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Evie L. Jackson Davis

Born on 7-31-1925. She was born in Lamison, AL.
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Evie L. Davis (nee Jackson) was born July 31, 1925 in the rural papermill town of Lamison, Alabama to proud parents, Maggie and Mallie Jackson. Evie's mother, Maggie, was a domestic worker and her father was a farmer. Maggie and Mallie instilled a hard work ethic and love for family in Evie at a very early age.

Evie attended grammar and high school in Lamison until she was 16 years old. It was at age 16 that Evie discovered that she was pregnant. On July 11, 1941, Evie married local laborer Lee Davis after the birth of the first of their ten children.

Evie and Lee resided in Lamison for a few years with the growing family. However, employment opportunities were very limited in the rural towns of Alabama. The couple decided to move north to Cleveland, Ohio in the early 1950's. Evie had family in Cleveland, who had relocated a few years earlier in hopes of finding employment. Within a week, Lee had found a job at a manufacturing plant. Evie and Lee lived in Cleveland for a couple of years.

In 1953, the couple relocated for a final time to Buffalo, New York. The city of Buffalo was undergoing major industrial growth. Employment opportunities in Buffalo were plentiful in the 1950s. Lee found a job at the Curtis Wright plant. He was employed with Curtis Wright from 1953 to 1976.After Lee secured employment, he and Evie purchased their first home on Kingsley Street in 1957. Purchasing a home was a very proud accomplishment for the couple. By 1957, Evie and Lee had five young children, for whom they were providing a loving and nurturing environment. In later years, Lee suffered from the addictions of alcoholism and gambling.

Lee's addictions caused years of hardship for Evie and her entire family. Eventually Lee and Evie lost the house, where they cultivated their family to foreclosure in 1969. Evie's family was literally packed up and put out of the home that had belonged to them since 1957. By this time, Evie's children ranged in age from adulthood to toddler. Evie's adult children had also inherited their mother's love for family by taking in their younger siblings at this sad time.

Loss of one's home would devastate almost anyone. Devastation was not an option for Evie. She was resilient and determined that her family would have a home together again. Evie worked several jobs. She was a cleaning lady for businesses at night and a school crossing guard during the day. Again, Evie demonstrated love of family by striving to reunite hers and making sure that other people's children got to school and back home safely.

Through faith, perseverance and prayer, Evie purchased a second home in 1971 on Cambridge Avenue. Evie's children were reunited with her in a new home. Her adult children had married and moved out, but always visited. Evie's youngest children returned to her and continue to flourish under her guidance and love. By the time the home on Cambridge Avenue was purchased, there were six grandchildren. The house is the only "Grandma's House" that many of Evie's grandchildren know.

After Evie reunited her family, she began a new chapter in her life. Evie became a foster parent. In the beginning, Evie did not have any idea what being a foster parent was. Becoming a foster parent was something that just happened to her. In the mid 1970s Evie's two youngest children asked her if a classmate of theirs could stay with them because he was being treated badly by his guardian. Evie could not bear to hear that a child was being mistreated. Evie told her kids that he could stay. This classmate was a preteen who came with a few problems. However, that did not matter to Evie. She welcomed him with open arms. He was an unofficial foster child. All was going well and one day Evie's "foster child" asked if she could accompany him to court. The foster child had done something before he moved in with Evie. Evie knew he had no one else to stand alongside him before the judge. So Evie said she would attend court with her foster child.

When Evie and her foster child went to court, the judge asked if she was being compensated for being this non-related child's guardian. Evie told her no and she did not know that such a thing existed. Evie explained to the judge that this child was in need of a place to stay, so she gave it to him. She told the judge that she was feeding and clothing her foster child at her own expense. Upon hearing this, the judge arranged for Evie to become a member of the Foster Parents program. The judge told Evie that she should be compensated for efforts. From that day on Evie was a stellar foster parent to many young people, who were in need of love, guidance, stability and compassion. When asked about her decision to become a foster parent Evie said "It was never about money. I did not even know that any money existed for such a thing. I did not even know what a foster parent was. For me, it was just about doing the right thing."

Evie and her husband Lee were estranged and living apart after the loss of their family home in 1969. Lee battled his alcoholism for the remainder of his life. Evie allowed Lee to move into the home that she purchased through all of her hard work. When Lee became sick, Evie nurtured and stood by him. Lee eventually passed away in the home on Cambridge Avenue in September 1979 with Evie and their loved ones at his side. The loss of Lee was hard on the entire family. Evie was a pillar of strength for her family even though it was not easy for her to say goodbye to the man she had loved since she was a teenager.

Evie continued to work as a crossing guard until she retired in the early 1980s. Evie was a foster parent for over 25 years. Many of her foster children call several times a year. Her day brightens up anytime she receives a call from one of her foster children.

Evie is 83 years old now and residing in North Buffalo with her daughter, granddaughter and great grandson.