Elaine Cecilia (Jenssen) Davidson, a Sturgis resident since 1951, passed away peacefully on January 21, 2014, at Thurston Woods Village. She had been a resident at the Villa and then the nursing home, living with various stages of dementia since 2008. She could be seen visiting with people on the couch in the foyer for hours at a time. She liked interacting with people.
Elaine was born October 31, 1928, in Chicago, Illinois. Her parents are John C. and Marie (Lutz) Jenssen. She graduated from high school in Chicago when she was sixteen years old. Elaine worked in two doctor’s offices, as a secretary at the Coin Machine Acceptance Corporation and as a secretary at the Irving Park YMCA.
On October 20, 1951, Elaine married Richard Leo Davidson of Sturgis, Michigan. They enjoyed over 54 years of marriage and lived on Omena Lake and had a cottage at Klinger Lake.
Elaine dearly loved her family and friends, and was well known for her community service. She was recognized for her years of service when she was chosen as a Sturgis Citizen of the Year. Among community organizations and clubs of which she was a member, she was a charter member and club president and secretary of the Sturgis Women’s Club. Elaine was a member and secretary of the Sturgis Hospital Auxiliary Gift Shop Guild and served as secretary of the Sturgis Historical Society. She also was a member of the St. Joseph County Historical Society.
Elaine was an avid music lover and supporter of the performing arts as well as an accomplished artist in charcoal and oils. She was a member and secretary of the Sturgis Council of the Arts, serving a number of terms. Elaine was a popular Picture Lady at Sturgis Public and Holy Angels schools for 25 years. She was also a prolific photographic artist entering in many juried shows and was a member of the F-8 Camera Club. Elaine often created floral arrangements for shows and presented demonstrations of arranging technique to others. She was a charter member and past president of the Sturgis Garden Club, and she also was an adult leader for the Sturgis Junior Garden Club and a Garden Club/Pathfinders Instructor.
Elaine was a Cub Scout den mother and a CCD and Sunday school teacher. She was a Eucharistic Minister for Homebound people and had studied her faith further in the Ministry Formation program. Elaine served two different terms as president of the Sturgis Band and Orchestra Parents and was a volunteer tutor in reading and mathematics.
She was active in her political party having served as an alternate and a delegate to the state Republican convention. Elaine was chairperson of the St. Joseph County Republican Women and an adult sponsor of the St. Joe County Teen Age Republicans.
Elaine was a champion of wildlife and the environment. She was always saving an animal from injury or death or preventing the unnecessary clearing of trees or other vegetation.
She enjoyed her collections but truly enjoyed the extensive travel all over the world with her husband. Destinations include Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Israel, Poland, East and West Germany, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Italy, Austria, Sweden, England, Ireland, and Scotland with many close personal friendships continuing to the present time.
She is survived by her son, Richard Scott Davidson and wife Janice of Sturgis; son, John Steven Davidson and wife Debra of South Haven, Michigan; grandchildren, Richard Lee (Kelsey) Davidson of Owensboro, Kentucky, and Lauren Marie Davidson of Sturgis, Michigan; grandchildren, Kyle (Loren) Patterson of South Haven, Michigan, and Kara Patterson of Holland, Michigan; great grandson, Trashawn Sanders and great granddaughter, Sophia Tores of Holland, Michigan; nephew, Robert Kubasiak and wife Kathy of Holland, Michigan; nephew, Terry Kubasiak of Bronson, Michigan; nephew Stanley Dorn of Jones, Michigan; and several great nieces and nephews. Elaine is also survived by two long-time special friends, Mary Lou Kolassa of Sturgis, Michigan and Hazel (Hartjen) Lindsay of Prescott, Arizona.
Elaine was preceded in death by her husband, Richard, her parents and many uncles, aunts and cousins.
The family will receive friends from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 P.M. Saturday at the Hackman Family Funeral Homes – Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, MI 49091, 269-651-2331. The Rosary will be recited at 7:30 P.M. Saturday at the funeral home. The family will also receive friends from 10:00 A.M. Monday until the time of the Funeral Mass celebrating the life of Elaine Davidson beginning at 11:00 A.M. Monday. The Rev. Father German Perez-Diaz will officiate. A graveside committal will follow the service at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Sturgis.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mrs. Davidson’s memory consider the Holy Angels Catholic Church, 402 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, MI 49091 or the Sturgis Wind Symphony27077 Baker Dr., Sturgis, MI 49091. Envelopes are available at the funeral home.
The obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhome.com where personal messages of support may be left for the family.