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Nelda Sloan Davies '51


Nelda Sloan Davies, 85, of Chapel Hill, N.C., formerly of Montclair, died on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. A memorial service celebrating Mrs. Davies' life is planned for Saturday, May 3, 11 a.m., at the Eno River Unitarian Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Road, Durham, N.C. 27707, 919-489-2527. A manager and agent for a number of notable performers, Mrs. Davies loved eclectic art throughout her life. She enjoyed attending charitable art auctions and collecting works she found merited highly for bold vision and creativity. Born in Palmerton, Pa., Mrs. Davies excelled in school and was the editor of her high school newspaper, fostering a lifelong interest in print journalism. While attending Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, she leveraged the schools' co-op program and worked as a copy boy for The Philadelphia Record and was later hired by The New York Times. While working for The Times, Mrs. Davies transferred to Times Facsimile Corp., a subsidiary developing early technology to improve the transmission of news text across telephone lines. Her work involved union negotiations and mediation with The Times management. Her efforts yielded improved working conditions for women in a predominantly male workplace during the mid-1950s. While raising a family of four children in Montclair, Mrs. Davies was an avid worker in local politics and The League of Women Voters. She also worked in the early 1970s on collecting voting statistics by demographics, an effort contracted by NBC Election News to forecast early election results based on key precincts. In 1976, Mrs. Davies moved to Chapel Hill, N.C., and began managing artists and groups such as the Touch Mime Trio and the Big Zucchini Washboard Bandits. Under the name Southern Artists, her list of clients grew, as did her reputation among local arts societies and communities across the mid-Atlantic region in providing interesting and educational talent for schools and festivals. She retired in 1994, in Chapel Hill. Mrs. Davies is survived by her husband, David L. Davies; her children, Daniel Davies, Dee Davies, Bruce Davies, and Timothy Davies; and nine grandchildren. Donations may be made in her name to local art charities and also to the UNC Hospice program