Mrs. Rachel Rawls Davis - SAVANNAH - Mrs. Rachel Rawls Davis, widow of the late Rev. Raymond Earl Davis, Jr., died peacefully, surrounded by family; on Sunday January 8, 2017 at 12:38pm at the age of 85. Her life was filled with love and laughter. She enjoyed four generations of her family. Limited by only mobility, she lived a full and active life until the end. She was born Rachel Izenia Oswalt in 1931 in Saluda County, South Carolina and was adopted at five months of age by her uncle and aunt, Lawrence and Maude Rawls of West Columbia, South Carolina and was given the name Rachel Rawls at that time. Mrs. Davis was a lifelong learner with a deep love of education. She was the valedictorian of the class of 1949 of Brooklyn-Cayce High School. She attended the University of South Carolina and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama. She did graduate work at Troy State University in Troy, Alabama. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in the institutions in Alabama. She studied at Hartford Seminary Foundation in Hartford, Connecticut and Georgia Southern College in Statesboro, Georgia, where she did work on her Master's of Education Administration and a six year Specialist in Administration degree. In all she received 4 college degrees. She taught in Montgomery, Alabama and after moving to Savannah in 1966 she taught first grade at Spencer and Hesse Elementary schools. She later served as principal of Tybee and Hearty Elementary schools before working for Savannah Chatham County Public School System as Director of Elementary Schools and Assistant Director of Personnel for seventeen years. She laughingly said that no matter what they called her position, she always worked for a sound education of all students. She also worked diligently to expose elementary school children to the arts. She and her husband were devoted Civil Rights activists in the 1960,s. She served two terms as a member of the Georgia Committee of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. She was a former member of The National Association of Elementary Schools Principals, the Altruisia Club of Savannah, and the Church Council of The Lutheran Church of the Ascension. She chaired several committees at Lutheran Ascension and remained an active member of the church until she was unable to attend services due to her limitations of mobility. Mrs. Davis is survived by her two devoted daughters, Ruth Davis Smith (husband David) and Robin Rachel Davis Thiele (husband Robbie). Of all the roles she played in life, the one she enjoyed the most was being a proud and devoted grandmother to her six grandchildren: Randy Smith (wife Katie), Jennifer Smith Zottola (husband Jeremy), Robert Thiele (wife Shrinidhi Subramaniam), Rachel Thiele McCoy (husband Raymond), Rebecca Thiele and Ruth Thiele McGraw (husband Albert). She especially enjoyed loving on her fourteen great-grandchildren: Ashley, Davis, Emily, and Emma Smith, Alex, Sammie, Eli, and Lilah Sharp (Randy and Katie); Kathryn Maini and Ivy Johnson (Rachel and Raymond), JD and Gracie Zottola (Jennifer and Jeremy), and Charlotte and Emily Robin McGraw (Ruth and Albert). Services will be held at The Lutheran Church of the Ascension, 120 Bull Street in Savannah, on Tuesday January 10, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be in the Mount Tabor Lutheran Cemetery, West Columbia, South Carolina, on Wednesday January 11, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Backpack Buddies organization (schools and churches feeding children) at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer; 51 Wilmington Island Road, Savannah, GA 31410. Please sign our on-line guest book at www.foxandweeks.com Savannah Morning News January 10, 2017 Please sign our Obituary Guest Book at savannahnow.com/obituaries .
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