Lillian Juanita Davis, the Lois Lane of Mooresville, Skeeter, wife, mother, sister, cousin, friend, and Mimi, peacefully surrendered her earthly existence and transitioned into her heavenly home on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. In God’s care you rest above, in our hearts you rest with love.
Juanita was widely known for her kind words, contagious smile, loving heart, and positive outlook. She never met a stranger because Juanita had an uncanny ability for quickly making people feel comfortable. She was a kind and gentle person who loved spending time with family and friends.
Juanita’s story starts in the same place that so many of her articles did — in Mooresville. She was the middle of five children and spent her early youth in the Derita and Mt. Mourne areas until her daddy decided to leave the fields to work in the Mill. As Juanita would tell the story, this was one of the happiest days of her young life because she didn’t enjoy working on the farm.
Juanita’s first job was working for Duke Power and it was through commuting to that first job that she serendipitously met a gentleman, Lewis Davis, at the bus station on her way home. On this particular day, many soldiers were returning from the war and she arrived at the bus stop just in time to see the doors close on a full bus, leaving her to wait for the next bus and, in true Juanita fashion, started a conversation that ultimately blossomed into a 51 year marriage.
She went on to work as the switchboard operator at Mooresville Mills, where she met Tom McKnight, former owner of the Mooresville Tribune. He thought her warm personality and journalistic talent were a natural fit for the position of Women’s Editor for the Mooresville Tribune. This proved to be rather prophetic as Juanita’s fifth-grade school teacher always told her she had a unique way with words and he thought Juanita would make an excellent writer someday.
For 45 years, the people of Mooresville opened up to Juanita and told their personal stories around significant life events so she could help share the good news through her Mooresville Tribune columns. Her most well known columns were “People You Know,” “Eye of the Tribune,” and the yearly “Tribune Bridal Edition.” Juanita loved Mooresville and considered it an honor to be able to tell the story of Mooresville’s people on a daily basis. Juanita’s column was as refreshing to Mooresville natives as a scoop of orange sherbet from Deluxe.
Juanita was a trusted voice in an industry that saw few women attain success and longevity. Juanita won the NC Federation of Women’s Club journalism award and was the “Woman of the Year” recipient for Mooresville Women’s Social Clubs. She affectionately earned the nickname “Queen of the Tribune” and, upon retiring in 2001, would say it was the best job ever!
Juanita was an active member of First Baptist Church, where she served on numerous committees over the years, taught Sunday School, participated in the XYZ group, and served with the Baptist Women’s Missionary Union. She was active in the Iredell County Stroke Support Group and served as president for several years.
Once she retired, she doubled down on all the things she loved — hosting people in her home, taking trips, and being the absolute best Mimi. She was the consummate host and entertainer, always so delighted to have guests. You couldn’t come to her house without feeling like you were part of her family. After you left, you might also be lucky enough to receive one of her “just because” handwritten notes. Her family fondly remembers Sunday lunches, weekly sleepovers, many trips to Tweetsie, Carowinds and Myrtle Beach, after-school pick up, and so many other wonderful things such as simply sitting outside with her in the swing. For so long, Juanita cared for those that couldn’t always care for themselves. She was such a selfless, compassionate woman. Always content to put others’ needs before her own.
Juanita enjoyed life, family members, and many friends. She was always there to brighten the lives of others. Every conversation with Juanita would assure you of walking away with a more peaceful and positive outlook on life. Just like her grade school teacher noticed so many years ago, Juanita had a special gift for telling a story, but what made that gift truly special was that whether it was a story she wrote or a conversation you had with her, somehow you always came away with a sense of calmness and a smile.
Juanita would often close her articles/stories by saying “and a wonderful time was had by all,” which is so very true of any time spent with her. Never selfish, always loving and kind. These are the memories she leaves behind.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Lewis Finley Davis Jr.; brothers Spurgeon Blackmon, H.B. Blackmon, and Glen Blackmon; and great grandson, Arthur Hobson Meadows.
Juanita is survived by her daughters, Vicki Brawley (Bob) and LewAnn Meadows (Jeff), both of Mooresville. While they knew her as Mama, the rest of the family knew her as Mimi — Leslie Byers (Brad), Holli Delaney (Bryan), Travis Meadows (Evie), Adam Brawley, Tyler Meadows (Morgan), Kari Brawley; and nine great grandchildren, Colton Byers, Cever, Bowen, Adley, Olivia, and Davis Meadows, Grant, Stella, and Max Delaney; sister Betty Christie; sisters-in-law, Decie Davis, Vivian Blackmon, and Hazel Blackmon; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Special Touch Living of Huntersville for their loving care over the last three years.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, May 26, from 10 to 11 a.m. at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home. A service will follow at 11 a.m., with Hospice Chaplin Jonathan Allen officiating. Burial will follow at Glenwood Memorial Park in Mooresville, N.C.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Mooresville First Baptist Church, 150 South Church Street Mooresville, NC 28115 or Hospice and Palliative Care of the Charlotte Region, 7845 Little Avenue Charlotte, NC 28226.
Cavin-Cook Funeral Home & Crematory, Mooresville, is serving the Davis family. Condolences may be made to the family at www.cavin-cook.com.