Lysbeth Kelly Buckingham died peacefully on December 8th at home, surrounded by her family. Kelly was born in Jacksonville, Florida on May 13, 1961. In her youth she enjoyed good times on the St. Johns River, attending summer camp and family trips to the Bahamas. She traveled the world and held a particular fondness for Cashiers, Calistoga, Italy and her “special place” in the Florida Keys. Kelly attended The Bolles School and completed her secondary education at The Madeira School in McClean, Virginia. She attended the University of Georgia and completed her degree at Franklin College in Lugano, Switzerland.
After college Kelly began an accomplished career in politics extending from Tallahassee to Washington, D.C. She was particularly adept at fundraising, campaign support, having fun and forming lifelong friendships. On July 23, 1988, she and Bill Buckingham were re-introduced to one another by dear friends and on November 18, 1989, they married. They were promptly blessed with two beautiful children wherein Kelly left politics to raise her family. She cared deeply for others and has been dubbed “my second mom” on more than a few occasions. Kelly became very active in social and philanthropic circles. She chaired fundraising events for The Cummer Museum and Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art, while also serving on the Beaches Community Fund and many other charitable campaigns. Kelly was a trusted colleague who demonstrated that any task could be achieved with excellence and good humor. Her lifelong friends speak of her as one who “lived life with generosity and joy while having the best kind of confidence and conviction”.
Kelly loved planning, hosting and making people smile. Never the follower, she inspired the annual “W&L O-Line Dinner”, perfected the “FL-GA by Boat Party”, coached the “Superstars” to a Softball Championship and popped many corks courtesy of the Rutherford Dust Society. Kelly was strong and forthright in her desire to help, advise and provide for others in time of need. She never met a stranger, always encouraged others to be the best versions of themselves and never doubted or compromised her standards. Above all, Kelly cherished being surrounded by family and friends while celebrating all the blessings of this life. She was a wonderful wife, daughter, mother, sister, aunt, cousin, grandmother, “team mom” and friend to so many. She remained proud, stoic and upbeat throughout her illness; never wanting to call attention to her pain and discomfort lest her suffering might upset her friends and family.
Kelly is pre-deceased by her father Michael F. Davidson. She will be greatly missed and forever loved by her husband of 32 years, Bill, son Christopher Talbot Buckingham (Raquel Chrysson), daughter Catherine Buckingham Nichols (Blake), grandson William Kerry Nichols, mother Field Davidson Boatwright (John), brother Michael F. Davidson Jr. (Daisy Miller), nephews Trip and Gunnar Davidson, niece Elinor Davidson, mother-in-law Catherine Brooke Buckingham, sister-in-law Florence Dabney Buckingham, aunt Cindy Purcell, uncle Buddy Purcell, cousins Benham Bishop (Henry) and Field Copeland, the Boatwright Family (John, Barbara, Ross, Grace) and the Fields Family (Paul, Elizabeth, Pope, Susie) as well as many other cherished extended family members.
The family extends sincere appreciation for the Clinical Team and friends made at both Mayo Clinic of Jacksonville and Community Hospice and Palliative Care, and for the comfort Miss Shirley provided. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Community PedsCare or Christ Episcopal Church Ponte Vedra, where the funeral service will be held on Friday December 17 at 1:00 p.m. Reception to follow at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club.
Arrangements are under the care of Quinn-Shalz Family Funeral Home. Family and friends may share condolences and remembrances at www.quinn-shalz.com.