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Edward D. Davis III, 83, longtime elementary school teacher and administrator

He and his wife also mentored incoming freshmen at Cheyney University.

WHEN EDWARD DAVIS went into a supermarket, a pharmacy, a bank or wherever, he seemed to know everybody.

It was, "Hi, Mr. Davis," or "Hi, Ed," everywhere he went. Ed was the kind of guy who greeted one and all with a cheery hello and friendly conversation.

It was obvious that he loved people and the love was liberally reciprocated.

"Everyone loved him," said his wife, the former Marcine Whatley. "He was such a wonderful man. He wanted everyone around him to be happy."

Edward D. Davis III, longtime teacher and administrator in Philadelphia elementary schools, operator of a tea room and floral business, mentor to incoming freshmen at Cheyney University, dedicated traveler and a former Marine, died of cancer Nov. 26. He was 83 and lived in Wyncote.

Ed was also a devoted family man who doted on his children and grandchildren. He attended all of their school activities, and an annual trip to Atlantic City with the grandkids was a must.

He was born in Philadelphia to Edward Del Davis Jr. and La Deva Doris Coleman Davis. He grew up in South Philadelphia and attended Barratt Elementary School and Central High School.

For a time after school, he worked in his father's pool room in South Philly, where he was known as "Little Chickie Davis."

Edward graduated from Central in 1949 and went on to Lincoln University. He left college to join the Marine Corps during the Korean War. He served as a radio mechanic.

After his discharge, he entered Cheyney State Teachers College, now Cheyney University. He majored in elementary education and received a bachelor's degree in 1962. He later earned a master's degree and did extensive work on a Ph.D.

He taught at James G. Blaine and Alain Locke elementary schools, and was administrative assistant at John Barry and Samuel Pennypacker schools. He retired in 1990.

He met his future wife at John Barry School in 1983.

In the late '80s, he and his wife hosted a Brazilian exchange student, who was going to school with their daughter, Rae. The student invited the Davises to Bahia, Brazil, to speak at her school.

They made the trip and told the Brazilians about education in America. Daughter Rae learned Portuguese for the occasion.

After his retirement, Edward, his wife and his sister-in-law, Elizabeth M. Whatley, started the Cheyney Alumni Mentoring Program in 1990. For four years, they offered incoming freshmen the chance to meet with Cheyney alumni working in fields in which they wanted to major.

The group raised money through fundraisers to finance a trip for the students to London. They were among the first to ride the Chunnel train under the English Channel to France.

Edward became a partner in It's Easy Being Green, a florist business that was one of three that provided flowers to the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000.

He and his wife opened Sidney's Afternoon Tea Room, and combined the two businesses in one structure in Abington Township.

Edward, an avid bowler, served as president of the School Employees Bowling League.

He and his wife were devoted travelers, visiting several countries in Europe and taking cruises to the Caribbean.

Edward was a member of St. Vincent de Paul Church, was a Mason and a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity.

Besides his wife and daughter, Rae Williamson, he is survived by another daughter, Beth Johnson; a son, Edward D. Davis IV; a sister, LaDeva "Dee" Davis; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Services: Memorial service 2 p.m. Sunday at North Penn Veterans of Foreign Wars, 2519 Jenkintown Road, Glenside.