Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Winona Davison

March 14, 1928 - January 31, 2021
Grand Rapids, MI



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The Gideons International
P.O. Box 140800
Nashville, TN 37214
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Life Story / Obituary


Winona Davison’s generous personality touched the hearts of many. Blessed with an abundant and loving family, she relished her role as a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. Deeply loved, her wonderful collection of memories will be fondly remembered and cherished by her many special friends and family.

Born on March 14, 1928, in Lansing, Michigan to Walter and Ruth (Hotchkin) Dougherty, her birth brought great hope and promise to her parents during an exciting time in our nation’s history. The 1920s saw large-scale industrial growth and significant changes in our nation’s culture. Nona as she was affectionately called, arrived at the height of the Roaring Twenties yet never forgot the impact of the Great Depression during her growing up years. Those who lived during this period of time gained the strength to see them through the most challenging economic times.

Sadly, by the tender age of two years old, Winona’s mother passed away leaving her father with her and her younger sister, Edith who was an infant at the time. Her father, Walter worked as a typesetter for the Lansing State Journal. He was a hard-working family man and moved his young family into his parent’s home for support after Ruth had died. As a result, Winona and her younger sister, Edith bonded during their childhood and remained exceptionally close throughout their lives. A great accomplishment was graduating from Sexton High School in Lansing. Not long after high school, Winona was introduced to Frank Davison by her cousin. After several months of dating, he asked her to marry him because he was tired of walking to her house! The happy couple were married on April 5, 1947, at a Methodist Church in Lansing. With a bright future ahead of them, they settled into their upstairs apartment on Lathrop Street. Together they raised three wonderful sons; Robert, Thomas, and Richard.

Winona relished her years as a mother. With Frank working to support their growing family at Centrifugal Fusing, she was able to stay home and manage the kids and household. Winona was the epitome of a mother. She loved to send her children off with warm pants heated in the dryer and have a plate of fresh oven-baked cookies still warm waiting for them after school. As a family, they enjoyed countless camping trips. They frequented their cabin in Harrison near Budd Lake making the best of memories. Always up for an adventure, in 1964 she won a year lease of a Buick Special so the family took a month-long vacation out to Portland, Oregon driving down to Mexico and back! Shortly before this trip, Frank was ordained as a pastor in the Church of the Nazarene. Winona was a very supportive Pastor's wife. She taught Sunday school and helped with the church bulletin for many years. Frank’s twenty-five-year tenure in the church community took them to several Michigan cities including Corunna, Manistee, Portland, Lansing, as well as two churches in Florida. They cherished their time serving the Lord and sharing his good works. They left a lasting imprint on each community and touched the lives of many. When the kids were grown and more independent, Winona used her skills in shorthand and her talents as a secretary at many area businesses including the State of Michigan and finished her time at Metropolitan Life.

As much as Winona savored her years as a mother, she was incredibly blessed to become a grandmother. She adored her grandchildren and did her best to plan special outings to honor significant events and make lasting memories. Whenever she could, Winona would plan extended stays to watch her grandkids. In her downtime, Winona loved reading and was never without a book to read! Due to the fact that she had lived in so many homes over the years, she also loved to look at houses and kept up with the changing market. Winona modeled an extraordinary life of selflessly serving others. There simply wasn’t anything that she wouldn’t do for her family or a friend in need. Devoted as well as loving, she gave generously to her family and took the very best of care of Frank during his final years battling Alzheimer's and the loss of his eyesight. Winona was always accepting of others and made everyone feel special in her presence. May her family never doubt the immense love she held for each and every one of them and may her memories be eternal.

Winona E. Davison, age 92, of Grand Rapids, MI, passed away to her heavenly home on January 31, 2021. She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank; granddaughter, April Dee; sister, Edith Robison; brothers-in-law, John, Gus, and Ralph Davison. Winona is survived by her sons, Robert (Beverly) Davison of Monticello, FL, Thomas (Vicki) Davison of Grand Rapids, Richard (Barbara) Davison of Portland; grandchildren, Joel (Alisha) Davison of Dothan, AL; Aaron Davison of Dominican Republic, Jeremy (Brooke) Gagnon of Thomasville, GA, Aaron Gagnon of Seattle, WA, Benjamin (Nichelle) Davison of Grand Rapids, Zachary Davison of Troy, Lara (John) Hubbard of Portland, Adria (Dave) Vanhorn of Traverse City; great-grandchildren, Kayla, Mason, Austin, Cameryn, Pyper, Daisy, Summer, Henry, Jack, Kaylnn, Alexa, Landon, Kairo, Daxton; great-great-granddaughter, Zoey; sisters-in-law, Jennie Swanson of Florida, Bonnie Davison of Lansing, and Sally Davison of Florida. According to her wishes, cremation has taken place. She will be interred next to her husband in Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL. A memorial service will be held once Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed. Memorials may be made to Gideons International.