Lansing, NY

Meredith Mary (Miller) Davis, age 95, of Lansing, passed away peacefully August 18, 2017, at Old Hundred assisted living facility, Ithaca. The staff at Old Hundred became like family, providing a loving home.

Born March 13, 1922 in Kane, PA, Meredith was a daughter of the late C.J. Miller and Betty (Everhart) Miller. Meredith lived a life of action and working for one’s beliefs each day, epitomized by her favorite phrase, “use it or lose it.” She was a trailblazer, competing with men at tennis, skiing, kayaking, skating and other sports, seeing no reason for women to sit on the sidelines. During WWII she earned her pilots license, boldly displaying aerobatic skills as well as tipping her wing as she buzzed over friends. She applied for the Womens Airforce Service Pilots program just prior to the program disbandment later that year. Undaunted, she continued her dedication to the war effort by moving to Hickam Field Airbase, Hawaii to support the Army aircraft parts operation. During the voyage, enemy submarines stalked the transport ships forcing the group to cut lights and engines some nights to avoid being torpedoed. Meredith volunteered with the Red Cross and joined an all girls choir performing and earning rave reviews in USO shows at bases across Hawaii.

After the war, Meredith attended and graduated from Penn State where, during a weekend ride share, she was captivated by the “dreamy blue eyes” in the rear view mirror of her handsome driver. On the return trip, she moved into the front seat with her future husband Everett, the love of her life. They began a family and later relocated to Lansing in 1959, eventually settling on the lake and a lifetime of beautiful sunsets.

Meredith taught second grade at Lansing Elementary for 17 years and was known for her science program about birds, making sure that all of her students could recognize the site and sounds of several birds. At the Lansing Methodist Church, Meredith built a tradition of baking mass quantities of peanut brittle and dozens of different types of candy in support of church programs. At home, she was a prodigious baker, using local fresh fruit in her pies, once preparing 49 apple pies from scratch in a single day – and she did not like pie. Her grandchildren were welcomed each visit with her specialty, warm freshly baked cinnamon bread.

Meredith loved to sew and to create elaborate quilts, explaining the story of her life in the pieces of fabric. Her quilts became family treasures and she passed on her hobbies to family and friends. Through the food she baked, the clothes and fabrics she sewed, and the time she generously gave, Meredith expressed her love of country, community and family.

Meredith is survived by her children, Deborah McMillan (Gary), Wesley Davis, Stephen Davis, Evan Davis (Maria), Keith Davis (Lisa), Lisa Heigl (Hans Dieter); grandchildren, Matthew McMillan, Laura Santerre (Jason), John McMillan (Mickey), Andrew McMillen (Cristin), Rachael, Bethany, Joshua and Gabriel Davis, Benjamin Davis (Cathy), LT USN Sarah Gunn (Eric), Allison Davis, Alexander and Benjamin Heigl; five great grandchildren; and a large extended family.

In addition to her parents, Meredith was preceded in death by her loving husband of 63 years, Everett Davis, sisters Ruth Smith (Dale), Bernice Boyd (Wilson R. “Bud”), Marion Hutchinson (W. Raymond), and brothers Richard Miller (Caroline), and Theodore “Ted” Miller (Greta).

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Hospicare, 172 E. King Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850. A memorial service will begin at 1 pm, Tuesday, August 22, at LakeWatch Inn, 1636 E Shore Dr., Ithaca, NY 14850. Pastor Alison Schmied of Lansing United Methodist Church will officiate. Private Interment is planned for Pine Grove Cemetery in Lansing. Lansing Funeral Home is assisting the family.