Thurston H. Davini - Rochester

Davini Thurston

ROCHESTER — Thurston H. Davini, longtime resident of Madison, Wis., and Rochester, died Thursday, the 31st of March, 2011, at Bethany Riverside Nursing Home in La Crosse, Wis. She was 89 years old.

Born on March 9, 1922, in Oconto, Wis., she attended school in Milwaukee and Chicago before moving with her family to Massachusetts. There she met and married William J. Davini, of Worcester, Mass. They were married for twelve years before his death in 1960.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Raymond and Grace Heath.

Thurston received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts Degrees in History from the University of Wisconsin in 1968 and 1970, respectively. After completing a Master of Arts Degree in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin in 1972, she accepted the position of head librarian at the University of Wisconsin School of Social Work Library and served until her retirement in 1985.

A lover of music, she was an accomplished performer and teacher of classical piano and guitar. She had a particular love for early music and played recorder, guitar and viola da gamba for many years in the Madison area with the early music group, Encore. She continued to be active in music performance and teaching after moving to Rochester in 1996.


She was an enthusiastic volunteer with the Rochester Public Library. She also was a member of the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Viola da Gamba Society of America, the Minnesota Guitar Society and the American Association of University Women. Thurston also loved to travel and made several trips to Germany, Italy and France. She was accomplished in foreign languages and was also a voracious reader.

She is survived by her brother, Charles Heath of Houston, Texas; her children and their spouses, Grace and Fred Hatton of Hawley, Pa., Paul Davini and Weihua of Orange Park, Fla., William and Ruth Davini of Minneapolis, Peter and Debbie Davini of Poynette, Wis., and Mark Davini and Barbara Kelsey of La Crescent. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; three nieces; and two grandnieces.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Wisconsin Historical Society, 816 State St., Madison, WI 53706; or Compassion and Choices at their website .

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on May 14, 2011, at Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Ave., in Minneapolis.

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