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In loving memory of
Lydia Davis
  • April 15, 1961
  • -
  • January 15, 2021

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The spirit of Lydia Jean Davis, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, wife, writer, musician, and protector of all living creatures, left this earth on January 15, perfectly in peace and at one with the universe, in the arms of her family and friends.
A Jacksonville native, Lydia was born on April 15, 1961 to Robert Cornelius Davis and Thelma Jean Botts Davis, both of them World War II veterans. Robert and Thelma met when she nursed him back to health after being wounded during combat. Lydia graduated from Terry Parker High School, then went on to attend New York University, eventually returning to Jacksonville and settling into the Arlington area. An English major, Lydia loved writing short stories, screen plays, and poetry, earning a master’s degree in Education at Jacksonville University. Lydia dedicated her life to the education of children, mostly high schoolers, and taught at her own alma mater, Terry Parker High School. She retired after more than 30 years of service with Duval County Public Schools.
Lydia was a member of Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church for nearly 17 years where she served in a number of different capacities: she was an alto in the Sanctuary Choir, occasionally taught Sunday School, and was the “Lector Lady,” and often wrote materials for special programs during such seasons as Lent and Christmas. She loved music and was an accomplished pianist and bassoonist, and even taught herself how to play the bagpipes. She loved the out-of-doors and was a nature enthusiast. She befriended every animal that ever wandered into her presence, regardless of what it was. She loved her four cats and the local gaggle of ducks and geese from a nearby lake that visited her every morning and evening.
Lydia was preceded in death by her parents and by her only sibling, her brother Robert Charles Davis, an Air Force veteran. She is survived by her only child, her son John Rex Kirkland, her beloved granddaughter Haley Kirkland, and the love of her life, Rick Kirkland.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 1 p.m. in the sanctuary of Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church, 4001 Hendricks Avenue in Jacksonville. Current church protocol is strictly followed: masks must be worn by anyone entering the church, appropriate social distancing is observed, and seating within the church is limited.
The family suggests that any memorials be made to Hendrick Avenue Baptist Church at the above address or online at the church’s website, habchurch.com/give.

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  1. Jeff Hardison says:
    21 Jan 2021
    Inconceivable to think Lydia is gone. While we have not been in contact much since our university days, she has had an impact on me that still stays with me. I think the most illustrative example I can give is back in our high school days at Terry Parker, she and I would play tennis and it started to look like dodge ball by the time all was said and done - she had a mean serve and volley. I bring that up, not only because it makes me smile and laugh to think on it, rather because it showed that while she came across as gentle as a lamb, she was no one to mess with. She taught me that kindness, mercy and forgiveness are not weaknesses but our greatest strength. In this day and age, I cannot think of a better way for me to remember her.

    The world is diminished by her passing.

  2. Jessie Corby lit a candle:
    21 Jan 2021
    Lit since January 21, 2021 at 1:06:28 AM

  3. Ethel Dowling says:
    21 Jan 2021
    My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this time. Lydia and I taught together at BCMS, and she was the most caring, thoughtful person. I will always remember her sense of humor and her smile.

  4. Chris Kennedy says:
    20 Jan 2021
    Lydia, you were the bright spot when things seemed dark, the calm voice when the storm started to blow, the guiding hand when I got lost, and the friend who helped when others shied away. I will miss you! May you be at peace.

  5. Pat Melvin lit a candle:
    20 Jan 2021
    Lit since January 20, 2021 at 1:25:21 PM

  6. Pat Melvin says:
    20 Jan 2021
    I will miss Terry Parker ‘s faculty angel who watched over us every day with kind words, sweet smiles, common sense instructional advice, sense of humor, and culinary treats. Please continue to watch over us, Lydia, as you peacefully rest in your new home.

  7. Richard Tackett says:
    20 Jan 2021
    Rest In Peace Lydia and enjoy the reunion with your family. You were always so kind and will be missed. Condolences to Rex, Rick and close ones. RT

  8. Mary Paxton lit a candle:
    20 Jan 2021
    Lit since January 20, 2021 at 1:01:04 AM

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