Fallen Warriors

Joann Sides (Davis) - Class Of 1968

GLOUCESTER - U.S. Representative Jo Ann Davis, who represented Virginia's 1st District, which she fondly called America's First District, died Saturday at her home in Gloucester and went peacefully to be with the Lord. She was 57.

Jo Ann was born near Salisbury, N.C. Jo Ann's parents moved to Hampton when she was 9. She attended Hampton City Public Schools and graduated with honors from Kecoughtan HighSchool. After High School, Jo Ann worked at a printing shop for nearly three years, and then went to Hampton Roads Business School. She became a secretary for Mr. Edwin Joseph, president of Great Atlantic Real Estate and Property Management in Hampton. Jo Ann later said that working for Mr. Joseph for 12 years was an education in itself and it prepared her for a career as a small business owner and as a legislator in the Virginia General Assembly and the U.S. Congress.

With the encouragement of her husband, Chuck, and Mr. Joseph, Jo Ann studied real estate and became licensed in 1984. Four years later, Jo Ann began Davis Management Company, and two years later, Jo Ann Davis Realty, which sold more than $40 million worth of homes by 1990.

In 1997 friends recruited Jo Ann to run for the Virginia House of Delegates. She won the election and served in the Virginia House of Delegates for 3 years. In 2000, Jo Ann won the congressional seat of retiring U.S. Congressmen Herb Bateman.

Elected to Congress in 2001, Jo Ann Davis became the first elected female Republican to the House of Representatives from the Commonwealth of Virginia. In Congress, Jo Ann's area of focus was national security issues, shipbuilding, maintaining the promised benefits for men and women in uniform and our veterans. In addition, Jo Ann was a strong advocate of the Chesapeake Bay and other environmental issues important to America's First District. She fought to limit the amount of out of state trash coming into Virginia,
supported the Rappahannock River National Wildlife Refuge, and was a tireless advocate for the National Park Service with its parks in Jamestown-Yorktown, George Washington Birthplace, and the many Civil War and Revolutionary battlefields located in America's First District.

Her survivors include her husband of 32 years, Chuck; two sons, Charlie and Christopher; one granddaughter, Charlotte; and her daughter-in-law, Stephanie; her mother, Lena Sides of North Carolina; her sister, Melinda of Gloucester; and an uncle, Jerry Sides of North Carolina.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in Lighthouse Worship Center in Gloucester, 4299 George Washington Memorial Highway. The family will receive friends from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at World Outreach Worship Center, 1233 Shields Road, Newport News, Va.

Memorial donations may be made to Achievable Dream, 10858 Warwick Blvd., Suite A, Newport News, VA 23601.

Andrews Funeral Home, Gloucester, Va., is in charge of arrangements.

Published in the Daily Press on 10/8/2007.