Seymour Davis

Obituary of Seymour Davis

Long-time Newport resident Seymour E. Davis, a fixture in the neighborhood near the once-familiar Meierovitz Market on Van Zandt Avenue, died Wednesday evening at Newport Hospital at the age of 90. Mr. Davis, a past president of Touro Synagogue's Congregation Jeshuat Israel, suffered a brief illness in recent days and died of heart failure. He was a dedicated congregant and served the Jewish community in an array of roles. Notably he was a member of the Chevra Kadisha, or Jewish Burial Society. The society is responsible for upholding Jewish law in the preparation of the body for burial. Born in the Bronx, New York, on October 25, 1918, Mr. Davis came to Aquidneck Island shortly before the outbreak of World War II to work as a machinist at the Navy torpedo station on Goat Island. He joined the Navy and served on a floating drydock in the South Pacific. Before he shipped out, he married the former Eleanor D. Meierovitz, who worked for her brother Wolfe at the Franklin News on Thames Street. The Davises celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary in September. For 18 years, Mr. Davis worked with his sisters-in-law, Bertha and Mollie Meierovitz, at the combination grocery store-garden center-service station established in 1925 by their father, Samuel. Meierovitz Market, known familiarly as "Bertha's," had a curbside Texaco gasoline pump outside its doors at 108 Van Zandt. On any given day, Mr. Davis might pot 10 dozens geraniums, dispense two dozen bags of penny candy, grind 15 pounds of hamburger and fill the tanks of 25 cars, all with a smile and a good word for everyone. In 1967, Mr. Davis took a machinist position at Raytheon's Submarine Signal Division in Portsmouth, where he worked the night shift for 23 years. Mr. Davis was a jack-of-all-trades and a do-it-yourselfer who tackled electrical, plumbing and carpentry challenges not only at his home on Hall Avenue, but for family and friends. Mr. Davis was a frequent contributor to the letters page of the Daily News, commenting on everything from world news to local affairs. In addition to his wife, Mr. Davis is survived by sons Robert of Marlboro, MA, and Michael of Yardley, PA, both graduates of Rogers High; granddaughters Meagan Davis of Gaithersburg, MD; Tyler Davis of Owings Mills, MD; and Jillian and Lauren Davis of Marlboro; daughters-in-law Susan Davis of Marlboro and Debra Davis of Yardley; and sisters Peggy Rosenzweig and Pat Korn, both living in Florida. A funeral service will be conducted at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Hoffman Memory Chapel on Fowler Avenue in Newport, followed by internment at Beth Olam Cemetery on Wyatt Road in Middletown. The family asks that donations be made to Congregation Jeshuat Israel, 85 Touro Street in Newport. For more information please visit
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