Demetria Davis Reed

Published 11:04 am Tuesday, August 15, 2023

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Nov. 20, 1954 – Aug. 8, 2023

NATCHEZ – “Celebration of Life” Funeral services for Demetria Belinda Davis Reed, 68, of Natchez, who gained her angel wings on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023, will be held on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023, at 11 a.m. at Zion Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church with Pastor Birdon Mitchell officiating.

Burial will be held on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023, at 10 a.m. at Garden Memorial Park Cemetery in Jackson under the direction of West Gate Funeral Home.

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Visitation will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m., with Ceremonies from 5 until 5:30 p.m. at the funeral home.  Visitation will continue on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023, from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at the church.

Demetria was born on Nov. 20, 1954, to the late James M. Davis and Minnie Merle Davis in Crystal Springs, Mississippi. The big sister to four younger brothers, Demetria and her family lived in Brushy Creek before settling in Jackson. Demetria attended Lanier High School and graduated as a member of the first integrated class at Callaway High School in 1971.

Demetria attended the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS, where she danced as the first African American on the Dixie Darlings Drill Team and was crowned Miss Afro 1971 – 1972. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1975 and a Master of Education degree from William Carey College in 1976. Demetria received an Educational Specialist degree from Jackson State University in 1987. She earned an Educational Administration and Supervision Certification from Alcorn State University in 1996 and completed the Principal’s Institute at Harvard University in 1998.

It was at USM where she met her husband of 47 years, Alphonse Reed, marrying on June 26, 1976. This union would produce two children, Rashad and Jamie.

Demetria educated students for 25 years, teaching in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Jackson before settling in Natchez. She was named Natchez-Adams School District’s Principal of the Year in 2002 before retiring in 2003. Demetria was a member of Phi Delta Kappa and a life member of the retired Education Personnel of Mississippi.

Demetria co-founded the Natchez School of Dance, the first black dance school in downtown Natchez, in 1989. She was a life member of the Natchez Chapter of the Links, Inc. and the Zeta Delta Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  She was a member of Zion Chapel A.M.E., where she served as a trustee, choir member, Sunday school teacher, and Missionary.

Diagnosed with breast cancer at 31, Demetria co-founded the God’s Angelic Warriors breast cancer support group in 1998 and was an active American Cancer Society volunteer. Demetria received the American Cancer Society Terese Laser Award for her volunteer work and was named the Bluff City Post Person of the Decade. She was also a member of the Ruritan Community Service Organization and was named to Who’s Who in Black Mississippi.

Demetria is survived by her husband, Dr. Alphonse Reed; son, Rashad Reed of Albany, GA; daughter, Jamie Reed of Natchez; daughter-in-law, Naja Reed of Tallahassee, FL; two grandchildren, Jacob and J’Ana of Tallahassee; mother, Minnie Merle Davis of Jackson, MS; four brothers, Julian Davis (Rose) of Temple, GA, Cedric Davis, Dexter Davis, both of Jackson, and Elliott Davis (Lynn) of Stockbridge, GA; a special sister-in-law, Valerie Davis of Jackson; brother-in-law, Monroe Clark (Bobbie) of New Orleans; sisters-in-law, Willie Mae Little (Val) of Aurora, CO, Linda Reed of Woodbridge, VA and Lorraine Williams (Floyd) of New Orleans; and a host of uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at