WILMINGTON — Jean Moore Sloop-Davis, 93, died Friday, April 23, 2021. She treasured life, her family and her friends. Everyone who knew her was assured that “Granny Jean” believed them to be special. She gathered people into a warm cloak of kindness and laughter and held on to them with love always.
Jean was born and raised in Wilson and attended Charles L. Coon High School. She worked at Raines and Cox Studios as a photographer’s assistant and model.
She was preceded in death by her father, Wilbur Rush Moore of Wilson; and mother, Myrtle Doris Mercer Moore Respess of Terra Ceia. When Doris married Jesse Respess in 1964, the Respesses welcomed Doris’ family as their own. Jean enjoyed many memorable gatherings with her Respess family.
She was also preceded in death by her brother, Carroll Jackson Moore of Blounts Creek; sister, Betsy Lorraine Dattola of Wilmington; and husband, Richard Brame Sloop of Hampstead.
She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Ralph T. Davis Jr., who was a principal in several New Hanover County schools before retirement and lives in Wilmington; four children, Tracy Cassandra Sloop and Kelly Melinda Sloop, both of Wilmington, Phillip John Sloop of Apex and Genevieve Elisbeth Davis of Cedar Park, Texas.
She is survived by her daughter-in-law, Janie Jones Sloop of Apex; granddaughters, Anna Grace Sloop of Apex, Erika Lee Peterson of Raleigh, and Cassandra Jean Peterson Short, and her husband, Aaron Short, of Clayton; and great-grandchildren, Ezekiel Short, Elizabeth Short, Elijah Short and Isabel Short.
She is survived by two nephews, Rodman Clark Moore, and his wife, Michele, and children, Sarah Carson and Robbie of Washington and Thomas Jordan Moore II, and his wife, Susan, and children, Thomas and Will of Rocky Mount; two nieces, Jennifer Jean Jackson of Pantego and Cathy Mason, and her husband, Kevin, and their children, Holden, Grant, Savannah, Audrey, Davis and Eva of Fuquay-Varina. Of special note are the many dogs, cats and birds Jean loved and who have also passed on. She is survived by her cat, Mickey.
It is not an exaggeration to say Jean is also survived by thousands of people who love her. She was “Queen Jean” of both a large network of people who gather for an annual reunion, and the Bahama Mamas, who gather several times each year.
She worked at Poplar Grove Plantation in several capacities. She was “Madame Von Sloopenstein the Palm Reader” at Poplar Grove’s annual Halloween Festival for many years and touched thousands of lives with her insight, kind words and heartfelt laughter. She managed the basket weaving shop at Poplar Grove, and her exquisite basket work won awards and was featured in a North Carolina public school social studies textbook.
Jean embodied love, laughter and a sense of wonder. While her roots are firmly planted in North Carolina, she also lived in upstate New York and the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. She lived on Wrightsville Beach for many years, where she was the first yoga instructor on the island. She owned The Whole Earth Crafts there in the 1970s, selling her beautiful handmade jewelry, macramé and artwork. She and Ralph retired to Pittsboro for some years. There, she continued her basket making and Ralph taught at a preschool until their return to Wilmington.
Jean embodied all that was good of her Southern culture and heritage while embracing new thoughts and ideas far ahead of the times in which she grew up. She blessed all who knew her with joy and kindness.
A memorial service is planned for a later date.
Please make donations in Jean’s honor to Lower Cape Fear LifeCare or animal rescue organization of your choice.
Share online condolences with the family at Wilmington Funeral & Cremation.