“A wonderful person.”
That’s how friends described St. Thomas radio personality and digital coach Anita Davis-Sedlak, who passed early Monday morning at 60, following a battle with ovarian cancer.
“It is with deep sadness that I am telling all her dear friends that Anita passed peacefully in her sleep this morning,” Wrote Elaine Sedlak, her adopted mother. “She was surrounded by love and will be a cherished part of our hearts forever.”
Tributes flooded social media as Virgin Islanders remembered Davis-Sedlak’s impact on the territory as a mentor, advocate and friend.
Davis-Sedlak was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and moved to St. Thomas in the mid 1980s, and worked as a program and music director at WSTA.
“I was introduced to Anita, who trained me for a few Sundays at the station when I took on the Sunday morning program,” Terence Thomas recalled.
Hunkered down at the WSTA station, Davis-Sedlak led her fellow co-workers Thomas and Jean Greaux Jr., just “young bucks” at the time, through Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
“We were the only station that remained on the air,” Thomas said.
Both recall how Davis-Sedlak mentored the next generation of broadcasters, as she was “willing to go to bat” for anyone she believed in.
“She saw potential in people that sometimes the person themselves didn’t see,” Thomas said.
Davis-Sedlak went on to work with Knight Quality Stations Caribbean, and most recently was a host on 107.9 FM DaVybe with “Anita and You in Da Evenings.”
“She knew the business of radio inside out,” Greaux said.
Thomas described Davis-Sedlak as a fun-loving, genuine person, who was also a lover of animals.
“I always remember her driving around in the Jeep with her dogs Floyd and Side Pocket,” Thomas recalled.
Davis-Sedlak was also known as a “techy” and enjoyed helping others in her role as community outreach manager with V.I. Next Generation Network.
“You could call her in the middle of the night with a tech problem, and she’d figure out how to help you,” Iffat Walker, Community Action Now director recalled.
Davis-Sedlak was a strong advocate of the nonprofit organization, and also supported the Long Path Garden Street Community Center and Friends of the St. Thomas Public Libraries.
“Just an angel, that’s how I would describe her,” Walker said. “An angel to so many people, and to so many amazing causes.”
Walker fondly recalls spending time with Davis-Sedlak at the Hope Global Forum in Atlanta in 2016, where she looked forward to bringing her new knowledge back to the territory.
“She loved being around people that wanted to empower others, and she was a person that empowers people,” Walker said.
Davis-Sedlak was a lover of local culture, as she was frequently involved with broadcasting carnival events and even recorded her own calypso song.
“She always had a way of finding the means of spreading a message of hope, there was always the promise of a better Virgin Islands,” Greaux said.
In July, Davis-Sedlak announced that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in October 2020, and her passing was a shock to many.
“I don’t think we’ll ever have a full understanding of how many lives she touched in the territory,” Greaux said.