obit template2018-11-29T12:10:12+00:00

Inez C

Inez Davis was a highly intelligent and perceptive woman with a thirst for knowledge that never ran dry. She was passionate about reading and her life mission was to share this love with others. Known for her spirit of independence, Inez was a resilient woman and those characteristics carried her through life’s journey.

On June 28, 1913, Inez was born to Olaf and Julia (Pilz) Christensen in Green Bay, WI. She was the fourth of five children in her family, including siblings Oscar “Scotty”, Marie, Paul, and Phyllis. Inez was raised in Manitowoc where she attended public schools and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1931.

After high school, Inez attended Lakeland College, Sheboygan, WI where she graduated in 1938 with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree and then further pursued her education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She graduated in 1940 with a degree in Library Science.

With her education complete, Inez began working as a librarian in Green Bay. In 1942 she responded to a request from the United States Army for librarians who were willing to establish libraries for its servicemen. Inez became instrumental in establishing the library at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. In 1945, before the war ended, she was sent to England for training to set up libraries for servicemen in France and later Germany. After WW II ended, Inez remained in Munich, Germany as part of the Allied Occupation Forces where she continued to serve as a head librarian. During these years Inez was able to travel in Europe and she was fortunate enough to attend the Nazi War Crime trials in Nuremburg.

While in Munich Inez met James W. Davis, a United States Army Air Force sergeant from Maryland who was stationed in Munich. Jim and Inez -who was known to her friends as “Chris” -dated and became engaged. In 1948, Jim was transferred to Smokey Hill Air Base in Salina, Kansas and Chris later left Munich and joined him in Salina. They were married on June 18, 1949. When Jim was discharged form the Army they moved to Silver Spring, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. They later settled in Wheaton, Maryland where Jim worked as a building inspector and Chris worked as a librarian. Chris was the head librarian at the Wheaton Regional Library, a part of the Montgomery County Library System, where she remained until her retirement in 1975 after 24 years of dedicated service.

Although Inez and Jim never had children, many other things enriched their lives. They treasured their beloved dog, McDuff, who went everywhere with them. Jim’s sister, Betty (Donald) Blood and their children, Roland, George, Lester, Tracey, Karen and Jane were a part of their lives in Maryland. Chris and Jim enjoyed socializing and traveling with their close friends, the Yates, the Nichols and the Nelsons, with whom they shared many wonderful times. They traveled to Lion’s Club conventions, to Myrtle Beach for golf and to Florida. Many fellow librarians remained life long friends. Inez and Jim looked forward to visiting family in Wisconsin as well as vacationing at Kuehn Crest in Land O’Lakes, WI with her sister Phyllis and husband, George Kuehn.

After sharing 36 years of her life with Jim, Inez was deeply saddened with his death on February 12,1986. She remained in Wheaton, residing in Leisure World, where they relocated during Jim’s illness. Inez made a decision to move back to Wisconsin to be near her family when she reached 80 years of age. So in June, 1993 she moved from Wheaton with the assistance of her nephew, Peter and his wife, Donna, into St. John’s on the Lake Tower, Milwaukee, where she had an apartment with a wonderful Lake Michigan view. For 13 years she pursued an active lifestyle, establishing new friendships, socializing, attending the symphony and the theater. She was happy working in and helping to expand the St. John’s library.

In April 2006 Inez made the decision to move from her apartment in the Tower to Canterbury, the Assisted Living area of St. John’s. Unfortunately in November she fell and fractured her hip, which required surgery. Following her hospitalization she returned to Stratford Court, the second floor of the nursing home portion of St. John’s for rehab. Because of her need for additional assistance, she remained in Stratford until her death on January 6, 2011.

During the past seventeen years Inez became an important part of another family – that of her nephew, Peter Christensen. She spent all holidays and birthdays in Waterford with Peter and Donna and their children, Eric, Scott and Julie, and grandchildren, Claire and Nathan and Peter’s brother, Curt. Trips to Door County with Peter and Donna were also enjoyed. Her love for books continued to be evident as demonstrated by the many books she purchased on shopping trips with her great-nephew, Scott and given as Christmas gifts. Inez appreciated help her great-nephew, Eric provided during her years in the Tower and looked forward to his visits after he moved to Minnesota. She loved spending time with her great-great niece and nephew, Claire and Nathan at parties or during their visits at St. John’s. Lunch at Taylor’s was especially enjoyed!

The family thanks the staff at St. John’s on the Lake, Stratford Court for the love they demonstrated toward Inez and for their continued compassionate care during the four years she lived there.

Inez C. Davis died on January 6, 2011. Her family includes her nieces and nephews in Wisconsin, Peter (Donna) Christensen, Curt Christensen, Paul (Elaine) Christensen, Jon Christensen, Julie (Doug) Bergner, sister-in-law, Betty Blood and nieces and nephews in Maryland and Virginia as well as other relatives and friends. Her husband, Jim and nephews Rolf and James Christensen preceded her in death. Family and friends will gather at the Chapel of St. John the Evangelist at St. John’s on the Lake 1840 N. Prospect Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53202 on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the Memorial Service at 11:00 a.m. Please visit where you can leave a favorite memory or photo, sign the guestbook, or make a memorial donation to St. John’s on the Lake Library fund. Arrangements provided by Suminski Funeral Homes 414-276-5122.

Past Comments

Jerome Leyendecker

I never met “Aunt Inez” but knew her through her nephew Peter Christensen, who is a good friend. I also would like to share with the family that I, along with countless others, was a direct beneficiary of her work as a librarian after WWII in Europe. I was stationed in Ansbach, Germany, with the US Army in Europe in 1964 during which time I spent many hours in the Post library there, checking out a few books, but mainly flirting with a very nice female librarian there. She was a real sweetheart and we got on pretty well. She had a brand new MG convertible and we did a little touring in Bavaria together during the summer of ’64, an experience which I treasure to this day. Thank you Aunt Inez for all the nice libraries that you helped to make possible for the American service men and women in Europe. JL

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