'African-American queen' committed to others

Posted: June 13, 2012

Her family called Mom Gloria an "African-American queen."

It was her commitment to the welfare of others, delivered with love and compassion, that earned Gloria Celeste Davis her royal title.

"Mom Gloria had a brave determination and a caring responsibility to pollinate each person she encountered with the nectar of her love," her family said.

Gloria Davis, who held many positions with the Order of the Eastern Star and traveled widely for the Masonic organization, a woman who drew people to her by the warmth of her personality and generous spirit, died June 3, a couple of weeks from her 90th birthday on June 17.

"Mom Gloria not only wore her symbols of royalty and authority with pride, whenever possible, she loved telling others how to find their symbols, too," her family said.

One of Mom's favorite sayings was: "The brightest stars are those that shine for the benefit of others. When life's storms are raging, stand still, hold God's hand, and know that you have the victory."

"Mom Gloria was our gift from God, filled with excellent love and dedication to her family," her family said. "Mom Gloria instilled strength, faith and independence by example on how to be a great wife, mother and sister/friend."

She was born in Philadelphia, the youngest of the three children of Charlotte Brown-Ballard and William H. Ballard. She graduated from William Penn High School.

In 1944, she married the late Robert Newman Davis, who held many positions with local Masonic organizations. They traveled the world many times over.

"Dignity was her crown," her family said. "This creative and ingenious African-American queen had the ability to bring harmony out of chaos, to multiply little into gain, to walk into disorder and discover the pregnant positive possibilities of life. Every family member benefited from her wealthy and generous spirit."

She was an active member of St. Matthew African Methodist Episcopal Church.  

She is survived by a son, Robert Edward Davis Sr.; six grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

Services: Were Friday. n

Contact John F. Morrison at 215-854-5573, or morrisj@phillynews.com, or on Twitter @johnfmorrison.

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