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Josephine Davidson Appell

October 22, 1923 ~ January 21, 2024 (age 100) 100 Years Old

Josephine Davidson Appell Obituary

Josephine Davidson Appell, 100, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 21 at her home.  Born on October 22, 1923, the daughter of the late George S. and Josephine (Reifsnider) Schmidt, Jody's remarkable journey touched the lives of many. 

She was the widow of David M. Davidson, and of Louis J. Appell, Jr.  Jody is survived by her sons, David Davidson Jr. (Linda), James Davidson (Louise), and daughter Susan Davidson. Her extended family includes stepson Louis J. Appell III (Chandra), stepdaughters Helen Appell, and the late Barbara Appell, grandchildren Kathryn Davidson, David Linton (Ashlee), Trail Linton, Julia Davidson-Price (Nathan), step-grandchildren Sydney Appell and Anthony Kessler, as well as four adored great-grandchildren, Olivia, Owen, Emilee and Elizabeth.

She attended the York Collegiate Institute (predecessor to York College), which she gives much credit for her educational background.  She also attended Bryn Mawr College and Katharine Gibbs School, graduating in 1945.

Jody Appell lived a full and impactful life.  She began her community service at the VNA Well Baby Clinic at the age of 15.  That experience taught her how much volunteer work is needed, and what a difference it could make in the community.  Her volunteer career spanned a wide range of interests, including president of the Junior League of York during the restoration of the Gates House and Golden Plough Tavern in downtown York, president of the Dallastown School Board, president of the York County Community Foundation, Trustee of the YWCA, and vice president of the York Symphony board.  She also served on the boards of the Children’s Home of York, Martin Library, Chamber of Commerce, Penn State York, and the Brethren Home.  Jody was the first woman to serve on two previously all-male boards – the York Water Company and Drovers Bank.  She was a lifelong member of St. John’s Episcopal Church and served on the vestry there for many years.  Jody was an active and passionate member of the Powder Mill Foundation board until her passing.

Jody demonstrated a lifelong indifference to baseball until the York Revolution made its debut in 2007.  She and Louis became fans in the truest sense of the word, attending many games each season and enjoying the concessionaire’s offerings.  Although her mobility was limited in recent years, she continued to attend as many Revs games as possible through the 2023 season.

Jody’s sport of choice was tennis, playing the sport well into her 80s.  She also loved the beach, spending many summers at Bethany Beach, Delaware.  Her husband Louis cultivated her interest in gardening, eventually resulting in her raised bed vegetable gardens situated in a corner of the spectacular formal gardens of the Appell property.

Jody and Louis enjoyed frequent travels to London. They explored the many antique shops and returned with paintings, antique maps, and unique sculptures that found a new life as garden ornaments. 

The Appell family is known for its philanthropy and support of York City.  Jody and Louis Appell’s vision and generosity are legendary.  Their strategic contributions to innumerable organizations and projects have made and continue to make York City and York County a better place to live.  Jody Appell will be sorely missed by her family and her many, many friends. 

Kuhner Associates Funeral Directors, Inc., 863 South George Street, York, is in charge of private funeral arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to Martin Memorial Library, 159 East Market Street, York, PA 17401 or St. John’s Episcopal Church, 140 North Beaver Street, York, PA 17401.

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