Friends Pay Final Respects To UT Student - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/24/05-East Texas

Friends Pay Final Respects To UT Student

Friends, family, teachers, youth ministers, and some he only met for a few moments. 23-year-old Judson Daniel Davis touched all of them in different ways.

"I'm never going to know anybody else like him. People just were drawn to him," says Travis Wright, a close friend of J.D.'s who attended high school with him.

"For me and just about anybody else you talk to today, they'll tell you, he taught us far more than we ever taught him," says Allen Clarida, former teacher in the youth department at Green Acres Baptist Church.

Friends say J.D. had a great passion for living and loving.

"He was just so accepting of everybody. Whether they were from the right side of the tracks or not. He loved them. His love is the number one characteristic you could say about J.D.," says Travis.

Members from the UT Longhorn band and the Tejas Club drove in from Austin to say goodbye to their friend.

"Birtha Crew was the part of the band that he was in. We have the biggest drum in the world. And he had the job of marching that drum in the stadium. It's the first thing that all of the 80,000 fans would see. And he took the greatest amount of pride in making sure that was done correctly and done with the greatest amount of pride," says friend and UT Band President, Derek Deas.

Those J.D. has left behind found some solace, today, in a song of comfort, 'I Can Only Imagine.'

"I know where he's at. I know I'm going to see him again. We're going to have eternity together," says Travis.

At the family's request, the funeral ended the way they say J.D. would have wanted it to, with the entire congregation singing 'The Eyes Of Texas Are Upon You.'

Reporting: Braid Sharp

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