Cover photo for Beverly Mae Davison's Obituary
Beverly Mae Davison Profile Photo

Beverly Mae Davison

December 15, 1929 — May 23, 2024


Beverly Corbett Davison passed away peacefully May 23, 2024, at her home at Oakwood Village West in Madison WI.

She is survived by son Thomas C Davison (Robyn Sherry Davison), WI; daughter Carol Davison Turnbull (Paul), IL; grandchildren Andrew Davison (Stephanie) and William Davison (Frankie Powell); Alan Turnbull, Steven Turnbull; and great-grandchildren Aaron, Caroline and Everett Davison; and niece Susan Corbett.  She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Andrew, daughter Martha Davison; brother Robert Corbett (June), nephew James Corbett.

Beverly was born on Dec 15,1929, in Rochester, NY to Eva and James Corbett.  Beverly and her brother grew up in Rochester, moving within the city as her family managed a growing business.  From early on, Beverly’s parents stressed the importance and privilege of education.

After graduating from John Marshall High School, Beverly attended Vassar College in Poughkeepsie NY, graduating in 1951 with a degree in Political Science.  Following graduation from Vassar, she married Andrew C Davison who was at that time pastor of the Hope Baptist Church in Albany, NY.  They continued their graduate study together at Union Theological Seminary in New York City; where Beverly earned the degree of Master of Arts in Religion in a joint program with Columbia University.  She was awarded honorary Doctoral degrees from Keuka College in 1992 and from Alderson Broaddus College in 1993.  

The call of pastoral ministry took the Davisons to Buffalo,NY; Providence, RI; and to the First Baptist Church in Madison WI, where they served for 18 years.  In addition to her responsibility for the care of their children, Beverly became increasingly involved in Biblical scholarship and theological inquiry.  She taught Adult Education courses in each of the churches and was in demand as a teacher and leader for retreats and conferences throughout the United States.   She was a lifelong member of the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women.

Arriving in Madison in 1963 began a new chapter for Beverly’s whole family.  Here Beverly, Andy, Tom, Martha, and Carol spent 18 years as part of a vibrant, nurturing, and challenging community.  Beverly’s time in Madison revolved around raising three very active and involved children.  All three children participated in many musical and sporting events and Beverly became an experienced chauffer and spectator.  Tom, Martha, and Carol were all graduates of Van Hise Elementary and Junior High Schools and Madison West High School.  The family was grateful for such a fine educational experience.

In 1981 Beverly and Andy returned to Rochester NY when Andy joined the staff of Colgate Rochester/Crozer Theological Seminary.  Throughout the 1980s Beverly’s leadership roles within the American Baptist Churches denomination expanded.  These increasingly challenging roles culminated with her election as President of the denomination in 1990 for a two-year term.  This entailed representing the denomination both within the United States and all over the world.  Beverly made official visits to Baptist churches in the Soviet Union and the Phillipines; and she became a delegate to the Seventh Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Australia.  She was often accompanied by Andy on these adventures.  After Beverly’s presidency of the denomination ended, she began serving on the Board of the American Baptist Historical Society; a connection that continued for many years.

In 1998 Beverly and Andy returned to Madison, drawn by a desire to be closer to their children and grandchildren, and to rekindle the strong friendships they had developed there.

In 2007 they moved to Oakwood Village-University Woods in independent living.  Beverly was very thankful for all the benefits living at Oakwood provided.  When Andy died, being at Oakwood with so many friends, members of her church family, and supportive staff eased Beverly’s transition.

Throughout her adult life, Beverly returned every summer to the family place on Grindstone Island in the 1000 Islands of Northern New York State.  She spent memorable times there with her children, her grandchildren and more recently her great grandchildren.  She enjoyed spending time with them swimming and boating, and especially reading to them in the evening for hours on end.

A memorial service will be held later this summer.


Memorial gifts may be given to:

              First Baptist Church of Madison

              518 N Franklin Ave

              Madison, WI 53705


              American Baptist Historical Society

              3001 Mercer University Dr

              Atlanta, GA  30341          


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