Jeannette Davis was born in South Bend, Indiana to Pansy and Phillip Berger on January 24, 1918. She died of natural causes in Purdys, New York on March 18, 2018, just a few weeks after her 100th birthday celebration. Jeannette grew up in Goshen, Indiana, attended Goshen College, and began her teaching career there in 1937. She continued her education at Manchester College and received a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Michigan State University. In 1954 Jeannette married Howard William Davis of Mishawaka. She began teaching in Mishawaka at Elm Road Elementary School and in 1957 moved to Mishawaka High School. After fifty years in the teaching profession, she retired in 1987 as head of the MHS guidance department. She loved her Cavemen and Lady Cavemen and never missed a school play, concert, or sporting event. She was a wise, kind listener for so many teenagers who sat across from her desk at Mishawaka High School or at her kitchen table. Always there to support and guide those at risk, Jeannette was a hands-on person who quietly volunteered into her late eighties with many non- profit organizations.
The First Presbyterian Church of Mishawaka was her faith family, and she was honored to be Clerk of Session. Her life pivoted around her church, her friends, and her family from whom she drew her strength and joy. Whether in her professional or personal life, she lived with gratitude, no regrets, and always thought of how to help others.
A passionate adventurer, she traveled across the United States sampling every type of restaurant and cuisine. In retirement she traveled with her girlfriends across Europe. When at home, she was an expert seamstress and knitter; many costumes for MHS productions came out of her sewing room. She was an ardent Michigan State Spartan football and basketball fan, but in 1975 after seeing Bobby Knight coach, she rarely missed an Indiana University Basketball game.
Jeannette is survived by her daughter, Jo Davis Lederman and granddaughter, Katerina Lederman of Gold Canyon, Arizona; grandson, Benjamin Lederman and son-in law, David Lederman both of Poughkeepsie, New York; sisters-in-law, Elizabeth (Davis) Laker and Barbara (Davis) Ellis of Carrollton, Texas; as well as nieces and nephews across the country. She was preceded in death by her husband, Howard in 1962; and in 1985 by her sister, Mrs. A. V. Harter of Goshen and Scottsdale, Arizona.
The family invites Jeannette’s dear neighbors, friends, and students for a celebration of life on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at the First Presbyterian Church of Mishawaka, 401 Lincolnway East. A memorial service will be held at 11:30 am with a meal in the Fellowship Hall immediately following.
The family requests donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Mishawaka.
Arrangements: Goethals & Wells Funeral Home, Mishawaka.
First Presbyterian Church
401 Lincolnway East, Mishawaka IN 46544
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