The Covid-19 crisis hit close to home last week as we learned of the passing of Gladys “Gaby” Davis. Gaby, age 90, of West Bloomfield, died on March 21, 2020. She had what you might call a second career at Oakland Literacy Council, tutoring students for over 15 years.
Gaby was a champion for literacy throughout her life. As a elementary school teacher, she earned her master’s degree in reading and reading disabilities at a time when little was known about dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Gaby “thought teaching kids to read was the most important thing she could do as a teacher,” shared daughter Laurie Davis.
After retiring from the classroom, Gaby shared her talent and passion for reading with adult students at Oakland Literacy Council. Laurie remembers how her mother loved working with the different students she had over the years. Among her students were a young immigrant woman working as a nanny and a older student who never learned to read and wanted to help her kids with their school work.
“I think my mom’s long connection to the Oakland Literacy Council really reflects her deep commitment to people and her community.”
Laurie has followed in her mother’s footsteps as a volunteer tutor in Washington, D.C.
OLC Board President Judy Lindstrom remembers the energy and spirit Gaby brought to the Council:
“Gaby was a tutor for many years. She was amazing. She filled a room with such joy. And, her claim to fame were her beautiful eyes. When we had mailings, Gaby was the first to volunteer but could only stay an hour. Once she left, it was like she sucked all the air out of the room.”
Our sincerest condolences to Gaby’s friends and family. Our thanks to the family for honoring her legacy with tribute gifts to Oakland Literacy Council. We also thank Gaby’s family for allowing us to share the story of her life and her passing. Please help us honor Gaby by staying home and staying safe.
The obituary for Gaby Davis can be found HERE. The Detroit Jewish News is also planning to feature her life in an upcoming issue.