A celebration of life for Virginia Dare “Jinks” Love Davis will be at 11 a.m. today at Florence Baptist Church, conducted by her nephews, John “Buck” Love and Brett Brewer. Burial will follow at the Florence Cemetery. Lunch will be provided by the Women’s Auxiliary of the church afterward. For the multitude of admirers and learners, there’s no argument that the Scripture applies completely: “Well done good and faithful servant.”
Mrs. Davis died April 13, 2017. “Jinks” Davis went to be with her Lord and loved ones, surrounded by earthly loved ones at her home in Florence.
Named after Virginia Dare, the first child born of English parents in the New World, Mrs. Davis was born Dec. 12, 1913, the 10th and last child of Joseph Hutchison Love and Minnie Howell Love. The homestead on Sunset Lane, 3½ miles from Andice, was brand new when she came into this world. Her nickname of Jinks was given immediately by her father for reasons unknown, but most have guessed that 103 years ago, it had something to do with the birth year.
Growing up on the family farm with so many older siblings presented many an opportunity and challenge: canning corn at age 8, riding with Papa Hutch Love on his tractor, picking cotton in the summer heat, and becoming an expert markswoman with a 22 rim-fire rifle and 410 shotgun.
Her quick wit expanded as she learned to give and take on equal footing with elders all around.
Learning how to make-do with what she had did, too. Among the many lessons collected/modeled told of Papa Love building their first truck from an assortment of parts put together with a Chase Model-T and motor already assembled. The crank out front got it started.
Jinks also watched Momma Love save her egg money and give music lessons on her guitar and accordion. When Jinks couldn’t see from the back of Pilot Knob Baptist Church, Aunt Dora Davis took her by the hand and led her toward the pulpit. There, she accepted Jesus as her savior and was later baptized in Rock Creek.
Farm life changed with the move from White House School and the Andice School District to the larger district in Florence. One of the new people she met was Melvin E. Davis, whom she called initially, “a rather egotistical young man.” He in return nicknamed her “Dare devil.” Their relationship took awhile, but in 1939 all was well, and they began a 42-year-love story that encompassed many a job: ranching, a TV-radio shop in Florence, a cold-starched uniform every morning for work at Fort Hood as electrician and later head of the entire base to fix whatever World War II asked of them.
But to them, their greatest achievement occurred just before the end of the war with the birth of their son, Melvin David Davis: valedictorian of his high school class, Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Texas, letterman on Coach Darrell Royal’s Longhorns during their national championship quest accomplished, and recovery from a car accident that left him crippled and in braces. As Jinks and Melvin held fast, their son’s marriage to Donna Campbell Davis did give them a daughter, too, whom they both accepted in full.
To say that Jinks, “Dare devil,” Virginia Dare had a full/productive life during her 103 years is a bit of an understatement. To say she touched others deeply with her love of laughter, hard work, and perseverance is, too. This pint-size bundle of energy never met a stranger, never judged harshly. Ask anyone who ever met her about Jinks Davis Day in Florence every December 12 or why Old Glory flies at half-staff today, they’ll answer with great respect, a smile, a story, a tribute.
Jinks and her family wish to thank the care-givers who made it possible for her to live out her life with dignity in her Florence home: Areli Hernandez, Emma Villareal, Norma Jean, Rikke Trombly, Charlie Bryant, Toby Dockery and Rachel Montoya. They also wish to thank Aseracare Hospice for the assurance and help given in this end of life process. So many others to thank: the friends who had such a profound effect upon our acceptance; the hospital staffs who cared beyond just a job well done; the strangers who saw an exceptional woman and learned quickly to love her.
All hold a special place in her heart and ours.
Visitation was from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Ramsey Funeral Home, 5600 Williams Drive, Georgetown. Ramsey Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.