Deb Malewski

Contributing Writer

You’d never guess that Phyllis Davidson is 77 years old, either in appearance or action. Davidson, a 1961 graduate of Eaton Rapids High School, is parent to three adult children, a world traveler, and when she’s home she’s a dedicated volunteer to multiple causes.
Davidson is not a person to sit in a chair and watch tv, she explained. She recently planted 93 trees on her property, spread 12 yards of mulch and 3 yards of rock as landscaping.
“I’m a go-er and a do-er, not a sitter,” she said. “The busier you are, the younger you feel, and you’re more productive and happier,” she explained.
“I like giving back,” she continued. Seeing the care that several family members received years ago while in hospice in Charlotte really impressed her, she said, and inspired her to start volunteering there in the resale shop.
The Eaton Rapids Senior Center interested her, she said, and she began volunteering there. There she is able to use her artistic talents at decorating for parties and events, which was very much appreciated by the members, but also did any other kind of work needed. “Anytime you need me, call me,” she told them. “I want to give back.”
“We never have an event that Phyllis doesn’t volunteer at; she’s one of the first to sign up,” said Rita Honeysett, director of the Jean Bradford Kline Senior Center. “She never says no.”
“COVID made me realize how much you need people around,” she said. “I needed to get out of the house.”
Davidson is also an election worker for Eaton Rapids Township. And, she has been involved with the annual Oldsmobile Homecoming event for the last several years, helping to plan the event and arranging for door prizes. She and her husband were very active with car shows around the state and with the restoration of old cars for many years.
“We had a motor home and would attend car shows. We would set up and sell parts and other things at these events.” This was the influence, she feels, that gave her the travel bug later in life. “We met and talked to so many nice people from all over the world at those car events,” she explained. “I wanted to know more about them and their countries.”
She’s lost track of all the countries she’s visited but knows there’s been at least 11.
Her favorite travel destination, so far, she said, was Morocco. Riding camels was a wonderful experience, and sleeping in beautiful fabric tents in the Sahara desert was amazing, although the desert was very cold at night, she said. “I’d go again, for sure,” she said.
Riding in a helicopter over the Great Barrier Reef was another favorite experience for Davidson.
“Every country has something that stands out, and is special,” she said.
When asked if there was anything she still wanted to do in her life, Davidson replied: “I’m pretty satisfied with my life. The most special thing in my life was my husband. He was the best.”
Davidson plans a paddleboat trip down the Mississippi later this year, cruising down the river to Memphis. Alaska will be next, where she’ll spend eight days touring the state. “There’s going to be a time when those glaciers are not going to be there,” she said, “and I want to be sure to see them.”