Helen Virginia Davis


Helen Virginia (Ellis) Davis, 99, of Greenfield, passed away Saturday, August 5, 2017 in Indianapolis. She was born on December 22, 1917 in Watseka, IL to Harry D. and Dorothy (Swindeman) Ellis.

She graduated from Shortridge High School in 1936 and attended Butler University in the same year. Helen was an outstanding athlete and once won a free throw shooting contest underhanded, while her sister Nini held her skirt. She was an expert swimmer and was featured in the Washington Post in the Summer of 1937 as one of the few female lifeguards in the country and one of only 166, male or female, in the country to pass the American Red Cross Senior Life Saving test that year.

She married George Beamer Davis, Jr. on May 17, 1941, and they shared 71 years together. After his return from serving in WWII they lived together in Greenfield until they jointly moved to Prairie Lakes Nursing Home in Noblesville, IN in March, 2011.

Helen was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority at Butler and of the Greenfield Christian Church. She was an excellent golfer and a member of the Greenfield Country Club for many years. She was also a fine bridge player and hosted many duplicate games in her home.

Her first priority was her family, and her sons are grateful for their wonderful memories of the many summers she spent with them and her siblings and their families at Lake Waneta in New York. They are also grateful for the many birthdays, Christmases, Thanksgivings, graduation parties, and other occasions which she hosted unstintingly into her eighties. She was a caring, loving mother, and her family will miss her.

They also express their gratitude to the staff at Prairie Lakes Nursing Home for their compassionate care and to the Rev. Wayne Caldwell for his regular visits with her, George, and other residents.

She is survived by her sister, Anita Nini Dold; sons, Stephen (Barbara), James (Sarah), and John (Annastacia) Davis; grandchildren, Nicole (Dejan) Skudrzik, Nathan Davis, Elizabeth (Greg) Goldman, Virginia (Richard Schmechel) Davis, Catherine (Kristen Smith) Davis, Brett (Rachel) Davis, and Kelley (Troy) Ramey; great-grandchildren, Toni, Luka, and Nicolette Skudrzik, Susannah and Warren Davis, Edward and Samuel Goldman, and McKenna Grace Ramey; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Dorothy Ellis; husband, George B. Davis, Jr.; brother, Dr. Harry D. Ellis, Jr.; and sister, Doris E. Shaw.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday August 9, 2017, from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Erlewein Mortuary & Crematory, 1484 W. US Hwy. 40, Greenfield, IN 46140. A funeral service will be held following the visitation at 1:00 p.m. also at the mortuary. Burial will follow at Park Cemetery in Greenfield.