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Louise R. ‘Weezie’ Davis, co-founder of a Roland Park handbag business, dies

Louise Davis was a former president of the Junior League of Baltimore and had been a board member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the March of Dimes.
Louise Davis was a former president of the Junior League of Baltimore and had been a board member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the March of Dimes.

Louise R. “Weezie” Davis, a co-founder and owner of the Bee Hive Ltd., a Roland Park convertible handbag business, died of complications of a stroke on June 12 at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center. The Hunt Valley resident was 91.

The former Louise Rede, who was the daughter of Ella George Rede, was born in Baltimore and raised on Lafayette Avenue in Bolton Hill. She was also a descendant of George Read, a Delaware lawyer, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

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She was a graduate of both Notre Dame Preparatory School and the Bard Avon Secretarial School.

Mrs. Davis, who had lived on Paddington Way and later Witherspoon Road in Homeland for more than 50 years, was a co-founder and co-owner in the 1960s of Bee Hive Ltd. on Lawndale Road in Roland Park. The company manufactured and sold their signature monogrammed Bee Hive bag, which was featured in Seventeen magazine, the Talbots catalog and other national publications.

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The Bee Hive’s owners recruited seamstresses and others to produce the bags with the adjustable cover, “The bag that changes covers to match your costume,” according to a promotional advertisement at the time. “Changing covers is quick and easy. Just unbutton, slip off, slip on a new one and rebutton. The Bee Hive Bag lets you match your costume, accessories, or mood perfectly.”

The business closed in the 1980s.

She was a former president of the Junior League of Baltimore and had been a board member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the March of Dimes.

Since 2000, Mrs. Davis has lived at the Broadmead Retirement Community in Hunt Valley. She enjoyed gardening, reading, bowling, bridge and jigsaw puzzles, and was also a world traveler and enjoyed summering in Cape May, New Jersey.

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She was a former longtime communicant of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, and at her death, had been a member of the Catholic Community of St. Francis Xavier in Hunt Valley since moving to Broadmead.

A private Mass will be held in August.

She is survived by two daughters, Carol Harvey of Towson and Anne Sullivan of Elmhurst, Illinois; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. A marriage to Francis A. Davis Jr. ended in divorce.

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