Ledyard — Linda C. Davis embraced the town of Ledyard and hugged it “like a warm embrace,” Ledyard Mayor Fred Allyn III said.
Davis, nicknamed “Mother Ledyard,” served the city for four decades, including serving on the parks and recreation committee, school board, and city council.
She was passionate about politics, the city, the community forum she started, real estate and the food pantry, which is now called Linda C. Davis Food Pantry, Allyn said. He said she was “an incredible sounding board for everyone”, from residents to colleagues to elected officials.
More than 100 people gathered Saturday afternoon in the Ledyard High School auditorium to remember and celebrate Davis’ life. She was elected to a ninth term on the city council in the November 2021 elections, but resigned due to health issues. She died in December at the age of 71 after a battle with cancer.
At the celebration of life ceremony, people sang “God Bless America,” led by Carol Christiansen with Melanie Cometa, and many wore red, Davis’ favorite color. Red arches adorned the aisle seats in the auditorium, and one by one speakers approached the lectern, draped in red, to speak in Davis’ honor alongside photos of her on stage.
Close friends Kerry Tetreault and Merry Cassabria wore Pittsburgh Steelers t-shirts – Davis’ favorite team – with the number 4 and “Davis” on the back. Davis’ birthday is April 4.
His sister, Diane Delmer, remembers growing up with Davis in Pittsburgh, where they walked hand-in-hand to Catholic school, brought home large shopping bags full of candy after a trick or treat. on Halloween, enjoyed the Feast of the Seven Fishes at their grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve, went to midnight mass, and opened Christmas presents in the morning.
Close friend Jami Allyn said “everyone knew Linda” and explained that there were two types of people who knew her: those who had never met her but knew her because she was part of part of the community, and those who knew it really well. .
Norm Krayem, a realtor in Ledyard for 49 years and has known and worked with Davis many times, spoke about his involvement in the city, as well as his career in real estate. He said she had immersed herself in the digital age and by creating her blog “Simply Ledyard” she “as usual was one step ahead”.
Les Sulgrove, a friend and real estate agent, said Davis was one of the founding members in 1995 of a group called the CyberProfessionals, which, according to her obituary, was formed to “share marketing and technology ideas.” . He said Davis was known and respected by hundreds, if not thousands, of people across the United States.
He shared that Davis’ quick wit, smart wit, kindness, inclusiveness and “pragmatic attitude” were among the favorite memories real estate agents across the country have of her.
Councilor Andra Ingalls said that, like so many others at the ceremony, she considered Davis both a friend and a mentor. “When you met Linda, it took you about 60 seconds to be charmed by her confidence and pleasant attitude,” she said. “She drew people in. She loved serving our city and wanted you and me to serve alongside her. That was one of her best traits in my opinion. Her fingerprints are all over so many things that are great in our little town, and the influence inspires us.”
Susie Mendenhall, who spoke on behalf of John Rodolico – they both served on city council and as mayor – said Davis was a good friend and valued adviser to both of them. They accomplished many things during their years as elected officials that could not have been achieved without Davis’s guidance and support. Mendenhall said Davis was “always there when you needed her.”
Mendenhall said Davis insisted on the responsibility of city government and his initiatives created the food locker, which now bears his name. She rose to chair both the school board and the city council.
“She was really dedicated to this city,” Mendenhall said.
Councilman Bill Saums gave a humorous presentation, complete with photos and Facebook posts, in honor of Davis, who enjoyed the spirit.
During the event, donations were made to the Gales Ferry Fire Company and Linda C. Davis Food Pantry on behalf of Linda Davis and her husband, Earl.
It was also announced that a Christmas tree would be planted in Davis’ honor.
Davis is survived by her husband, Earl; son, Jeffrey Davis; and his sister, Delmer, according to his obituary.
At the ceremony, there were food trucks outside, with a portion of proceeds going to the food pantry, according to the event description. People also brought donations for the pantry.
Cassabria told The Day that Davis touched the lives of so many people.
“She was one in a million,” Cassabria said. “She had a heart of gold and she was the go-to person at Ledyard.”