Yvonne "Jeanne" Elizabeth deGourville Davy
1912 - 1988
Yvonne Davy was widely known for her books, articles, and storytelling about life as a missionary in Africa. She was also a pianist who taught music at a Seventh-day Adventist college and privately throughout her life.
Yvonne was born in Worcester, South Africa, on July 19, 1912. Following graduation from Helderberg College in 1931, where she had been an honor student, she starting working at the college as a critic teacher and as an assistant in teaching music. In a 1940 roster of faculty at HC, she is listed as having earned a licentiate in piano from Trinity College London (LTCL), something she may have done earlier while still a student at HC.
She married Arthur Ludlow Davy, son of William Ludlow and Elsie Annie Little Davy, pioneer African missionaries, in 1939 and continued to teach for four more years while he taught religion at the college.
After leaving HC in 1943, they served as missionaries in Central and East Africa for 23 years. During those years he served as mission director in four different places, as president of the Congo Union, and in several other positions while she home-schooled their three children. They moved to the U.S. in 1966, where he was a pastor in the Oregon Conference until they both retired in1978.
After coming to the U.S. Yvonne continued to teach piano privately and became a freelance writer. She authored twelve books about life in Africa and about famous personalities, including Emily Dunning Berringer (women's rights pioneer), Martin Luther's wife, Katherina, and Roger Williams (Puritan religious leader in the U.S.). She wrote numerous articles for primary church publications, including The Youth's Instructor, the Review and Herald, World Mission Report, and others, including SDA union conference magazines.
Davy became known as "The Camp Meeting Storyteller" to hundreds of young people in the primary and junior divisions at camp meetings in Gladstone, Oregon, from 1967 until 1987, a year before her death. The Davys were residing in White Salmon, Washington, when she died on December 1, 1988, at age 76.
Sources: Southern African Division Outlook, 1 November 1931; 15 October 1935, 3; 15 March 1958, 11; North Pacific Union Conference Gleaner, 2 January 1967, 3; 16 August 1971, 17; 4 September 1978, 18; 17 April 1985, 28 (obituary); New York Passenger Manifest, 7 September 1951; Review and Herald, 25 May 1989 (Obituary); 25 March 2000, 38 (Arthur Davy obituary); Numerous article listings in SDA magazine Archives and advertisements for her books in The Youth's Instructor. and other magazines.