Mary Ann Green Davis Obituary

Mary Ann Green Davis: A Life of Art and Adventure

Mary Ann Green Davis: A Life of Art and Adventure

Mary Ann Green Davis was born in Denver on September 19, 1923 to Fred J. Green and Esther B. Green. Her father was a founder and proprietor of Green Brothers Grocers. Mary Ann attended East High School, and was an active member of the Colorado Mountain Club’s junior division, which brought her lifelong memories from the state’s highest peaks.

After graduating from East High in 1940, Mary Ann received an art scholarship from Colorado Women’s College. The war interrupted her education, but eventually she received her BS in commercial art from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

In Evergreen, in a June 1950 snowstorm, she married David G. Davis, also of Denver. Mary Ann, Dave, and their two daughters, Susan and Katharine, moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1959, where the couple would live for more than forty years.

There, Mary Ann taught in the high school art department at Germantown Friends School, paying special attention to ceramics. She became a knowledgeable and skillful potter, studying the work of traditional Japanese and American Pueblo artists, and using their techniques of hand building and reduction firing.

She traveled several times to Japan, Acoma Pueblo, and Hopi First Mesa to study with revered artisan potters. After retiring from Germantown Friends, she began making pots full time, exhibiting, selling and giving away hand-built “water stones” that showed, through her craftsmanship, the beauty of nature’s weathering.

Mary Ann built and fired pots until she was in her mid-eighties, and many of these smooth, serene creations dot the gardens of her family today.

In 1993, following the death of her husband, she resettled in Denver and eventually moved to the Meridian Engelwood, where she made many friends and enjoyed visits from her Denver family. In her mid-nineties she took up pastels, creating treasured paintings of her family’s Colorado summer home.

In 2020, she moved into her own home. There, she designed and constructed a beautiful garden centered around an old cherry tree.

Mary Ann is remembered as a tender mother and grandmother, a devoted aunt, and a patient and encouraging teacher. She was curious, adventurous, brave, and persistent, with a deep internal strength and a constant eye for beauty.

Her great loves were the Colorado mountains, Japanese arts and culture, trees, the Central City Opera, her friends, and her grandchildren. She is survived by her daughters Susan Davis (Dan Schiller) and Katharine Davis (Larry Coxe), grandchildren Lucy Schiller, Ethan Schiller, Rebecca McKelvy and Abigail McKelvy, two great grandchildren Ava McKelvy and Gabriel McKelvy, and many nieces and nephews. Her husband David, her sister Esther Smedley, and special friends Pat Fender, Mary Lou Wolfe, Ethelinde Austin, Frances Scott, Murray Dryer, and Jack Githens predeceased her.

Her family would like to thank her close friend Marjorie Montrose, her niece Margaret Hayden and husband Andy Clark, her carers, especially Ketty Eslaminia, Lois Hunter, and Bonnie Borgman, the staff of Berkeley Hospice, her devoted Eucharistic Visitor, Adrian Dargan, and Bishop Robert O’Neill, both of St. John’s Cathedral, for all their help.

Interment will be at Fairmount Cemetery, Denver. Donations in her memory may be made to the American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19102.