Dr. Jane Totah Davis


Dr. Jane Totah Davis passed away March 24, 2022, at the age of 94. She is survived by her beloved husband of 70 years, Dr. Richard Crouse Davis, and her children Ellen Stone, Chris Davis (spouse Abir) and Sarah Jane Harvey (spouse Douglas), as well as her grandchildren Louisa, Sam and Eliza. Her eldest son Jay, who she adored, predeceased her in 2014.

Jane was foremost a woman of family. She always said her greatest source of joy was the raising of her children. As a mother, Jane ferociously and tirelessly defended the rights of disabled children for over six decades. She took up this fight to not only ensure that her eldest son, who was severely disabled, had access to quality care administered with respect and empathy, but to also help other parents who experienced similar challenges caring for disabled children. The world is a better place for those with disabilities because of her advocacy.

In keeping with her love of family, Jane treasured her relatives: amazing Seymour and Higgins families on her mother’s side, and her ancestral Christian Palestinian roots, on her father’s side, in the Holy Land of Ramallah, just outside of Jerusalem. In the Holy Land and beyond, her family name of Totah is synonymous with the highest traditions of Quaker education, and both her father and uncle were among the most influential Arab educators in the 1920s. Therefore, it’s not at all surprising that a defining aspect of Jane’s life was her immense respect for curiosity, learning and education.

In her mid-life, Jane resumed her education to earn her master’s and doctorate degrees from Drew University and the New York Theological Seminary. Unsurprisingly, Jane went on to create an amazingly successful, impactful and highly regarded psychotherapy practice in Westfield, N.J. Of course, she took great pride in speaking about her alma mater, Swarthmore College, and was humbled by its Quaker values.

Throughout her life, Jane immersed herself in her countless passionate interests. She was an avid swimmer and took to the ocean at every opportunity. She loved her needlepoint, was fascinated with art, visiting galleries and museums, and thoroughly enjoyed purchasing art that caught her tasteful eye. Classical music was a tonic for her, and for many years she held a subscription to the New York Philharmonic. She was passionate about her garden and was a voracious reader who cherished her book club. She loved and admired her husband’s sailing skills. Her absolute favorite summertime activity was sitting on the Sorrento dock awaiting Dick’s return to see how he fared amongst the competition!

In keeping with her curiosity, Jane’s wanderlust led her to travel the world as much as possible. However, no matter how amazing her travel destinations may have been, Jane’s favorite place on our Earth forever remained the Downeast coastal town of Sorrento. It was there, amidst the rugged serenity of the Maine coast, and the gentle beauty of the town’s community, that she found peace, and a true love of place and people.

After meeting during their freshman year at Swarthmore College, Jane and Dick forged an incredible marriage of almost 70 years. Together, they faced the difficult challenges of life, and shared love, laughter and wonderful times with their family. Jane was a true matriarch who made sure everyone was celebrated. She insisted that we seek to know ourselves, that we do our best to be humble, and that we care for others. She lived by example, possessed an endless capacity to love and lived a rich life. She was a truly remarkable and caring woman who as a wife, mother and grandmother will be terribly missed.

Memorial will be private in Sorrento. Donations in Jane’s memory can be made to Frenchman Bay Conservancy.

Know when to pay your respects.