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Judith Ann Davis

Judith Ann Davis Judith Ann “Judy” Davis, age 74, of Manhattan, died on April 23, 2021, from metastatic lung cancer. As was her fervent wish, she died at home in the care of her three children.

Judy was born on October 19, 1946, in Frankfort, Kansas, to Franklin F. and Twila Mae (Schreiner) Davis.

She graduated from Linn High School in 1963. In 1981 and 1988 respectively, she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Political Science from Kansas State University.

Judy was a woman of unquestionable conviction and fierce integrity who desired to live a life of purpose and intent. To that end, she worked in the Office of Student Life from 1992 to 1997, showing dedication, support and concern for the students of Kansas State University in her role as director of the Women’s Center.

Most significantly, Judy’s greatest legacy will be her service to vulnerable women and their children as the executive director of The Crisis Center, Inc. Her tenure at The Crisis Center encompassed two time periods, first from 1981 to 1992, and then again from 1997 until the time of her death. In total, Judy devoted nearly 35 years to her life’s calling as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She was loved, admired and respected for her unwavering commitment to increasing awareness, understanding, and compassion for her clients. Judy gave voice to the underrepresented and misrepresented and made a tremendous difference in the Manhattan community.

It was her steadfast sense of duty to “the Center” that motivated Judy’s valiant fight to live and continue to work. Her tenacious sense of responsibility to the Center gave her the strength, perseverance and will to battle so long and so hard against the vicious cancer that consumed and ravaged her body. Cancer took her body but it could not diminish her unrelenting spirit. Even as her life waned and she became too weak to walk, drive or open doors, she still continued to go to her office to work. It was difficult for those who loved her to watch her decline and struggle. However, out of respect for her, we tried to help her serve as fully as she possibly could for as long as she possibly could.

Judy was deeply grateful for and profoundly humbled by the generous outpouring of financial support given by the citizens of the Manhattan area for The Crisis Center’s new safe house. Although she did not live to see the construction of the new safe house, it comforted her to know that it would be built and serve as a refuge and safe haven for the Center’s clients, thus fulfilling a long-held dream and goal.

Judy was a member of the Manhattan First Congregational United Church of Christ. She was an avid cook and gifted baker who took pride and joy in creating delicious food for her family and friends. She mastered many exquisite and delightful dishes over the years, but she will be especially remembered for her scrumptious pies and bread. The times she cherished most were those spent around her dining room table with the people she loved, gathered together to celebrate holidays and birthdays and savor the amazing food she had prepared lovingly by hand. One could call Judy a “food snob” and she rather relished that designation! She also enjoyed a really great glass of red wine or a good cup of black coffee—the stronger and darker the better! Judy was crazy about her loyal little Labradoodle, Bonnie, who was a constant source of comfort, companionship and entertainment for her.

Judy was previously married to Terry K. Bokelman, the father of her son and two daughters.

Those left to celebrate Judy’s life and mourn her passing are her three children, Leslie (Mick) Smith, Michelle Welliver, and Jonathan Bokelman, all of Manhattan. She is also survived by her aunt Elizabeth (Schreiner) Budenbender of rural Frankfort; brother Walter D. Davis of Warren, Michigan; granddaughter Kelsey Welliver and grandson Zane Smith of Manhattan; niece Laura Alexander of Manhattan and nephew Shawn Alexander of Clay Center. Judy will also be greatly missed by the many individuals to whom she was a mentor, role model and example of humble service.

Judy was preceded in death by her parents Franklin and Twila; aunt Evelyne Davis; brother Franklin F. Davis, Jr.; sister Peggy Manges; niece Mary Evelyne Davis; and infant granddaughter Ashley Nichole Welliver.

Judy’s children wish to thank Dr. Koeneke, the nurses and all the support staff at the Cancer Center of Kansas in Manhattan for their exceptional care, kindness and compassion for Judy, as well as the home care staff of Good Shepherd Hospice House for the tender-loving support and guidance they provided in order to fulfill their mother’s last wishes and make her final days at home as comfortable and peaceful as possible.

Judy’s earthly remains will be cremated. A private interment will take place at Sunrise Cemetery where her cremains will be buried near her beloved granddaughter Ashley.

A visitation will be held from 6:00 until 7:30 p.m. Thursday July 29, 2021 at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home.

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday July 30, 2021 at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 700 Poyntz Avenue in Manhattan.

Memorial contributions in memory of Judy are suggested to the Crisis Center. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.

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