The day before her death last Thursday, Davilynn Furlow had been scheduled for a manicure/pedicure,
and the day before that she had a haircut.
This comes as a surprise to no one in Greensboro who knew her as the perfectly coiffed lady in the
wheelchair with red lipstick and beautiful nails.
Before Davilynn and her husband Bill Furlow moved to North Carolina in late 2013, though, she was
better known for her 35-year career as a journalist, primarily at the Los Angeles Times. Among other
positions there, she was the deputy food editor. She loved newspapers and newspaper people, even if
some of them thought her a little too well-groomed to fit the stereotypical profile of an “ink-stained
wretch.” In addition to the Times, she worked at newspapers in Houston, Raleigh and Cincinnati and for
several years was editor of the La Jolla Light in San Diego.
In 2005 Davilynn and Bill made a radical lifestyle change and moved to Natchez, MS. They opened a
coffee bar, and she was role model and mentor to many of her young employees. Seven years later she
began experiencing symptoms of what eventually was diagnosed as progressive supranuclear palsy
(PSP), a rare and debilitating neurological disorder. The Furlows moved to Greensboro to find better
health care and to escape the three-story Victorian home in Natchez that would no longer be
manageable for her.
As PSP wrecked her body – though never her mind or her spirit – Davilynn, 69, lost the ability to speak
and to do much of anything physically. But she didn’t lose her insistence on impeccable grooming. Nor
did she lose her sense of humor. To the end, she enjoyed laughing, and her laughter brought joy to
those around her.
If Davilynn ever held a “pity party,” it was brief and private. Rather than ask, “Why me?” she instead
said, “Why not me? What’s so special about me?”
Davilynn was born in Dallas and grew up there and in Lufkin in East Texas. She met Bill in Houston where
they each were working their first newspaper jobs, and they married in 1972. In addition to Bill, she is
survived by their son Bennett, daughter-in-law Deirdre and granddaughter Julia Furlow of Mesa, AZ; her
sisters Dianne Cosby of Ft. Worth, TX, and Debbie Lambing of Lufkin, TX, and assorted nieces, nephews,
cousins and in-laws.
Davilynn was very grateful for the support she got from her neighbors in the Friendly Acres Townhomes;
the ladies book group at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church; the clergy, staff and people of Holy Trinity
Episcopal Church; the many medical professionals she relied upon; her lovingly attentive Well-Spring
caregivers; the owners and trainers of A.C.T. Fitness, the good people of the Hamil-Kerr Challenge; the
staff of Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, and the hundreds of strangers she encountered who
smoothed her path and brightened her days through acts of kindness large and small.
A memorial service will be held at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 607 N. Greene Street, in Greensboro at
2 p.m. Friday, May 10. Memorials may be sent to CurePSP at curepsp.org.