DAVIS, Antoinette G. (Heister)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Davis, Antoinette Grace (Toni) Antoinette (Toni) Grace Davis, 95, died Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at her home in Muskogee. She was born September 1, 1913 in Lawton, Oklahoma where she grew up. Toni married Clyde E. Davis on February 13, 1942. As a military wife, she also lived in New York City, Frankfurt, Germany, Baltimore, Maryland and North Little Rock, Arkansas until 1957 when she and Clyde moved the family to their final home at Muskogee. Toni graduated from Oklahoma College for Women in 1932, where she organized the Baptist Student Union in Cameron. She then attended the Baptist seminary in Forth Worth, Texas with the intent of becoming a missionary.

Throughout Toni's life, she was active in church mission work and after moving to Muskogee, she taught Sunday school at both First Baptist and Boston Avenue Baptist Church. She worked extensively with special education adults in the community and spent some years teaching a Sunday school class at the First Presbyterian Church, which was set up to be a city-wide class to meet the spiritual needs of these adults. Toni began teaching in her twenties in Indiahoma, Oklahoma and then in Germany in the late 1940s when Clyde was stationed there. Her teaching career was resumed many years later in the 1960's after her children were nearly grown. At that time, Toni became a special education teacher for the Muskogee Public Schools. In those years, Toni received her Master Degrees in Education and Special Education from Northeastern State College, and she remained teaching until her retirement.

Toni also worked tirelessly as Volunteer Executive Director of the M.A.R.C. Craft Activity Center, which later became the Sheltered Work Activity Program. Through this program, mentally retarded adults became mainstreamed into the community and work force. Toni was an active member of the Lioness Club for many years. She was also a lover of poetry and enjoyed creating her own poems. In 2006, she was the 2nd place winner of the Oklahoma Conference on Aging's statewide poetry contest.

Toni Davis was preceded in death by: her husband, Clyde E. Davis; parents, Harrison Peter Heister and Beulah May Harrell Heister; brother, Donny Heister; sisters, Luella Heister and Dorothy Abercrombie and daughter, Clydean Marie Pridgen. She is survived by: daughter, Sylvia Long and her husband, Dearl Long of Morris; daughter, Loretta LaFon and her husband, Ray LaFon of Broken Arrow; son, Wendell Davis and his wife, Vicki Davis of Muskogee; and sister, Betty Moore of Bethany, OK; grandchildren include: Leigh Mills, Natalie Shofner, Cheryl Bailey, Lt. Colonel Ken Bailey, Michael Bailey, and Kathy Bailey. Toni was also blessed with ten great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild, as well as numerous nephews and nieces and many more family and friends. Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m. Friday at Fosters' Ivory Chapel with Rev. Rex Wilkinson officiating. Interment will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery. Funeral service arrangements are under the direction of Foster-Petering Funeral Home.