In the quiet, early morning hours of Jan. 11, 2020, Martha Sue Goad Davidson, third child of Lucius and Ruble Goad, wife of Don W. Davidson, mother of Thomas L., Terry D., and Michael W. Davidson, grandmother of Aja R., Nicholas O., Nora M., and Jett S. Davidson, took her last, peaceful breath, finalizing her lengthy journey through this world.
Born Nov. 6, 1928 in Memphis, Tennessee, Sue contracted the dreaded polio virus at age three. Despite a diagnosis that she would never walk again, Sue’s fighting spirit drove her to overcome her malady. Sue spent a lifetime running, hiking, walking, and dancing. That same fierce resolve perpetuated throughout her 91 years, up until the last hours of her life.
Sue’s girlhood, though hampered by a shortened, weakened leg, was filled with activity. She worked as a dance studio piano accompanist, fulfilled early morning duties in the chicken pen behind her parents’ farmhouse, and played high school basketball - all while enduring the hurtful nickname given her by young classmates, “Crip.”
Cruel, childish epithets notwithstanding, Sue’s vibrant tenacity won the hearts of her community, and she became their “Hometown Sweetheart.” Sue’s beauty, inside and out, provided many social opportunities, no doubt. But Sue gave her heart to a local early-broadcast-era radio personality, and he gave his to her.
Indicative of Sue’s certainty about her devotion to her future husband, Sue eloped with Don on Jan. 2, 1946, assuring her status as years-long preacher’s wife since Don’s radio celebrity was short-lived, and as mother to three sons.
Music was a constant in Sue’s life. Her interest was piqued as a small girl when she fantasized playing piano while pounding a cardboard box. Eventually, her skills as pianist and organist steered her to serve in the sanctuaries of several churches, ending after 20 years in the First Presbyterian Church of Sugar Land, Texas. Each of Sue’s sons attribute their love and passion of music to their mother.
Sue returned to her pursuit of higher learning in 1970 when she earned a degree in education with a teacher’s certificate from Houston Baptist University, graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. For 10 years she shared her knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, literature as teacher of English Language Arts at John Foster Dulles High School in Fort Bend ISD.
Sue and Don retired, sold their home in Sugar Land, Texas, bought a 21-foot travel trailer, and spent three years manifesting their dreams of living on the road. Only the births of their grandchildren could motivate them to resettle. Sue and her husband purchased a home in Fort Davis, Texas, where they spent years actively involved in the daily lives of their grandsons and granddaughters.
In addition to Sue’s constant service as care provider to her beloved grandchildren, she found the time to head up the Fort Davis Food Pantry, and was named Volunteer of the Year for her efforts. Though offered a place of honor in an annual small town parade, Sue declined in typical fashion, declaring her lack of worthiness.
True to their word, Sue and Don enjoyed life in their Fort Davis home until the day they could not due to health concerns. Sue and her husband relocated to an independent living facility in Corpus Christi, Texas, where Sue remained until a debilitating condition caused her to spend her last days in a lovely, private care home under the compassionate eyes of wonderful hospice care professionals.
Sue was a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, and much, much more. “Love” was her philosophy, her purpose, and is her lasting legacy. She was a deeply spiritual soul. She was a voracious reader, a devotee to music, and a cinephile. Sue was a defender of justice, an advocate for freedom. She was a tender heart, yet dared to speak her mind in unfriendly territory. She was a sympathetic friend to all, yet seldom did she “suffer fools gladly.” Sue was matriarch to many who will miss her strength, her vibrance, her intellect, the warmth of her soul, and who will love her, always.