nolead begins

Donald Davis Jr., 46, a fitness instructor from Haddon Heights, collapsed and died Monday while leading a step-aerobics class at the Aquatic Fitness Center in Cherry Hill.

The cause of death was pending, but Mr. Davis had been treated for a heart problem.

The popular teacher was known for his careful instructions and the electic, changing mix of music he used in his classes at Aquatic Fitness and at Royal Fitness in Barrington.

Mr. Davis was a Penn State graduate who loved coaching his children's soccer and softball teams. At St. Rose of Lima Church in Haddon Heights he taught Sunday school and summer Bible school, served as a eucharistic minister and was a pre-Cana and pre-Baptism instructor.

A Washington Redskins fan - he grew up in the Maryland suburbs - Mr. Davis gracefully endured the teasing of Eagles fans who outnumbered him in his 5:45 a.m. Tuesday spinning class at Royal Fitness.

"He was all about helping people maximize their potential, especially children," said his father, Donald Sr. "He loved working with children."

Besides his father, Mr. Davis is survived by his wife Donna and their children, Teddy, Chloe and Evie; his mother Johelen Davis; sister Tamara and grandmother Mayme Davis.

A viewing is set for 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow and 9:30 to 10:20 a.m. Friday at Foster-Warne Funeral Home, 250 White Horse Pike, Audubon. A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Rose of Lima Church, Kings Highway and Fourth Avenue, Haddon Heights. Interment will be private.

Memorial donations can be made to the Davis Children Trust Fund, c/o TD Bank, 500 White Horse Pike, Haddon Heights, N.J. 08035.