Byron D. Davis, GFS teacher and Upper School head


Byron D. Davis, 51, of Germantown, a teacher and Upper School head at Germantown Friends School, died Jan 31 of heart failure at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Mr. Davis became head of the Upper School in 2015 after teaching history at the school for two decades and serving as 11th grade adviser. He also mentored minority students, authored the school’s mission statement on diversity, and served on the admissions committee for Middle and Upper School students.

Born in St. Louis, he graduated from St. Louis University High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University and a master’s degree from Temple University.

While in graduate school he served as a museum creator at the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, where he created photographic exhibits about the civil rights movement and other periods of African American history. In 2008 he ran unsuccessfully for state representative in the 198th Legislative District.

He is survived by his wife, Erin O’Kelley, and two daughters.

A memorial service was held Feb. 10, at Arch Street Friends Meeting House in Philadelphia.

Memorial donations may be made to Germantown Friends School Community Scholars Program, c/o Germantown Friends School, Advancement Office, 31 W. Coulter St., Philadelphia, PA 19144. – WF