EDWARDSVILLE — The city is mourning the municipal band's longtime director, who died on Christmas Eve.
Mary Davis, 66, was a music teacher in Granite City when she joined the Edwardsville Municipal Band in 1964. She played four instruments: the trombone, tuba, trumpet and euphonium. Davis taught in Granite City schools and directed the band for 34 years before retiring.
But she never left the municipal band, becoming its director in 1983 and serving through the 2012 season.
In May, Edwardsville Mayor Gary Niebur honored Davis at a City Council meeting for nearly five decades of service, calling her "exemplary."
"The immeasurable time she has given of herself for the betterment of this community is no doubt reflected by an almost incomprehensible number," Niebur said at that ceremony. "Mary and her colleagues continue a 150-year-old tradition -- an important part of Edwardsville's quality of life. She is the very spirit that makes us a special place. And, as we all know, Edwardsville is only special because of the extraordinarily special people like Mary Davis."
Under Davis' tenure, the band continued its tradition of playing a concert in the park bandshell by the library every Thursday night in the summer. From the Memorial Day service at Woodlawn Cemetery to the Christmas Concert at the high school, the Edwardsville Municipal Band performed 21 times in 2012.
Davis married Jon E. Davis in 1967, who preceded her in death in 2007. Davis is survived by two daughters, a sister and two brothers.
Her family has requested that memorials be made to Immanuel United Methodist Church or Hospice of Southern Illinois.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Immanuel United Methodist Church, Edwardsville. Visitation will be 3-8 p.m. Friday at Weber & Rodney Funeral Home, Edwardsville.
Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2501.