Donald “Fuzzy” Davis
Donald “Fuzzy” Davis
Don Davis, 86, all-around Alabama Renaissance man, died Saturday, Jan. 27. He was born on Sept. 5, 1931.
He married the love of his life, Thelma “Jean” Patterson, in May 1952. Their union produced one daughter, Donna (Tom) Rosenmayer. Fuzzy’s grandkids, Allee and Luke, called him Fuzzy, because his head was, well, fuzzy. And under that fuzzy head, hidden by a gruff veneer, was a soft spot for them, and he watched them grow up with pride. He passes his traits on to them, including his stubbornness.
He gave up smoking in 1993 when Allee refused to stop throwing away his cigarettes. His only vice after that was having ice cream for dinner. Luke remembers wrestling matches, bb guns, buzz cuts, learning how to smoke a pork butt, and learning to drive in Fuzzy’s pickup. His mom did not know about that last one.
He was a man of many talents, one of which was how to take a grocery store barbecue sauce and make it his own. He spent countless hours tinkering with his beloved John Deere tractor and grew tomatoes that couldn’t be matched at any farmers’ market. He loved reading Louis L’Amour novels and watching old westerns on cable TV. He claimed the best trip of his life was to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary with Miss Jean and Donna’s family in Normandy, France, walking the infamous D-Day craters and cemeteries of Omaha Beach.
His proudest accomplishment was building a business from the ground up. Literally. He decided at the ripe young age of 70 that he needed to build something, so DJ’s Barbecue in Wilsonville came to be. Also in his later years, he became quite the political activist, getting himself elected to the Wilsonville City Council and raising a stink whenever he felt that money was being wasted.
Fuzzy was not afraid of a fight and took on all comers: Communism, alcoholism, the Internal Revenue Service, and Auburn. He passed at peace with himself and everyone else, with the notable exception of the 1966 AP Pollsters.
He is preceded upstairs by his parents, Jeffie Lee and Wilma Davis; and his sisters, Dove Ingram, Dorothy “Dot” Horton, and Doris “Dee” Weidman. He leaves behind Miss Jean, Donna and Tom, Allee, Luke, and his brother, Dennis Davis, as well as nieces and nephews.
Never wanting to be the center of attention, Fuzzy insisted that there be no service/memorial. He will be interred at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 12:30 pm.