant Field Director-Europe-Red Cross-W.W.11
  • Van Buren County Board - Red Cross
  • South Haven Council for Camp Fire Girls
  • South Haven Comm. Foundation
  • Historical Assoc. of S. Haven
  • Breast Cancer Survivor

While dedicated to her extraordinary goals and visions, Betty Davis was a devoted wife, mother and friend.  Her inspiration and fortitude remains a compelling force within the many lives she so kindly touched. 

Betty embraced Catholicism through-out her entire life, true to her family tradition and values.  Her faith provided consolation through her many challenges.

She resolved to live each day fully, always moving forward.   So inspired, she anticipated her heavenly reunion with those whom she was fortunate to know and love!

The family wishes to thank you for your many prayers and acts of kindness.  In lieu of flowers, it is requested that all donations be given to AAUW’S Scholarship Fund in the name of Betty Davis.  Donations can be sent to Jan Blaising – 912 Adams Rd. – South Haven, 49090.

A special thanks is extended to Hospice (Caring Circle) for their undivided attention and care. And last but not least, the family sends a special thanks to Sara Hardina, who Betty fondly referred to as her “Personal Manager” during these final and gentle years!


Mass will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, November 20, 2017 at the St. Basil Catholic Church in South Haven with Rev. James Morris officiating. Betty will be laid to rest next to her husband in Lakeview Cemetery.  

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