Gloria Jeanne Davis

Obituary for Gloria Jeanne Webb Davis

Jeanne passed away peacefully on April 9, 2024 at the age of 88.  She was born on June 8, 1935 in Pampa, Texas to Lance and Elizabeth Webb.  She is preceded in death by her husband, David Bartlett Davis, and is survived by her daughter Karen and her husband Todd, son Mark, granddaughter Shannon, great-grandchildren, Cara, Annie, Daniel and Michael, sisters Mary and Ruth and their families (Lee, Erin, Alison, Shawn, Autumn, Al, Dan, Aimee, Asa, Jennie, Laura), and many more dearly loved cousins, nieces and nephews.

Jeanne graduated salutatorian from Dallas Highland Park High School in 1953.  She attended Ohio Wesleyan University and received a Bachelor of Music degree in 1957, graduating Magna Cum Laude.  She received a Master of Music degree from SMU in 1980, graduating Summa Cum Laude.

She married David in 1958, who then became a United Methodist Pastor.  Jeanne shared in the ministry by serving as an organist, choir director, soloist and Sunday School teacher.  She was a music teacher for many years, including elementary through high school levels.  Jeanne was particularly talented at leading her students in enthusiastic music programs.

After an illustrious career in music, Jeanne went back to SMU to receive a Master of Divinity degree in theology from the Perkins School of Theology in 1994.  She was then appointed to the Morris Memorial United Methodist Church in Chico, Texas, where she served as the Senior Pastor.  She was also an Associate Pastor at Lakewood UMC in Dallas, Texas until her retirement in 1997.

In 2004, Jeanne joined First UMC in Arlington, Texas, where she taught Disciple Bible Studies and sang in the choir.  To be closer to family, Jeanne moved to St. Peters, Missouri, in 2019 and became a member of First St. Charles UMC.

In 2023, Jeanne wrote her own obituary / life story.  Here it is:

Gloria Jeanne Webb was born in June of 1935 in Pampa, a little town in the panhandle of Texas.  Her dad, Lance Webb, was a Methodist minister who had been assigned the job of building a church for the newly arrived oil boomtown workers.  He and his wife, Elizabeth, had only been married for two years, so Gloria Jeanne was the first baby in the family.  By the time she was three she had established her place in the family.  She ruled that nobody could call her “Gloria” anymore!  She was to only be called “Jeanne!”  If anybody slipped up on this ruling, she would stomp her foot and pronounce, “Don’t call me Gloria!”  It didn’t take long for this ruling to be followed very carefully.

Jeanne was also very taken with the piano in the house.  She even made up some little songs that inspired her parents to give her piano lessons even though she was only three.  These were very successful and led to a musical future as she grew up!

Jeanne was an only child until she was seven and a half.  Then twins came along!  She was delighted and threw herself into the job of helping to take care of them.  By this time the family was living in the Park Cities of Dallas, Texas.  Jeanne had learned to read in a few weeks in a small Texas town, Eastland, but when they moved to Dallas, she had the next 11 years to enjoy the benefits of the Highland Park School system.

An extra benefit came from her dad.  He took her visiting church members and the sick when she was only six.  She loved this!  She was quiet and listened carefully to the adults speaking.  This was her favorite activity from then on!  She didn’t really want to play with the kids, she wanted to follow what the adults were talking about.  Strange!  But true.  This led to him taking her to a summer high school Methodist camp that he was leading the year that she was 13.  She was too young to be there, but she was tall and more mature from all that adult listening, so she became a part of the camping experience.  Jeanne was song leader – even silly camp songs that everyone liked.  She became the worship leader, playing the little pump organ and planning the worship services.  These were the foundations of all that followed!

She graduated from Highland Park High School in January of 1953, as salutatorian of the class.  She also had the comedy lead in the senior play and at the piano played the 1st movement of Grieg’s Concerto in A minor for the graduation exercises.

