Cover photo for Donald R. Davidson, Sr.'s Obituary
Donald R. Davidson, Sr. Profile Photo
1943 Donald 2021

Donald R. Davidson, Sr.

June 9, 1943 — October 8, 2021

Former Chicago, IL investment and mortgage banker, Donald R. Davidson, Sr., passed away on Friday, October 8, 2021 at the age of 78 years old.

A lead developer of River North’s 51-story Ontario Place, Donald R. Davidson, Sr. was founder of Metro Financial Group, Ltd. and its subsidiaries, including Metro Equities Corporation. Metro Financial Group, Ltd., was a mortgage and investment banking and real estate investment and consulting firm. Other projects of mention include Presidential Towers and One Financial Place. A trailblazer of his day, he was a founding member of the National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP), a premier organization helping blacks, ethnic minorities, and women achieve inclusion in the financial services industry. He was formerly employed by the First National Bank of Chicago; the Foundation for Cooperative Housing; and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA). In 1967 Donald R. Davidson, Sr. was a founding member of advertising and public relations firm Davidson-Hardy & Associates which was nationally recognized as among the first to create multi-ethnic advertising in the consumer market. Additionally, he was the first African-American owner of a Burger Chef franchise in the country. He has been profiled in various local and national publications including the Chicago Sun Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, Black Enterprise Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and Adverting Age.

Having extensively served and developed relationships there for years, at the time of his departure, Donald R. Davidson, Sr. was a current Board Member of GN Bank, formally Illinois Service Federal Savings & Loan Association.

A native of nearby Indianapolis, Donald graduated from Crispus Attucks High School (‘60) and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Bio-Chemistry from Drake University (‘64). He was a proud legacy member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

As an African-American major developer in the City of Chicago, Donald could have chosen to continue living life in a high-rise along with the status it brings, but he personally believed investing in a local neighborhood was the only way to effectively bring change to the area. So, in 1991 he relocated his family from the signature address of an Ontario Place to the Austin neighborhood on the westside of Chicago. Life was never better and he never looked back.

Among his greatest achievements Donald undoubtedly would also count the Sunday dinner tradition he started for all of his children and grandchildren. Donald was a great cook and for close to thirty years he faithfully prepared Sunday dinner not only for his children and grandchildren but for their friends, last minute guests, and extended family as well. Sunday dinners often included close to 18 people. It will continue to remain a family honored tradition.

Donald R. Davidson Sr. was preceded in death by: Fred Davidson Jr. (Father); Frances Louise Williams (Lawler Davidson) (Mother); Fred Davidson III (Brother); Lindsay Renea Davidson (Daughter).

Donald R. Davidson, Sr. leaves behind to cherish his memory wife Maria Saldana; Two Sons: Donald Rae Davidson Jr. and Daniel Ramon Davidson (Kiela); Five Daughters: Dawn Louise Davidson (Lauren), Ingrid Elizabeth DeCherrie (Scott); Raquel Castellanos (Step-Daughter/Zadock); Gabriela Maria Davidson; and Andrea Rae Davidson; Four Grandsons: Elliott Rae Davidson; James Richard Davidson; Oziah Clore
Davidson; Four Granddaughters: Sydney Renea Gillian; Samantha Louise Davidson; Parker Marie Gillian; and Aliyah Faith DeCherrie; Two Nieces: Dia Davidson (Raymond) and Shawn Purcell Barnes; along with a host of other family and friends.

The family is thankful for all thoughts and condolences and is planning a private Celebration of Life service for close family and friends which at this time is pending further notice.

Arrangements entrusted to Chicagoland Cremation Options of Schiller Park, Illinois.

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