20 Stories: Tami Davies
May 8, 2023
Pathfinders Participant & Creator of the James Davies Memorial Scholarship
As we celebrated our 20th anniversary and 20 successful years of serving grieving children and families, we shared the impact of Judi’s House through the eyes of 20 people. Tami Davies created the James Davies Memorial Scholarship to honor the memory of her husband, Lakewood Police Department Agent James Davies.
James was killed in the line of duty in 2012 and is survived by his wife, Tami, and his two children Chloe and Ethan. James was known as one of the hardest working agents in the Lakewood Police Department and his work ethic and drive were admired by his peers and friends.
After the loss of James, Tami and her oldest daughter participated in the Judi’s House Pathfinders program. Inspired by the impact Judi’s House had on her family, Tami created the James Davies Memorial Scholarship which awards four $4,000 scholarships to participants of the Judi’s House Pathfinders program each year.
After your loss, how did you come to find Judi’s House?
Tami Davies: I learned about Judi’s House by word of mouth after our loss and sent in applications for counseling services for myself and my daughter. My daughter Chloe was only 6 years old at the time, so I was really worried about how she would process the loss of her father. Because my son Ethan was so little, only 2 years old, Judi’s House recommended we wait until he was a bit older to start counseling services. Chloe and I participated in the Pathfinders program together and it really had an incredible impact on our family.
What do you think makes Judi’s House so unique and what did you most value from your experience?
The impact on my daughter was so amazing. At age 6 she was feeling very alone in her grief. Meeting other kids who had also suffered a loss really helped her to feel less alone and secured that feeling that she had a community who understood what she was experiencing. She was at such a pivotal age, the Judi’s House experience was incredibly important for her. Throughout the 10-session program she was able to build strong relationships with the other kids and realize she wasn’t alone in her grief. It really helped her understand that death happens to many people and families, not just her.
As an adult in the program, I really liked how the group was divided between loss due to long term illness versus immediate loss. When you are experiencing grief, you can feel like you are alone in your experience. Hearing others’ stories helped me understand the bigger picture that tragedy happens for many people. These connections really helped me process what I was going through.
It’s been about 10 years since you went through the program at Judi’s House. What memories from that experience do you carry with you today?
The partnership that we now have with Judi’s House through the James Davies Memorial Scholarship fund is a constant reminder of my husband and our journey. We will never forget him, no one ever forgets their loved ones. We talk about James a lot in our family and share memories, or bring flowers to his memorial, or talk about how he would be proud of the kids’ accomplishments. The James Davies Memorial Scholarship is a way to give back to others who are experiencing loss and that is what I carry with me.
Tell us about the James Davies Memorial scholarship and what you hope to provide through this scholarship?
After James’ passing, Wrigley’s Bar and Grill in Golden mentioned doing a golf tournament to raise money for scholarships for my kids. However, as children of a fallen officer, my kids were already eligible to receive scholarship funding through the state. I didn’t feel right taking the money, but the idea came to me that we should give the money to someone else who suffered a loss and might not have the same benefits as a police officer’s widow. I worked with Wrigley’s Bar and Grill and we established the James Davies Memorial Scholarship. Each year since his passing we hold the charity golf tournament and the money we raise goes into our scholarship fund.
The scholarship is available to anyone, any age, who has lost a loved one and has participated in the Judi’s House program. These individuals can apply for the scholarship and use the funds towards in-state college tuition. Our hope is that this scholarship helps kids and adults fulfill their educational dreams, even though they’ve lost loved ones.
In our first year we were able to grant two scholarships and since then the program has grown so that now we offer four scholarships each year. We always invite Judi’s House team members, scholarship recipients, and their families to the tournament. It is a really special event. I think James would be very proud of the work we have done through the scholarship and in his memory.
What is your hope for the future of Judi’s House?
I love what Judi’s House does for the community. I feel that the counseling services they offer to kids and families after a loss is so amazing. I hope they continue to provide those services and expand their reach throughout the state and even beyond Colorado. Loss happens everywhere, and Judi’s House provides amazing support to those families.
To learn more about the James Davies Memorial Scholarship and Golf Tournament, visit jamesdaviesmemorial.com/scholarship.