Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Merle Davis

Many of our readers will remember Merle Smith Davis. Merle died Thursday, December 28, 2017, at her home on Ocracoke Island.

Merle was born in Durham, NC, and grew up in Chapel Hill. She graduated from Chapel Hill High School in 1962, and attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and received her education degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1966.

Merle moved to Ocracoke in the mid 1970s, and was an active member of the community. She added a creative touch to nearly every endeavor she pursued. A friend recounted being invited to her home for lunch after teaching a pottery class at the Methodist Church. "The plate was decorated with candied violets!" he remembered with glee. Her house on Howard Street, outside and inside, was as much a gallery of folk art and contemporary crafts as a home. First time visitors to Ocracoke, when strolling down Howard Street, would sometimes walk into her house, thinking it was the Village Craftsmen!

Merle even entered the local vernacular. When someone decorates or dresses in an especially colorful and creative way islanders are wont to exclaim, "That is right Merley, isn't it!"

Merle moved off the island for a time, then returned to teach in the local school. For the last 25 years she had been the Arts Administrator for her husband, Donald Davis, nationally known storyteller.

Merle and her enthusiasm for life will be greatly missed!

You can read Merle's obituary here: http://www.ocracokecurrent.com/153967.


  1. I've encountered that smile a time or two when visiting. So sorry to hear this. Sending love and prayers to the family and to all of those whose lives she touched.

  2. Anonymous9:15 AM

    As a tribute, perhaps your readers can find the time to listen to Donald Davis' TEDx Charlotte video on You Tube. It is a wonderful story to help a Reflection moment.

  3. Anonymous11:41 AM

    A life well lived

  4. A note from my potter friend about lunch with Merle: the candied violets were the finishing touches on a stunning dessert of floating islands: meringue floating on crème anglaise, a vanilla custard - AT LUNCH!