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Eliza W. Davis-Jones, registered nurse, churchwoman

Nov. 20, 1936 – Oct. 2, 2016

Eliza W. Davis-Jones, of Buffalo, a registered nurse who was active in local, state and national church organizations, died Sunday. She was 79.

Born in Mount Olive, Miss. the former Eliza Williams was the daughter of a minister and one of 12 children. After graduating from high school at age 16, she joined her older brother, Ray, in Buffalo.

She began career of more than 40 years in nursing as a candy striper, helping out in hospital wards. She went on to receive her degree as a licensed practical nurse from the Millard Fillmore Hospital School of Nursing, then earned her degree as a registered nurse from Erie Community College.

She became the charge nurse in the emergency room at Millard Fillmore Hospital, then went on to work at various Kaleida Health clinical sites. In recognition of her dedication to the profession, she was presented with the key to the City of Buffalo following her retirement in 1997.

She also started and ran several businesses, including a visiting nurse service.

She was a former member of New Hope Baptist Church, where she taught Sunday school and was assistant Sunday school superintendent, president of the Women’s Ministry, a choir member, chairwoman of the personnel committee and a worker in the Missions Ministry and the vacation Bible school.

After she became a member of Hopewell Baptist Church, she was active in the Missions Ministry and vacation Bible school.

She also organized a backyard vacation Bible school and ran it for several years from her home. She was honored with numerous church and community awards.

Active in the Great Lakes Baptist Association, she was recording secretary, president of the Women’s Ministry and served on many committees. She attended numerous Baptist conferences and congresses of Christian education across the country. In 2013, she received the Cynthia P. Ray Service Award from the Empire Missionary Baptist Convention.

An avid golfer, she was a member of the Delaware Ladies’ Golf League and the Grover Cleveland Women’s League and was one of the founders of the Buffalo Interfaith Network of Golfers. She also encouraged young people to play golf and other sports and supported recreational programs for youth.

She enjoyed traveling to Florida, Los Angeles and New York City, as well as cooking and entertaining at home.

She was predeceased by two husbands, the Rev. James H. Davis Sr., pastor of Ascending Baptist Church, and Frankie L. Jones.

Survivors include a son, the Rev. James H. Davis Jr.; a daughter, Lisa C. Napier; two stepdaughters, Laura Haslam and Ann Blackburn; four brothers, the Rev. Walter Williams, Richard Williams, James Williams and Clyde Williams; three sisters, Earlene Poole, Willie Jean Jones and Queen Lamar; seven grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at noon Saturday in Mount Olive Baptist Church, 701 E. Delavan Ave.

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