This also happened to be the time that the family moved to Columbus, Ohio and a new church for dad.  Jeanne also decided to go to Ohio Wesleyan University and major in organ.  Four years later she graduated with highest honors in her grades and an honors project – producing a one act opera from a Bach cantata, “The Coffee Cantata,” with sets she built, acting she created and the string music accompaniment she prepared from Bach’s original score.

There was only one problem.  Music was always her second choice for her life’s work.  First choice was being a preaching minister!  In the 1940’s and 50’s that was NOT a possible choice for a woman!  She had to put it aside and work on her music.

Before her senior year of college, Jeanne was playing the organ for her Sunday gig, Worthington Presbyterian Church.   It was a summer choir practice night when Jeanne met a new-comer to the choir, a David Davis.  David had just graduated from Colgate University and was looking for a job in this new town to which his parents had moved.  He also wouldn’t mind finding out if there were any nice girls around!  Somebody told him that there were some in the church choir, so David, who liked to sing, gave the choir a try.  And so, it began.

By the time of her graduation, they were quite serious.  Jeanne felt that she must have at least a semester in seminary for her own fulfillment before giving it all up for music.  She went back to Dallas and Perkins School of Theology.  And she did learn so very many wonderful things.  She wrote to David back in Columbus telling him all these wonderful things!  He was so impressed that after only two months he decided to become a minister himself!  They became engaged at Christmas that year, 1957 and were married March 1st, 1958!

David’s ministry and Jeanne’s music ministry began.  They had plenty of ups and downs, but God was good and they had plenty of blessings also.  The greatest blessings of all were two wonderful children!  Karen Elizabeth came in 1963 and Mark David came in 1965!  Both were red heads like their dad!

When Karen and Mark were old enough, Jeanne started teaching music in the schools as an additional way to serve others with her music, and make some additional income for the family.  She ended up teaching for 30 years!  Then David told her that with all the women preachers around, she should be one too!  With his encouragement she applied at Perkins, got a full scholarship and began classes.  She had only one semester when David was told that he had lung cancer!  Dave and Jeanne had only 34 years married, and in the ministry, and then he died in 1992.

Jeanne forged ahead with seminary, graduated in 1994 and was assigned to a church out in the country, northwest of Dallas, Chico.  She loved it there!  Everything about it!  Standing in the pulpit with a message for each person was such a powerful blessing.  The people seemed to like having her in the pulpit too!  Five months later however, Jeanne realized that so much of her hair had fallen out that she needed a wig!  Within the next 2 months, walking from the parsonage to the church became a danger.  She nearly passed out before she could get in the door.  She knew the problem.  Chico was surrounded by oil wells, huge rock crushing plants, an oil refinery, and right behind her house a propane company helping to ruin the air!  She was very sensitive to all of this and it would kill her (her doctor says) if she doesn’t leave.  Finally, Jeanne moved back to Dallas, broken-hearted at leaving this wonderful opportunity behind.

In retirement, Jeanne lived in Arlington, Texas for 15 years, then moved to St. Peters, Missouri for her final 5 years.

The Memorial service is planned for:

Saturday, April 20

12:30pm Greet Family

1:00pm Memorial Service

First St. Charles United Methodist Church

801 First Capitol Drive

St. Charles, MO 63301



The graveside service will be at Restland, Dallas.  Date and Time are TBD.  Jeanne encouraged family and friends to attend the Memorial service in Missouri, with the graveside service being a small family gathering.



  1. Mary Edlund on April 11, 2024 at 2:56 pm

    Jeanne had a fulfilling life with her music and pastor ministries. She had so many health obstacles to overcome, and she still lived to be 88! I am so blessed to have her as my big sister. Sing and dance with the heavenly choir, Jeanne❤️❤️❤️❣️

  2. Jeffery Collins on April 14, 2024 at 5:57 pm

    My sincere condolences for your loss Karen.

  3. Ione on May 11, 2024 at 4:31 pm

    What a beautiful obituary and what a beautiful woman. You must be very proud of her. You have been in my thoughts and prayers.

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