Obituary: Annabel Davison
Annabel Davison, a longtime resident of Montclair, died on Feb. 20, 2022, following a battle with dementia. She was 92.
Mrs. Davison was born in Margaree, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, in 1929. She often spoke of the many happy childhood memories she had of that now bygone era, such as her dad taking her and her siblings to the one-room schoolhouse in wintertime in a horse-drawn sleigh, or a quiet walk in the nearby woods.
Growing up during the Great Depression, her fun-loving family never lost its sense of humor, inventing imaginative games when practicality demanded it.
She arrived in New York in 1948 (a “magical time” in the city, she said) and worked as a governess in Manhattan for the family of a Wall Street investment manager. It was during this time that she met her future husband, Robert “Bob” Davison, a highly decorated Air Force World War II veteran whose beat as an N.Y.C. police officer was Central Park.
He gallantly offered to accompany her on many of her outings in the park when she was there with her employers’ children. Within a few years she and Bob were married and living in Woodside, Queens.
They were married in 1953 at St. Thomas More Church in Manhattan. She often referred to these days as her absolute happiest. She loved raising her children and loved the world of postwar America, which boomed with promise and a bright future.
Her world was tragically altered in 1967 when her husband died at age 46, leaving her with five children, ranging in age from 4 months to 12 years, to raise. Her legacy is that she single-handedly managed to raise them without a college degree or career of her own, typical for most women of that era. She simply did what had to be done, and her aspirations always centered on what was in the best interests of her children.
Mrs. Davison moved the family to Long Island and through her resourcefulness managed to produce five college graduates. Her home was always spotless, and she will also be remembered as a great cook. There was always tea and homemade baked goods at the ready.
She was known for her classical sense of style, and this was reflected not only in her home, but in her wardrobe as well, both of these accomplished with a budget in mind. In 1989 she moved to Montclair and became an active member at St. Cassian’s for many years.
She will also be fondly remembered for her sense of humor, her laugh and her love of Cape Breton music. She came from a large family, and over the course of her life made scores of friends.
Mrs. Davison was a devout Roman Catholic, and throughout her life gave of herself generously, to family and friends, to religious organizations and to people in need, even when giving was that of the widow’s mite. Even in her dementia, she continued to pray. In many ways, she simply represented an age when perseverance, devotion, grace, and humility were highly valued.
She is survived by her children, Jeffrey, John (Chris), Carol (Shawn Mahoney), and Lisa (Glen Pernia); her grandchildren, Jack (Lacey), Kevin, Cameron, Ciarra, Samantha and Hannah; her great-granddaughter, Brett; her brothers, Ronald (RJ) and Archie, and numerous nieces and nephews, to whom she was always “Auntie A.”
She was predeceased by her loving husband, Robert; her son, Ron; her brothers, Jim, Jerome and Dougie; her sisters, Kaye, Peggy and Mary, and her parents, John Alex and Jessie.
Burial will be at Long Island National Cemetery, alongside her late husband. A private memorial service will be held in the spring.
Arrangements were by Levandoski-Grillo Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Bloomfield.