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Dorothy Rebecca “Beck” Davenport Tyler was the eighth child born of the late Jacob Davenport and Florence Buckner Davenport. This great event took place on September 11, 1932 in a little town in Virginia called Scottsburg. Six sisters and three brothers preceded her in death.
Dorothy excelled academically in the public schools of Halifax County, Virginia and after graduation from high school in June of 1951, she moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to secure employment. Dorothy worked in a number of areas - factory, electronics and substitute teaching. Dorothy worked for the City of Philadelphia as a social worker, where she met lifelong friends, she still cherishes til this day. She was also one of the first female police officers hired onto the Philadelphia force.
Her early Christian education was in the St. James Baptist Church where she attended Sunday School, sang on the Jr. Choir and participated in all other activities of the Sunday School and church. Dorothy served as the secretary of the Sunday School from the age of fourteen until she moved to Philadelphia. It was in Sunday School that she developed her talent of public speaking, guided by her mother. At the age of seven, Dorothy accepted Christ as her personal savior and was baptized at the St. James Baptist Church.
For a period of time after moving to Philadelphia, Dorothy was a member of Second Baptist Church of Nicetown. In 1958, under the pastorate of the late Dr. William L. Banks, she joined Nazarene Baptist Church and remained a member until her passing.
Dorothy was an active church member and over the years of her membership, served in many areas including Asst. Secretary of Sunday School, Asst. Sunday School teacher and as a member of the Senior Ushers, Ladies Auxiliary, member of the Senior Choir and the Women’s Chorale. She also worked diligently with the Women’s Day Committee, serving as the Chairperson multiple times and also served with the Scholarship Committee. From October 1983 through January 2002, Dorothy served as the Church Clerk, resigning due to vision problems.
Dorothy had a great love for learning and earned her Bachelor of Arts from LaSalle University and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She attended many workshops and seminars including classes at the University of Ibadan in Ibadan, Nigeria. She was proficient in hat design, dress making, and creative writing. Her crocheting ability was legendary. She made and donated hundreds of baby blankets to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and Children’s Hospital, among others, in and around Philadelphia. She was also a self-published poet. An avid traveler, Dorothy visited all seven continents, over 100 countries and all 50 of the United States. She also curated several extensive collections of hats, Black Santa’s, salt and pepper shakers and dolls.
Her high level of energy was used to help many people, especially seniors, who held a special place in her heart. Dorothy volunteered with and enthusiastically fundraised for the Alzheimer’s Association for over twenty years. She served as the Secretary of the Philadelphia chapter of the Mary M. Bethune High School Alumni Association, as they raised funds for scholarships for the children in Halifax County and was the Founder of and served as the President of the Ladies Cartel, an all-female investment group, for twenty years.
Dorothy was married to the late W. Allen Tyler, and together, they had three wonderful daughters, her three angels, Carolyn, LaVerne and Dale.
She leaves a rich legacy to her family: daughters - Carolyn Thompson, LaVerne Tyler of Philadelphia, PA, and Dale Mason (fiancée, Quentin) Manchester, PA; four grandchildren - Jason Thompson (Natalie), Anisa Tyler, Tyler Mason and She’Ron Mason; two great-grandchildren, Amaya and Caleb Thompson; one brother, Edward Davenport of Scottsburg, VA; one sister, Alice Davenport of Philadelphia, PA; four sisters-in-law, Vicky Polk of Trenton, NJ, Geraldine Smith of Pacifica, CA, Pauline Tyler of Bluffton, SC, and Mary Tyler of Atlantic City, NJ; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.
Looking to the Resurrection,