Judith Monastra Davis obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Judith Monastra Davis

January 13, 1959 - November 24, 2016

Obituary


COLUMBIA – Judith Monastra Davis, 57, of Columbia, South Carolina passed away unexpectedly on November 24, 2016 at Palmetto Health Richland following an extended illness. She was born on January 13, 1959 in Mansfield, Ohio to Basil Herman Monastra and Carmella Greer Monastra of Lexington, Ohio, who survive. She also is survived by her husband of thirty years, Gerald L. (Jerry) Davis, Jr. of Columbia, South Carolina. In addition, she is survived by a brother, James Monastra and aunt, Carol Greer, both of Lexington, Ohio.



Judy earned a Bachelor of Science in Business...

COLUMBIA – Judith Monastra Davis, 57, of Columbia, South Carolina passed away unexpectedly on November 24, 2016 at Palmetto Health Richland following an extended illness. She was born on January 13, 1959 in Mansfield, Ohio to Basil Herman Monastra and Carmella Greer Monastra of Lexington, Ohio, who survive. She also is survived by her husband of thirty years, Gerald L. (Jerry) Davis, Jr. of Columbia, South Carolina. In addition, she is survived by a brother, James Monastra and aunt, Carol Greer, both of Lexington, Ohio.



Judy earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Ohio Northern University, graduating summa cum laude in 1981. She earned her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from The Ohio State University in 1984, where she also was recognized as the Moot Court Distinguished Oralist.



She began her corporate law career and met her husband at Lincoln National Corporation in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1984. They were married on March 15, 1986 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Fort Wayne where they have maintained their parish membership.



At Lincoln National, Judy worked in various legal, strategic planning, and domestic and international mergers and acquisitions positions over 10 years. She helped that company to develop and receive one of the first U.S. patents in the insurance industry for the use of artificial intelligence in the underwriting of life reinsurance and she led the spinoff of a subsidiary health insurance company in a billion-dollar public offering. Recruited to BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina in 1995 as Vice President and General Counsel, her intellect, expertise, broad and deep experience, and emotional intelligence made her a valuable member of the corporation’s senior leadership team. In 2007, she was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer where she served as the senior officer responsible for five of the corporation’s subsidiaries including Companion Life Insurance Company, Companion Captive Insurance, Companion Property & Casualty Insurance Company, and UCI Medical Affiliates, as well as having three corporate divisions reporting to her – Law, Government Affairs and Corporate Marketing Communications. She also served as the corporation’s Secretary.



Judy lived a full and engaging life as a champion for her community, leaving an indelible imprint. She served on the boards of directors and in leadership positions for many nonprofit, civic and educational entities, lending her gracious and genuine leadership style and skills to each organization. In 2006, she was pressed into replacement service as chairman for the United Way of the Midlands campaign and helped to raise $9.5 million. She worked tirelessly and shared her passion for connecting people and ideas with the United Way of the Midlands, the Central Carolina Community Foundation, the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Trinity Housing Corporation, EngenuitySC, SC Launch, the Palmetto Conservation Foundation, Columbia College and the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, as well as many other organizations.



Judy was especially known and appreciated throughout the state as a mentor, cheerleader and champion to countless people from all walks of life for whom she served as an inspiration and role model. She always valued kindness and often would wake up early in the morning and ask her husband, “Who can I help today?” She believed that if you put yourself out there and convince others to join in, meaningful differences can be made with only modest efforts to improve people’s lives. For colleagues and friends alike, Judy took it as a personal responsibility and challenge to find ways to lift people up and to help them to realize their untapped potential. She did this because it was an important part of who she was. It was never a job requirement.



A recipient of numerous awards and accolades for her professional and philanthropic efforts, in 2010, the Girl Scouts of South Carolina Mountains to Midlands recognized her as a Woman of Distinction. In 2011, Insurance Networking News (INN) named her one of six nationally recognized Women in Insurance Leadership winners. In 2014, Judy received the prestigious Humanitarian of the Year award from the United Way of the Midlands.



Her family wishes to express its deep and heartfelt thanks to the caring and loving staff at South Carolina Oncology Associates in Columbia, as well as to the other health professionals who contributed to her care over the past year.



At Judy’s request, the family will hold a brief reception for her friends and colleagues on Thursday, December 15 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the new United Way of the Midlands Center at 1818 Blanding Street in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. A private, family interment service will be held later in Mansfield, Ohio. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family.



In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the United Way of the Midlands Legacy Fund, the Central Carolina Community Foundation, Columbia College South Carolina, and The Northern Fund at Ohio Northern University.



Please sign the online guestbook at www.dunbarfunerals.com.