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BIOGRAPHY

Davis was born in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, on 23 May 1907, to parents Charles Moody and Daisy Mae Small. She had one brother, James Edward. She attended Abraham Lincoln School in Norfolk. After her mother’s passing, she went to stay with an aunt in Philadelphia. She traveled back and forth between Philadelphia and Virginia until her brother sent for her at the age of 17. She then relocated to Middletown, Connecticut. Her brother had come to Connecticut to work at the Kane Brickyard on Newfield Street, making bricks. Upon moving to Middletown, her first job involved babysitting for the Byerly family and working at Snow White Laundry. Her passion for sewing led her to create without the constraints of patterns. Later, she took on the role of a nurse’s aide at Middlesex Hospital, where she was known for designing their first nurse’s cap.

In 1934, at the age of 27, she married John “Buck” Davis. He was the owner of the Goodwill Social Club and subsequently acquired the Commodore Macdonough Inn, a historic site in the city of Middletown. The inn, under his ownership, offered live entertainment and a restaurant atmosphere that catered to minorities and others in the community. The couple had five children: Virginia Townes, Faith Jackson, Lisa Willis, Timothy Davis, and Rev. Guy A. Calvert. The couple also served as foster parents, raising over 25 foster care children for more than 20 years. They were members of the True Vine Holiness Church in Portland. Her husband passed away in 1997, after 63 years of marriage.

In October 2016, she was interviewed by Debbie Shapiro, the Executive Director of the Middlesex County Historical Society, and Professor Gina Ulysse from Wesleyan University, as part of their efforts to preserve the history of African-American migration to the North and Middletown.

At the age of 110, she was still a member of the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church of Middletown.

Davis passed away at the Apple Rehab Middletown nursing home in Middletown, Connecticut, USA, on 18 November 2017, at the age of 110 years, 179 days. She was survived by her five children, five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and seven great-great-grandchildren.

RECOGNITION

At the time of death, she was the oldest (known) living person in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Upon her passing, she was succeeded by Florence Carroll.

Her age was verified by Jimmy Lindberg and Stefan Maglov, and validated by LongeviQuest on 22 December 2023.

ATTRIBUTION

* “Woman, who moved to Middletown 93 years ago, celebrates 110th birthday” – The Middletown Press, 8 June 2017

* “Elsie Mae Moody Davis” – Tribute Archive, November 2017

GALLERY

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