Muriel Jeanne Davis
Muriel Jeanne Davis passed away quietly after a short hospital stay on March 15, 2023, at the age of 96.
Throughout her life, Jeanne had a talent and appreciation for art, something she crafted into a career as both an artist and art teacher near her home in Primghar, Iowa. As the youngest daughter of a minister, Jeanne held fast to her Christian faith, often manifested in the act of helping others. She was active in the United Church of Primghar, Evening Circle, Women’s Club and served for many years on the Primghar Public Library Board. Jeanne was quick to volunteer her artist’s gifts to many community activities and events.
Jeanne was born in Marshalltown, Iowa on February 2, 1927. After several childhood years living in Cedar Rapids and Belle Plain, Iowa, her father was assigned to an Evangelical United Brethren Church (later to become part of the United Methodist church) in Radcliffe, Iowa allowing Jeanne to attend all four years at Radcliff High School, graduating in 1944. Jeanne then attended Central College in Pella, Iowa and graduated in 1948 with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art. She spent one year teaching art in rural Michigan, in the town of Hillman. Her artist’s skill then brought her to Red Oak, Iowa where she was employed in the
Commercial Art Studio of the Murphy Calendar Company. It was in Red Oak where she met Frank Davis, whom she would marry on August 16, 1953.
Jeanne and Frank moved to Primghar, Iowa in 1956 where Frank served as a teacher at Primghar Community Schools for 35 years. At the request of several administrators at nearby Sanborn Community schools in 1965, Jeanne took a position teaching art to elementary, junior high, and senior high school students for 24 years, retiring after the 1989 school year. Jeanne and Frank Davis made Primghar, Iowa their home for over 59 years.
Jeanne and Frank began their regular travels overseas in the summer of 1976 when they visited Germany, Austria, France, and Switzerland. Subsequent trips took place for many years to Spain, Greece, Italy, China, Egypt and Israel as well as Hawaii and cruises to the Caribbean Islands and Alaska. These trips allowed the couple to gain life-long friends from their many vacations with other teachers from the Midwest.
Jeanne was preceded in death by her father the Reverend Okey and mother Myrtle Gatrelle, brothers Don and Dick Gatrelle and sisters Connie Espe and Francis Lancaster. Her husband Frank passed away in April of 2015. One year after Frank’s passing, she moved to Baltimore, Maryland to be closer to her sons and their families in Maryland and North Carolina. She was fortunate to be able to live independently in her apartment until shortly before she passed away. A Celebration of Life was held in Jeanne’s’ honor at Christ Church Apartments on March 27 and was well attended by the many friends Jeanne had made during the seven years she lived there.
She is survived by her sons Michael Davis of Baltimore, Maryland and Brian Davis, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Michael’s wife Katy Davis, daughters Emma Davis of Los Angeles, Ca. and Maggy Davis of Philadelphia, Pa, as well as Brian’s wife Brenda Davis and their sons Spencer Davis of Chapel Hill, NC, Cameron Davis of New York City, NY, Kenan Davis of Austin, TX and Graham Davis of Marquette, Mi. and many nieces and nephews.
Services will be held graveside at Primghar’s Pleasant Hill Cemetery at 1:30 p.m. on June 16, 2023, with a reception afterwards at the United Church of Primghar.