Clara Deery Davis passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, at the age of 99, after a long and full life.
She was born June 11, 1920, to the late Irene Callaway Deery and James Neil Deery of Wilmington, Delaware.
In addition to her parents, Mrs. Davis was preceded in death by her husband, Cmdr. John W. Davis; and three sisters, Catherine Deery Mayberry of Luray, Virginia, Alice Deery Gantt of Hockessin, Delaware, and June Deery Felder of Lake City, Florida.
Clara graduated from Wilmington High School in 1939 and attended business school. She worked as an accountant for a few years before marrying her high school sweetheart, John W. Davis, in 1943. Not long after, he was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy. She thus took on one of the hardest jobs in the military, that of being a Navy wife. Through several deployments and duty stations, including Key West, Florida, San Diego, California, Wallops Island, Virginia, and Norfolk, Virginia, Clara especially remembered the time the family spent in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. She and John raised four children and made many lifelong friends. Her youngest son remembers her to be a very fine rifle shot. Her grandchildren remember her to be an unbeatable Scrabble player. She was proud to be a part of the Coast Guard Power Squadron during the war. Clara and John were founding members of Providence Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. They were previous members of Kempsville Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach. The family retired to Virginia Beach in 1963, where Clara lived for several years after John's death in 1986. She moved to Atlantic Shores in Virginia Beach, where she lived for 17 years before she moved to Sumter to live with her daughter. The last few years of her life, she enjoyed the wonderful staff and loving care she received at Covenant Place.
She is survived by her four children, Dwight John Davis (Holly) of Norfolk, Deborah Davis Ayres (Tommy, deceased) of Sumter, Cynthia Davis Schablein (Dan) of Roseland, Virginia, and Douglas Stephen Davis (Barbara) of Virginia Beach. She is fondly remembered by her grandchildren, Audrey Allison Ward, Amy Ayres Zwirko, Stewart Allison, Blake Allison, John Ayres, Whitney Davis Collins, Emily Davis Eure, Ginny Ayres Ellithorp, John Schablein and Laurel Schablein Fulk; 11 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Alice Drive in Sumter, officiated by the Rev. Stuart Mizelle.
A service and burial will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Providence Presbyterian Church on Providence Road in Virginia Beach, officiated by the Rev. Jeff Bell and her grandson, Fr. John Ayers.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Salvation Army, 16 Kendrick St., Sumter, SC 29150 or to Providence Presbyterian Church, 5497 Providence Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23464.
Elmore-Cannon-Stephens Funeral Home and Crematorium of Sumter is in charge of the arrangements.
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