Lydia Melsena Goolsby
Apr 17, 1925 – Jun 24, 2015
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.
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