Julia D. Edwards

February 5, 1920June 4, 2019

Julia Mary Davion came into this world on February 5, 1920, in Alexandria, Louisiana in a time and place where women and African-Americans did not have the right to vote. She was the first child of Carroll and Isabelle Davion (nee Kerr) born into a loving Louisiana Creole community in the post WWI era. The Davion’s soon escaped the racial tyranny of the south in the early part of the 20th century as a part of the Great Migration. The Davion’s moved to Chicago when Julia was just a little girl and she attended St. Coloumkille grade school and Lucy Flower High School.

The family flourished in Chicago, her father became a head waiter at the famous Palmer House in its glory days. She enrolled in City Colleges of Chicago—but World War II intervened. Julia worked for the war on the home front as a photo analyst for Kodak. Her attention to detail made her valuable to the war effort.

Post war, she met Frank Edwards—a co-worker of her brother Callie—who was brought home for their family dinner one evening. Frank always told his children that he came into the Davion family home, saw Julia in the back of the house, and turned to Callie and said, “I’m going to marry your sister”. His children never believed that story and never attempted to verify it. Until a few months ago, when Uncle Callie confirmed the story exactly how it happened in 1949. The two married that same year.

Daughter Toinette “Toni” Jeanne, and sons Frank “Davy” Davion, Harold Anthony, and Keith Vincent soon filled Julia’s world, and she spent the next 30 years as a dedicated wife and mother. They used to call women like her homemakers, and Julia Edwards made a happy home; there was always laughter as well as contentious debates at the Edwards nightly dinner table. After Frank Sr. retired, they moved to Deltona, Florida in 1987, where Toni and Erika soon joined them.

Julia had a distinctly memorable personality. She was a stickler for etiquette, and the ultimate optimist—refusing ever to go negative. She was always expressing gratitude for the little things in life. She would often say “If you don’t have something good to say, don’t say anything at all.” According to her eldest son Davy, the greatest lesson she ever taught him was to “never allow anyone else to determine how you are going to behave”. She taught this family faithfulness, passion, compassion, and empathy. Everything we claim sprung from her infinite well of love, discipline, and commitment to family.

Grandchildren Erika Monique, Raquel Simone, and Keith Joshua remember her for reading to them and teaching them to sing “Frere Jacques”. The same as she did with Toni, Frank, Harold, and Keith when they were children, she encouraged their intellectual and creative development. Mom was an intellectually brilliant woman who, due to the constraints of her era, abandoned all of her possible destinies; intellectual and otherwise to be our mother and caretaker. And she was the MOST excellent mother.

Julia Edwards loved her family first, but she also loved coffee, parties, musicals, the French language, board games, sewing, romantic movies, jazz, Frank Sinatra and Johnny Mathis. She also loved the Roman Catholic Church, she was the embodiment and live teachings of Jesus Christ as outlined in the Beatitudes. She made common cause as he did with the poor in spirit, the mourner, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and the persecuted. She collected for UNICEF, baked cakes for the St. Clotilde seniors, and supported multiple worthy causes. When she heard Dr. King speak at Nat King Cole Part in the 60’s, she was all-in with the Civil Rights Movement.

Our mother maintained the mystery of her youth, if you asked her age at any time in her adult life, her answer would most simply be “over 21”. Even at the age of 97, she would always refer to herself as a young lady. Our Julia left this world on June 4, 2019 at the young age of 99 to join her loving husband Frank, her beloved daughter Toni, her brother Harold, and her three sisters Theresa, Anne “Toot”, and Isabelle “Shingi”. She is survived by her brother Carroll (Gwenn), three sons Davy, Harold (Cheryl), and Keith, three grandchildren Erika, Raquel, and Keith, and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.

To our rock, we say Au revoir


  • Memorial Mass Saturday, June 8, 2019


Julia D. Edwards

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