Voice of an angel: Remembering my friend Beth Davisson

June 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community

Dixon CMYK 2016By Dixon Bledsoe

This one hurts.

Losing someone you adore is just plain painful. Beth Davisson had that affect on people. I liked her the first time we met in 1964 when she joined our 7th grade class at Mark Twain. She was new, but she was sweet, kind, smart and just as goofy as the rest of us 12 and 13-year-olds. But she was also composed. She was mature, certainly adorable, and soft-spoken. She was also very funny and, in the music room I heard the voice of an angel.

Fast forward a few years and land directly in the middle of Silverton High School’s Class of ’70, undoubtedly one of the best groups of human beings ever assembled (I say with no hint of bias). She was in the thick of it. She was a Choralaire, the small vocal ensemble known to wow audiences from the Capitol in Salem to Hawaii. She played the cello, was certain to have perfect pitch, was as smart as a whip, and her sense of humor and dry wit were finely honed to a razor-sharp edge. If there is such a thing as a compassionately acerbic wit, it would be hers.facebook_1528736581056

As a teacher then administrator, she was quick to the draw. Always fun, never hurtful, delivered with such a firm, well thought out and quick response as to make one wonder how a mind could work so fast to come up with the perfect roast delivered with the grace of Snow White. She was very quick with an incisive retort.  She could solve complex problems firmly but with a smile and soft words belying the fact that she just schooled you. Always with a touch of class and grace.

Music and faith – along with the love of an incredible family – was her life. Friends were cherished, and strangers became friends. She had a lot of friends who adored her. She was a remarkable mother and grandmother, a loving wife to Bill, and a very proud, exemplary benevolent public servant. She “gave back” to her community, her church, her friends, her family, and lived the Christian life that assured her God had the welcome mat ready and waiting, knowing we would be devastated with her loss but happy to know she resides in her heavenly home.

When I ran the Homer Davenport trolley into the coffee cart, ripping the wagon cover and denting the coffee drive-through roof, I blamed you, my spotter, for forgetting your coffee that morning and not paying attention. It was me all along.

Now she is free of pain and suffering, and with a clear view from above so that she doesn’t miss a grand-child’s basketball game, a Yo-Yo Ma masterpiece cello performance at Carnegie Hall, or a roast at the Silverton Chamber’s First Citizen Banquet at Kyle and Kevin Palmer’s or Darin Rybloom’s expense.

In her last few days, I sent a text, knowing that she or a family member might pick it up, because we did that from time to time. The link was to a song we sang in high school together over 50 years ago, based on a passage from Numbers 6:24-26, The Lord Bless You and Keep You. I wanted it to give her peace, as the verse and song wishes for everyone. Amy, her daughter, did get it and relayed it to Beth. I’m told she smiled and liked it. That filled me with joy.

There is a gaping hole in a community’s heart. It hurts, but if we fill it with the cherished memories of how you touched so many lives, young and old, in so many beautiful ways, we will be OK, and certainly better because we knew you and loved you. Peace, Beth. You deserve to rest after a job exceptionally well done.

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