|June 07, 1927 - July 08, 2012|
|of Lake Forest, Illinois|
11:00 a.m., Monday, July 16, 2012
at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest
700 N. Sheridan Rd.
Lake Forest, Illinois 60045
|Gloria Westerberg Davis, former Chairman, President and CEO of Aparacor, Inc., died on July 8 at Lake Forest Place, in Lake Forest, IL, a 47 year resident of Lake Forest, she was 85.
Ms. Davis assumed the leadership of Aparacor, Inc. in 1984 following the death of her former husband James G. Davis. Her parents Lawrence and Mabel Westerberg founded the Evanston-based company in 1952. It became a national leader in party-plan sales of women's clothing and accessories before shopping centers and suburban malls provided easy access to consumers in small towns and cities across the country. The company had three major divisions: Queen's-Way to Fashion, a direct selling company, which brought fashion directly to customers homes; Career Guild;, a direct marketing company, which was a pioneer in catalogue sales; and Nancy Reynolds Fashion Finds, which liquidated out of season apparel through outlet stores.
Ms. Davis helped her parents build the company from its modest beginnings in their Skokie home. She served in many capacities over the years including fashion designer, model, customer service representative, and communications director. From 1978 until 1984, she was the Vice President for Corporate Affairs in charge of large group events and conferences to recognize the talent and ingenuity of Aparcor's sales force. She served as a member of the corporate board from 1971 until 1985. She followed her father and former husband as Chairman, President and CEO from 1984 through 1988.
Ms. Davis was also professionally active as a member of the Direct Selling Education Foundation Board of the National Direct Marketing Association in the 1980s.
Ms. Davis, grew up in Skokie, and graduated from Niles Township High School. She attended Stephens College in Columbia MO and graduated from Northwestern University in 1948. During the 1980s, she served as the Vice President for Alumni Giving for the Northwestern University Alumni Board and as Chairman of the School of Speech National Advisory Council. While a student at Northwestern, Ms. Davis was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority and remained active as an alumni advisor for many years.
From 1965 until her death, Ms. Davis was a Lake Forest resident, active in local charitable and service work. She served as a member of the Oakton Community College Educational Foundation Board. She was also a devoted member of P.E.O, an international service organization dedicated to increasing young women's opportunities for higher education through scholarships and other philanthropic efforts. She was a founding member of the Lake Forest P.E.O. chapter and served as its President for many years. She was also a docent at the Chicago Art Institute, the Oriental Art Museum at the University of Chicago and Ragdale, the Arts and Crafts country house of renowned Chicago architect, Howard Van Doren Shaw.
Ms. Davis' marriage to James G. Davis ended in divorce in 1978. She is survived by a daughter, Cheryl Davis Hayes of Washington, DC, and a son, Toby Davis of Lake Forest; six grand children; and a great-grand child.
A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Lake Forest on Monday, July 16 at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, Ms. Davis and her family have requested donations to The P.E.O. Foundation Chapter MQ IL Fund and be sent to Chapter MQ PEO, PO Box 257, Lake Forest IL 60045.