Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mom - Betty Jane Davis, 85, Elementary School Librarian

Betty Jane Davis was born in Port Norris, NJ to Verna and Archie C. Shull in 1927.   She lived in Newfield with her beloved husband of 63 years, Richard F.Davis, who predeceased her in 2009.   Betty Jane is survived by a sister - Mary Ann Knudsen, 2 daughters - Maggie Davis and Arlene Schulgen, 6 grandchildren - Richard E. Moncrief, Brent Simmons,Melissa Hayman, Richard T Neeley, Jake Moncrief and Sarah Knopf, and many nephews, nieces, and great grandchildren.  She has taken into her heart many other sisters, brothers, daughters, and sons who will miss her loving attention.

Growing up in the Great Depression provided her with many stories of moving and living in Bridgeton where she went to elementary school and part of high school and then onto Malaga Camp.  She graduated from Vineland High School in 1945 and remained friends with high school buddies from both schools throughout her life.

She met the love of her life, Dick Davis, at a birthday party July 12, 1943.  He was tall and handsome and she was "almost" 5 foot 2 with eyes of blue.  Neither had eyes for any other from that day on and they were married in May of 1946.

Settling into a house on Church Street in Newfield in 1950 with her husband and 2 daughters, Betty Jane supported many town organizations and endeavors including the United Methodist Church, Edgarton Memorial School PTA,  Newfield Swim Club, Rose Hill Cemetery, and the Newfield Library.   Although an "adopted daughter" of Newfield, Betty Jane and Dick were a team working to keep Newfield a great small town to live in.

With one of their daughters in high school and the other almost there, Betty Jane, her husband and daughters moved into the large house behind the squab farm and there, along with Betty and Bruce Candler, ran a restaurant and catering business called White Dove Farm. 

When her daughters were grown and had children of their own, Betty Jane fulfilled a life-long dream by attending Glassboro State College to earn a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in library education.  While she was getting these college degrees, Betty was establishing a vibrant elementary school library at Rosenhayn, adding computer literacy classes in the late '70's.  It's not unusual for one of her daughters to encounter a former Rosenhayn student who attributes part of their success to Mrs Davis's encouragement of them.

Retirement from the school library in Rosenhayn brought a move to a smaller house, travel, and a stronger devotion to the Newfield Public Library.  Along with Hazel Moore, she was a driving force in getting a new library built in the Newfield Grove as well as forming a partnership with the Gloucester County Library System.  Prior to this, the library was open for several hours one night a week and now it is a true resource for the town of Newfield, open 6 days a week with special activities for children and free-to-use computer resources.  Betty Jane remained an active member of the Library Board until June of this year, when she and Hazel Moore were honored for all their endeavors over the years.

A memorial service will be held at 2pm on Sunday July 28th in  the Newfield United Methodist Church, Columbia And Elmo Ave, Newfield, NJ 08344.  Internment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, her family asks donations in her memory be sent to the Newfield United Methodist Church or the Newfield Public Library.


Jax Moore said...

John and I send our deepest sympathies to you and the entire family. I'm glad I got to visit with her on the 14th. Please know if there is anything we can do, do not hesitate to ask!
I am please that you chose to use the photo I worked on and used for the library's FB page. Makes me feel that in some very small way, I was able to help out a bit.
You are all in our heats and thoughts!
Warmly, Jacki & John Moore

Maggie the Messmaker said...

I was so relieved to find that photo as what we had recently was not suitable. You will find I have used it on the church bulletins for the service, too. Thanks so much, Jacki, it really helped out.