By Aaron Irving | Jacksonville Area Legal Aid director of pro bono
Joseph Clay Davis Meux died Nov. 21 at age 94. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, his two children and two grandchildren, as well as several family members and countless friends.
“Joe was a quiet, dignified gentleman who spent an enormous amount of time in the service of others, and he will be missed here at Jacksonville Area Legal Aid,” Jim Kowalski, president and CEO of JALA, said.
Meux lived a life of service. After graduating from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, he was drafted into the Army and served in the Korean War.
After active duty in the armed forces, Meux remained in the U.S. Army Reserve for more than 30 years and retired with the rank of colonel.
After attending Vanderbilt University School of Law, he practiced law in Memphis.
Meux was called to the ministry after a few years and received his Master’s in Divinity from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Joe was ordained as a Presbyterian minister and served at Central Presbyterian Church in Henderson, Kentucky, where he met his wife, Elizabeth.
Meux furthered his education at Vanderbilt Divinity School, where he obtained his Master’s in Theology.
Eventually, Joe and Elizabeth moved to Richmond, Virginia, where he received a doctorate at Union Theological Seminary. In 1968, he and Elizabeth moved to Jacksonville, where he was a minister at Mandarin Presbyterian Church for 26 years before retiring.
After retirement, Meux was involved in many community and state organizations.
He was a Sunday school teacher at Riverside Presbyterian Church, was actively involved with the Mandarin Rotary Club, served as an area coordinator for the Florida Department of Elder Affairs Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders program and a member and leader of various boards including Elder Source and the city of Jacksonville Council on Elder Affairs.
Meux was a volunteer pro bono attorney with JALA for decades after retirement. He was such a regular presence at JALA that he was given his own office with his name on the door. Although I did not have the pleasure of working with Joe at JALA, I know many did.
“Joe Meux is a pro bono legend. He was such a consistent volunteer attorney with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. Joe inspired us all to keep on giving, to keep on serving and to keep on working for fairness for all. His impact is immeasurable,” said Kathy Para, JALA director of pro bono from 2009 to 2019.
Meux received many accolades for his years of service to the community including The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award, JALA’s Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award and the Lifetime Achievement Pro Bono Award from the 4th Judicial Circuit.
We are grateful to Elizabeth and the family for sharing him with us. Indeed, our community is better for his work, and we are deeply grateful for his compassion, expertise, and giving spirit.