Sher Davidson: At Eighty

Some years ago, when she was in her sixties, she told me, Sher Davidson attended a conference for women in business, where each participant was asked to stand in turn and give a five-minute presentation on her life and accomplishments. When Sher sat down, the younger women sitting on either side of her gushed, “Wow, how did you manage to do all those things in just six decades?!”

When I heard this story, I thought: Those women should see Sher today.

Sher Davidson at eighty

Last week Sher, who now lives outside of Portland, Orgeon, USA, celebrated her eightieth birthday; and her list of accomplishments is longer and more impressive than ever.

In her eight decades she’s worn many hats, she told me – among them: entrepreneur, painter, sculptor, jewelry designer, wife, mother, teacher, world traveler, and travel writer. In recent years she has created a nonprofit organization and written two novels, so we can now add “philanthropist” and “novelist” to that long list.

Her newest book, a historical novel titled Dark Secrets, will be published soon. Set during the Second World War in Oregon, France, and Sweden, it is based on the secrets Sher learned from her Swedish relatives about Sweden’s role in that war.

Her previous novel, Under the Salvadoran Sun, published in 2014, is what she calls “a late-in-life love story wrapped around the issue of immigration.” Her first book, Europe with Two Kids and a Van (1973) chronicles her young family’s adventures tootling around Europe in 1972 in a VW bus when her two daughters were preschoolers.

But the accomplishment Sher is proudest of – what she would like to consider her legacy – is birthing the nonprofit Latin American Relief Fund to support a shelter helping migrants and refugees in Mexico.

“I am most proud of that,” she told me, “but I also remind myself that ‘it takes a village.’ Choosing a talented board to carry on the work when I no longer can has been an important accomplishment, too.”

Since its inception in 2018, the Latin American Relief Fund has raised more than $200,000 to support migrants and refugees in Mexico by providing a temporary stay in a safe environment known as the ABBA House in Celaya. “Abba” means “father” in Aramaic and reflects the caring nature of its  founder, Pastor Ignacio, who provides the migrants with food, shelter, medical and psychological assistance, and help in applying for asylum in Mexico.

When I asked Sher what has sustained her throughout these creative endeavors and important accomplishments, she said, “The love of my family — my husband of fifty-seven years, and my daughters and grandchildren. Knowing they are there at my back helps sustain me in dark times, or when I am so tired I begin to doubt myself and my projects. Friends, too, are so much a part of success. They help bolster me when the ‘blockades’ in my path seem impassable.”

As I often do in my WOW interviews, I asked Sher what she has found to be some of the advantages of advanced age. She answered:

“The wisdom to know when to stop and smell the roses! Sometimes, though, even now I have to remind myself to do that. I’ve been blessed with a lot of energy and an adventuresome spirit; and fortunately, I’ve been able to travel to many countries and experience many cultures – the most recent being living for fifteen years in the beautiful town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, from 2006 to 2021. Maybe most fortunate, is the courage to keep on going — knowing there are usually rewards around the corner — even when the going is tough.”

And, of course, I had to know: If she were to give a commencement address to the graduating class at a women’s college, what would the thrust of her message be?

“Seek happiness in your personal lives, then spread that happiness into the public sphere,” Sher told me. “Thrive and help others to thrive. If you seek financial success, be sure to share the wealth. If you seek praise, give it to others – pass it forward.”

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19 thoughts on “Sher Davidson: At Eighty”

  1. Thanks. This piece is a perfect antidote to the piece in today’s NY Times profiling Martha Stewart. Sher is to be greatly admired. Martha is to be merely pitied. Sher is a worthy role model for women of all ages.

    1. Virginia, your comment just sent me to the NYTimes, where I read the entire article on Martha. I so agree with you: Sher is the kind of woman worthy of our admiration. Martha, on the other hand, is in a realm all her own.

  2. BonnieDear, this was so worth reading. Especially her advice to women. I’m going to remember her suggestions. I had goosebumps throughout the reading of this post. Thank you so much for always finding some way to inspire us. Mucho cariño…

    1. I’m so glad you’re pleased with it, Sher. I hope you’ll share it with your large network of friends who might not otherwise receive my WOWs. Happy 80th birthday — and many, many more!

  3. Bonnie, I hope you remember me. Marge Reading in Taos invited us for tea to meet each other, which for me was a pleasure. I don’t think it was too long afterward that you moved to San Miguel Allende, a city I’ve vicariously enjoyed as a subscriber to your blog. What you’ve admirably done with your life makes you a great candidate for a Bonnie Lee Black interview!

    You might be interested to know that the book I was working on when we met is now available on Its title is Little Tin Heart, A Memoir, a coming-of-age story about growing up in an often clashing three-culture family. The description of my book continues on Amazon. You can attend my 14-minute bookstore talk in the comfort of your own home. Just go to Youtube at or put in Youtube’s Search Suzy T. Kane The Writing Experience, and you’ll be there. Of course, there’s more to say, but I hope I haven’t already exceeded your comment space.

    Love, Suzy

    1. Of course I remember you, Suzy! It’s good to hear from you and learn your good news about your new book. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your news here for all WOW readers to see and follow up on. I look forward to watching your YouTube talk asap! Best, BB

  4. Dear Bon,

    What an inspiration Sher Davidson is. I hope I can have boundless energy at eighty. Truthfully, I wish I had it now. Even her picture radiates a youthful glow. I just watched Suzy T. Kane’s video and her moving story is equally inspirational. I encourage everyone to watch it. I am in awe of these, and all the countless, anonymous wise older women who are quietly, or not so quietly, making the world a better place for everyone.


    1. Ah, dearest Paul, your comment has taken my breath away! If only more people — especially younger people and all men — could see it your way. — Big hugs and mucho love to you siempre, BB xx

  5. I just posted a blog about the WOW Factor, Bonnie. I love reading the comments to your interview with me and am, as I said before, so very humbled. I loved watching Suzy Kane’s video, too and it occurred to me that maybe you and others would enjoy the video interview a wonderful new friend, Nikola MacCameron did of me: Warning: It’s 37 minutes long but it may round out a few details of my life that have led me to this point, my happy 80th year! How lucky am I to have good friends, a wonderful family and the joy that comes from a life of creative activity both in the visual arts field and writing!

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