Commencing their volunteer service at the ALPLM before the museum opened in 2005, ALPLM Volunteers Jerry and Marilyn Davis have maintained their positions within our agency and regularly volunteer on Friday mornings. Whether they are greeting school or tour buses, speaking to guests in the Plaza, or sharing historical content about one of the show or exhibits, the Davises are proud to represent our fine organization to our visitors. Incredibly in their fifteen years of service, Jerry and Marilyn have donated a collective total of 2,700 hours and have no plans of stopping any time soon.
Growing up in Virginia, Illinois, Jerry, spent three years living in France while serving his country in the Air Force before moving to Springfield. Marilyn was raised in Decatur and graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Education before settling in Sangamon County. Jerry worked for the State Journal-Register for 35 years before retiring and Marilyn taught English for 17 years at Pleasant Plains High School.
Today, the Davises are relishing their retirement years and staying active spending quality time together enjoying their shared interests. They treasure their time with family and are always ready for a game of bridge with their friends. They were avid bikers and miss riding as much as Illinois weather allowed and during their winter stays in Florida. Jerry also previously volunteered at Memorial Hospital where he assisted hospital patients and their families as a Red Coat Volunteer.
Like many of our volunteer team members, the love of history was a central motivating factor of Jerry and Marilyn’s decision to become ALPLM volunteers. Specifically, the Davises described their fascination with the research and study of Civil War history. “We are very interested in history, especially the Civil War era,” they stated. “We have learned some interesting facts on our trips to battlefields and attending Volunteer Services and ALPLM programs about the Civil War, such as Dr. Mark DePue’s educational program series focused on these battles.”
The Davises commented that they have created strong bonds and friendships with the volunteers that they work with on their shift and met at educational presentations and events. These bonds are evident in the sentiments recently expressed by fellow volunteers Marv and Sandy Schroeder who have known Jerry and Marilyn for many years. The Schroeders affectionately shared, “Jerry and Marilyn are a dedicated couple sharing knowledge about Lincoln and the ALPLM with respect to all visitors.”
Additionally, the Davises recognize the energies of the management team of the Volunteer Services Department. “We appreciate the dedicated Volunteer Directors that we have had through the years,” they said. “They have created an environment that makes it a pleasurable experience to volunteer here.”
Jerry and Marilyn indicated that they are hopeful that a vaccine for COVID-19 will be available soon and that the cases and positivity rates of the coronavirus begin to level off, permitting certain things to return to normal. Until then, they are staying at home and following the health and safety restrictions. Most days they like to take walks, read, cook, and watch some of their favorite movies and television programs.
Thank you, Jerry and Marilyn, for your sustained service at the ALPLM and your efforts to enhance our guests’ experience. As we celebrate this time of thankfulness, we are grateful for you and your continued hard work and dedication towards supporting our mission and sharing the Lincoln story.