Windle "Buster" Davis
Updated: Jan 15, 2020
Windle “Buster” Davis passed away January 9, 2020, at the Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo, Mississippi. He was born October 25, 1926, in the Cotton Springs Community of Tishomingo County, Mississippi to the late Hubert Roscoe Davis and the late Jessie Maulden Davis. Mr. Davis married the love of his life, the late Billie Faye South, on August 22, 1948. Billie and Buster were married 63 years at her passing in 2011.
A “roundball” legend, Mr. Davis began playing basketball for Belmont High School in 1943, winning two State Championships. The 1947 Belmont team produced a 47-1 record and he was named All-State that season. Following High School, Mr. Davis went on to play at Jones Junior College (MS) and Northeast Junior College (MS). He would later earn a BS from Mississippi State University and a Masters from the University of Mississippi.
After serving in the United States Army during World War II, at the time of his death, Mr. Davis was the oldest Veteran in Itawamba County, Mississippi.
Mr. Davis’ coaching career included Thrasher, Kossuth and Belmont High Schools respectively. In the summer of 1959 he returned to his alma mater to coach boys basketball. The 1961 Belmont Cardinals were the most successful team which also included two all-state players. The 1952 Kossuth Aggies finished the season 38-7 with 15 straight wins including tournament titles at the Sub-District, District, North Half, State and most prestigious of all - the Grand Slam. Mr. Davis led Belmont from 1960-62 winning bragging rights over teams such as Tupelo, Ocean Springs and Starkville.
Mr. Davis would then replace his brother at Itawamba Junior College (IJC) in 1962 where the success continued. In total, Mr. Davis’ teams won six North Half titles and went to eight State Finals while at IJC.
Additionally, he began his career as a successful automobile dealer (Davis Ford Sales, Inc.) in 1964 and ultimately left coaching in 1975 to devote his time to Davis Ford. He declined multiple invitations to move to other locations to open dealerships - His answer stayed the same: “I started as a Fulton Ford Dealer and I will always remain a Fulton Ford Dealer.”
Over his storied 55+ year Ford career, Mr. Davis built a legacy second to none. He believed success was in superior customer service. This perspective helped him lead the dealership to an unprecedented 17 Ford President’s Awards, the top award for customer service on a national scale. That number still ranks higher than any automobile dealership in the state of Mississippi. He also had a very historic career with Ford Credit’s support, and recently received an award marking 50 years of business with them. His relationship with fellow dealers also meant a great deal to him and he was proud to call so many of them his friends.
From 1976-1980, Mr. Davis served as Director of the Appalachia Regional Commission and helped to direct more than $15 million into one of his crown jewels, Itawamba Community College (both Fulton and Tupelo campuses). In addition, he was involved in the leadership teams of every major development in Itawamba County since 1962. This included the location of Mueller Copper Tube to Fulton in 1968, the preservation of the Mississippi Railway, the opening of the Fulton Port on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, and the Fulton Access Road.
Mr. Davis’ charitable and community involvement included a 20 year long management and production of bluegrass and gospel events benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Regional Rehabilitation Center, along with being a loyal Member of the Fulton Church of Christ.
Mr. Davis was awarded the 2006 Business Person of the Year by the Itawamba County Development Council.
On March 9, 2007, Itawamba Community College dedicated the “Davis Event Center” on the ICC Campus which is a 120,000 square-foot, 2,800 seat-capacity arena. This was one of Mr. Davis’ happiest days and made possible through his tireless efforts. The arena debuted in January of that same year and to this day, is the home to numerous basketball games, concerts, and other large scale events.
Mr. Davis was inducted into the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges Sports Hall of Fame in April of 2008.
Mr. Buster Davis is survived by two daughters: Pam Davis Horton and husband, Michael, of Birmingham, AL; and Patti Davis Bennett of Fulton, MS; Grandchildren: Wendi Bennett Stone and husband, Justin, of Atlanta, GA; Micah Horton Yeck and husband, Paul, of Birmingham, AL; Tab Bennett and Wife, Paige, of Fulton, MS; and Davis Horton of Memphis, TN; Great Grandchildren: Malloy Davis Yeck, William Bennett Stone, Austin Windle Stone, Myla South Yeck, Zooey Harlow Stone, Willa Hart Yeck, Nola Gene Bennett, Lawson Gage Burton and Kaki Elizabeth Burton; Sister: Willard Faye Mock and husband, Arlis, of Fulton, MS; and Nephew: Gary Kindle Davis, of Memphis, TN.
He was preceded in death by his parents, identical twin brother, Kindle “Bud” Davis, brothers, Roy, Travis, Hollis, and Floyd; and sister, Bertie Davis Brown; and niece Helen Ruth Davis.
Pallbearers are: Danny Bishop, Mike Nanny, Sammy Pulliam, Buddy Collins, Donny Roberts and Robert Logan. Honorary Pallbearers are: Arlis Mock, Tom Childs, David Cole, Marshall Sage, Joe Williams, Jack Chilcoat, John Lee Dickinson, Brian Dickinson, Chris Dickinson, Jason Dickinson, and Davis Ford employees.
A celebration of his life will be held 1:00 Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at the Davis Event Center with Jimmy Moffett, Tom Childs, and Bro. Cecil May officiating. Visitation will be 4:00-8:00 pm Monday, January 13, 2020 and from 7:00 am till 11:00 am Tuesday at Senter Funeral Home. Burial will be in Cotton Springs Cemetery.
In honor of Buster memorials can be made to Itawamba Community College Buster Davis Scholarship Fund at 602 W. Hill St., Fulton, MS 38843.