The Life of Dolores Davidson
Dolores Davidson was born Vivian Dolores Clarkston on November 25, 1933. Dolores was a native of Avondale, Pennsylvania, where she was raised by a loving and supportive village. She was baptized at an early age at Mount Tabor African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Following her graduation from Avon Grove High School in 1955, she attended Cheyney University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education. Dolores engaged in further studies at Cabrini College and Temple University.
Dolores met her soulmate, Milton H. Davidson, at Cheyney University. On October 25, 1958, Dolores married Milton, and from this union their beloved daughter, Gail Annette, was born. Together, they raised her at 636 W. Ellet Street in Philadelphia’s historic West Mt. Airy neighborhood.
Dolores’s teaching career spanned thirty-six years – fourteen in the school district of Camden, New Jersey, and twenty-two in the Wissahickon School District in Ambler, PA. She was one of the first African American teachers in the Wissahickon School District and was specifically requested to teach the children of superintendents. Dolores was the recipient of the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award from the Wissahickon School District – the district from which she retired in 1990.
Dolores had a passion for service and was a strong advocate for education. She continuously gave back to her community through dedicated membership in multiple organizations, including the National Council of Negro Women and the Women’s Christian Alliance. Dolores was a “Silver Star” soror of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and was initiated as a member of the “Spectacular 23” pledge line on January 28, 1996. She was a member of the National Association of University Women (NAUW) for over 40 years. In 2014, she was recognized as the NAUW Woman of the Year.
After Gail’s baptism in 1972, Dolores ensured that her family was united in Christ and chose to join and be baptized by immersion at Miller Memorial Baptist Church, the home church of Milton’s family. Her grandsons later became 4th generation members of Miller. Dolores served on the Pioneer Usher Board, as well as the Scholarship, Public School, and Vacation Bible School ministries.
Dolores, lovingly known as "Nana" to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, was a refined and majestic lady who enjoyed traveling and shopping and was always impeccably dressed! As a young adult, Dolores enjoyed drag racing with her cousin “Bootsy”, and she was proud of the fact that she taught her husband how to drive a stick shift. Dolores was a dog lover — she grew up with a dog named Mugsy, and raised a feisty dog named Trixcy with her family on Ellet st.
Dolores’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis motivated Gail to partner with the Alzheimer’s Association as a volunteer. Dolores and Gail were featured in the Spring 2021 edition of “ALZ,” a magazine of the Alzheimer’s Association. The mother-daughter pair were interviewed about their Alzheimer’s journey by Artis Senior Living, a memory care community. They appeared in promotional literature for A Way to Stay; a home care agency that focused on providing care to older adults with chronic illnesses like dementia.
On Friday, May 12, 2023, Dolores transitioned to glory to be with her Lord and Savior. She was preceded in death by her mother, Bernice Clarkston; her husband, Milton; her brother Eugene Bessicks; and her cousin, Howard Booker Sr. She is survived by her daughter, Gail Titus; her son-in-law, Luke Titus; her grandsons David (Candice) and Daniel (Jackie) Titus; her great-grandchildren, Simone, Nicole, and Zeke Titus; her sisters-in-law Joan Bessicks, Lelia Booker and Phyllis Holden; her brother-in-law, Reverend Dr. William L. Chapman, Sr.; her goddaughter, Donna Lynn Leavy; and innumerable cherished nieces, nephews, cousins, and special friends.
Dolores was continually inspired by the message in Philippians 4:13 — I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
In lieu of flowers, the family of Dolores Davidson requests that donations be made to Mentoring in Medicine, Inc. which was co-founded by Dolores's niece, Dr. Lynne Holden.
Mentoring in Medicine, Inc. is a501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to diversifying the medical field and educating our communities about healthy living.
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Meeting Mom Davidson
I first met Mrs. Davidson (Mom Davidson) at Carnegie Mellon University when Gail and I were freshman. She was beautiful, kind, gracious and most of all, loving. Her smile radiated and her hugs were full of motherly care. As Gail and I became instant sister-friends, I also gained another mother. Thank you for your love, prayers and support for over 4+ decades, Mom Davidson. Rest with God in heaven. You were an Angel on earth.