Rev. William F. Davis, OSFS
Rev. William F. Davis, OSFS, died on July 4, 2016, in Childs, Maryland, at the home of his religious community, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, where he had been cared for during his final months. He was 82. Son of the late William F. and Agnes Allen Davis and native of Brooklyn, New York, young Bill went on to study at Niagara University, where he was inspired by the seminarian classmates to enter their Oblate seminary. He continued his education, earning degrees from Villanova University and a doctorate in education from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
Fr. Davis was ordained to the priesthood on June 3, 1961 by the Most Rev. Edward J. Schlotterback, OSFS, at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington, DE.
With his sharp mind and fine education, Fr. Davis served as a distinguished educator at the high school, university, and national levels. He worked as a teacher, athletic director, academic dean and principal at Father Judge High School in Philadelphia for 15 years. He later ministered as a superintendent of schools with the Catholic Diocese of Arlington in Virgnia for eight years and then was a leader in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of Catholic Education for 17 years.
“Fr. Davis was a great champion of Catholic education,” said Very Rev. James J. Greenfield, OSFS, Oblate provincial and Father Judge alum. “I remember from my days as a student when he was principal, he had a vision to make Father Judge a great school where students excelled in the places where their talents were most abundant. He was an inclusive leader no matter where he worked, bringing his commitment as a pastor to Catholic schools.”
In addition to his confreres in the Oblates, Fr. Davis is survived by his nieces and nephews. His brother and sister-in-law, Donald and Claire Davis preceded him in death.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Fr. Davis on Friday, July 8, 2016, 11:15 AM, at Our Lady of Light Chapel, 1120 Blue Ball Road, Elkton, MD 21921. A viewing from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM will precede the Mass. Interment will follow the Mass. In lieu of flowers donations in honor of Fr. Davis’ name are requested to the Oblate Development Fund, 2200 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE, 19806.