HAYES, Va. – Jo Ann Davis was remembered Thursday as someone who grew up poor and worked her way from secretarial jobs to a seat in Congress, but never forgot the circumstances or the people from which she came.
About 1,000 people filled a large sanctuary of her home church, including Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, several dozen members of Congress and Virginia legislators, for a funeral service.
Davis, 57, died Saturday, two years after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. A Republican, she was elected to Congress from Virginia's 1st District in 2000 and had served in the Virginia House of Delegates before that.
The most emotional tribute came from her closest friend on Capitol Hill, U.S. Rep. Sue Wilkins Myrick, a North Carolina Republican who found it hard to compose herself and wept as she remembered Davis.