Dorothy S. Davidson, Hannibal native, former WAVE, long-time teacher, died on January 21, 2021 in Estero, FL. She was 97 years old.
Dorothy was born in Hannibal on August 14, 1923, to Dorothy Dudley Seibel And Frank W. Seibel. She graduated from Hannibal High School in 1940, from Hannibal LaGrange College in 1942, and the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1943 where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She taught one year at Webster Groves Junior High School from 1943 to 1944.
Having two uncles in the Navy, Dorothy enlisted in the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES), and served her two-year enlistment in New York City, spending VJ-Day celebrating with the crowds in Times Square. Upon leaving the WAVES, Dorothy returned to the University of Missouri-Columbia where she earned her Master’s Degree in guidance and counseling and met young law student Dennis Davidson. They were married in 1947. Dorothy and Dennis lived in Milwaukee while Dennis was on active duty with the U.S. Navy. They welcomed two children, Robert and Judith, and returned to Hannibal where Dorothy resumed her teaching career. She taught vocal music and English for the Hannibal Public Schools, and she is fondly remembered for her elaborate concerts where students performed songs from popular musicals such as “The Sound of Music.” She also spent years as a guidance counselor for the Quincy Public Schools.
Dorothy was an active member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) all her married life, singing in the choir and directing the choristers. After retiring from teaching, she launched and directed the hand bell choir at the church, and the group continues to this day. Always active in the Hannibal community, she was a member of the Mark Twain Chorale, Chapter BR P.E.O., Women’s Club (GFWC), Evening Etude, and served on the board of the Mark Twain Home and Museum. She traveled to Washington, DC as part of the Hannibal contingent of the Honor Flight and in 2014 was named Patriot of the Month by the Hannibal Heritage Chapter DAR.
Dorothy and Dennis were regular fixtures at the Hannibal Country Club where they enjoyed years of happy times with friends. After they retired, they got the travel bug, and literally traveled the world, taking trips to Russia, China, Taiwan, and Europe. After Dennis’s death in 1997, she met her dear friend Harvey Young, and they enjoyed many years of cross-country travel and sunny winters in Florida.
Dorothy is survived by her children, Robert Davidson (Lisa) of Jackson, MS, Judith Dryden (Tom) of Bonita Springs, FL; three grandsons Benjamin Dryden (Heidi) and Stuart Dryden, both of Washington D.C., and Forrest Davidson of Jackson, MS., and two great-grandsons Theodore and Isaac Dryden; and her wonderful friend Harvey Young of Kirksville.
Over the years, Dorothy touched many lives instilling her appreciation of music to her many students, and she will be deeply missed and warmly remembered. She loved her family, loved a good laugh, adored her many dogs, and especially loved her hometown Hannibal, never tiring of hearing about Mark Twain or just heading down to the riverfront to watch the paddleboats disembark on a Sunday afternoon.
Dorothy will return to her beloved Hannibal to be buried in Providence Cemetery on Friday, January 29, 2021, at a private family graveside service with full military honors provided by the Emmette J. Shields American Legion Post #55. Rev. Steve Barker will officiate. The Smith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Dorothy Dudley Seibel Memorial Music Award at Hannibal-LaGrange University, in care of the Smith Funeral Home & Chapel.
Online condolences may be made to the family on Dorothy's memorial page at www.smithfuneralhomeandchapel.com
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Dorothy Dudley Seibel Memorial Music Award at Hannibal-LaGrange University
2800 Palmyra Road, Hannibal MO 63401