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Reese Allen Davis | News, Sports, Jobs



Reese Allen Davis, a respected and well-known attorney in Wayne, Pa. who worked for the same law firm for more than 50 years and served as solicitor for the Radnor Township School District, died peacefully on April 10, 2022 at Sunrise of Westtown in West Chester, Pa. He was 85.

Mr. Davis was born on Nov. 12, 1936, in Williamsport. At the time, his father, Dr. Fred Davis, was a dentist in private practice in Dushore, Pa., and in 1949 the family moved to Hughesville, where Dr. Davis served the Lycoming County community for more than 50 years, while Reese’s mother, Alice Meehan Davis, was a homemaker and the town’s piano teacher.

A star basketball player for Hughesville High School, Mr. Davis earned the All-America honor. He also played baseball and in 1948 was a member of one of the original Little League World Series all-star teams that played in Williamsport.

After graduating from Hughesville High School in 1954, Mr. Davis went to Bucknell University, following in the footsteps of his father and his sister, Laura Davis, where he studied commerce and finance, earning a bachelor of arts degree in 1958. At Bucknell, he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity and met his future wife, Nancy Christian, also a legacy student whose sister and father attended the university in Lewisburg.

In 1958, he married Nancy in her hometown of Elmira, N.Y., and the two moved to Carlisle, Pa. where he enrolled in law school. In 1961, he received his juris doctor degree, magna cum laude, from Dickinson School of Law, where he ranked first in his graduating class. During law school, he participated in National Moot Court and served as Articles Editor of the Dickinson Law Review. He later would serve as a member of the Board of Trustees.

In 1962 the family moved to Wayne, Pa. where he joined Greenwell, Porter, Smaltz & Royal, founded in 1930 operating from the First Pennsylvania Bank Building in the heart of Wayne, and today one of the oldest law firms on the Main Line. Mr. Davis became a partner in the Greenwell firm in 1967. The Davis family moved to Villanova, Pa. in 1968 and the firm changed its name to Davis Bennett Barr & Spiess in 1995 and to Davis Bennett Spiess & Livingood in 2009. In 2012, he was honored for 50 years of service with the firm.

He maintained a varied practice, including education law, commercial and residential real estate law, zoning and land development law, business law, estate planning and administration and litigation.

He was involved since 1962 with all aspects of representing Radnor Township School District. He served as Radnor Township School District Authority solicitor beginning in 1983 and held the same position with the Radnor Township Municipal Authority from 1983 until it was dissolved in 1991.

The publishers of Philadelphia Magazine and Law and Politics recognized Mr. Davis as a “Super Lawyer” in the field of School and Education Law.

He was a longtime member of the Wayne United Methodist Church and was active in the community, serving as president of the Kiwanis Club of the Upper Main Line and board of director roles with the Radnor Fire Company, Neighborhood League of Wayne, Wayne Jaycees, Main Line Chamber of Commerce and Delaware County Lawyers Club.

Devoted to his family and always encouraging his children to “keep up the good work,” he was a strong and active supporter of Radnor Raider sports teams, attending games both home and away in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Nancy Christian Davis; children, Jeffrey A. (Patricia) Davis of Baltimore; Bruce C. (Jennifer) Davis of Philadelphia; Paul M. (Paige) Davis of Spring City, Pa.; and Suzanne Hartzel (Rich) of Spring City; and grandchildren, Trevor Davis, Isabel Davis, Julia Davis, Mackenzie Davis, Christian Davis, Brooke Hartzel and Richie Hartzel.

There will be a small service for immediate family members only.