Lydia Melsena Goolsby

Apr 17, 1925 – Jun 24, 2015

Lydia Melsena Goolsby obituary image 1



Lydia Melsena Goolsby passed peacefully in her sleep June 24, 2015. She was born April 17, 1925 in Bakersfield, Ca to the loving union of Lewis Simeon Goolsby and Alicia Willis and was the youngest of six children.

Lydia moved frequently during her childhood because her dad was a prominent preacher in the AME ministry and was often appointed to different churches. Her younger years were spent in Southern California and then on to Colorado and Nebraska. She graduated June 1944 from North Central High school in Nebraska and entered into the University of Nebraska that fall studying Education. In 1948 she moved to Seattle and entered Seattle University's School of Nursing. While attending Seattle University she was accepted into the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. She graduated in 1951with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. After graduation she served as Medical Supervisor at Providence Hospital, Seattle until 1953 when she joined the United States Air Force. She was a flight nurse rising to the rank of Captain before being honorably discharged in December 1968. During her 17 year tenure she earned several Medals including the National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Servicer Award, Armed Forces Reserves Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. After the Military, Lydia worked as a Nurse and health educator for Headstart, C.A.M.P., and the Seattle School District.

Lydia converted to Catholicism and was baptized April 10, 1955. She never married or had children of her own but she adopted her 4 year old great niece in 1976. She raised her as a single mother in Rainier Valley, Seattle. In 1990 after her daughter graduated high school Lydia retired and moved back to Vashon Island where she enjoyed gardening, fishing, writing poetry, painting, singing and playing musical instruments. She also enjoyed being an active member of her church community and watching the Seahawks. She lived alone until moving back to Seattle in 2006 at age 81to be closer to family and medical services.

Lydia is preceeded in death by her parents Lewis Simeon and Alicia Goolsby, all of her siblings, Lewis W. Goolsby, Charles M. Goolsby Sr., Alice C. Goolsby, John A. Goolsby and Margaret V.(Goolsby) Bland. She is survived by Daughter and Son in Law Deborah (Goolsby) and James Hughes, 3 grandchildren, Shanice Evelyn, Edward James and Charles Isiah Hughes and 15 Nieces and Nephews.


Charless M. Goolsby, Jr.
Washington, MD
Nov 11, 2015

My condolences.

Larry W Clark and siblings
Columbus, OH
Jul 27, 2015

Mary Alice, Samuel, and I were privileged to have been able to meet Uncle Buddy;s (Lewis S) Lydia and Margaret when we visited Seattle in the 80's and it did not take long for us to realize we were all Goolsbys. I'm not sure what it was, but there was the sensation of FAMILY right from the beginning.

We are sorry we did not get to meet in person again, but were blessed by the brief time we spent together.

May you be blessed by many happy memories.

Dara Goolsby Domingo
Riverside, CA
Jul 18, 2015

Aunt Lydia served her country and had a wonderful life with her family. Our family will miss her. Prayers for Debbie and family.

Love, Cousin Dara

Elmore and Gloria Goolsby
Riverside , CA
Jul 18, 2015

Aunt Lydia had a long blessed life and will be truly missed. Debbie you are in our prayers.

Love, Uncle Elmore and Aunt Gloria

Doris Leavens
Seattle, WA
Jul 17, 2015

Lydia will be missed. She lived a fantastic life full of service to others. She was wise, fun, and a good soul. We love you Lydia.

Alison Sanz
Seattle, WA
Jul 16, 2015

My Aunt Lydia really made her life matter. I love and miss her dearly.

Laura Jean Walls
Vashon, Washington
Jul 16, 2015

Lydia lived across the street from us during most of my childhood. She was a great neighbor! I will miss her smile and her wave she always gave when she came home.

Peggy Meyer
Burien, WA
Jul 16, 2015

What a rich life and clearly a blessing from God to others. I was a school nurse for Seattle. I didn't work with Lydia but met her and certainly knew of how much regard others had for her. In reading her story I learned so much - again: what a rich life of service and love for others, with such talent and wide interests - a life well-lived. I am so glad I got to meet her. Clearly, she will be missed. My sincere condolences to all who knew and loved her.

Frances Terry
Seattle, WA
Jul 15, 2015

Dear Deborah,

Just want you to know our thoughts and prayers are with you through this difficult time. We care about you, and share in your sadness.

We extend heartfelt condolence to you and your entire family.

Peace & Love,

Frances & Bob Terry

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