|Funeral director and family man Louie B. Davis.|
If you needed help getting through a death or funeral, and coping with the aftermath of losing a loved one, he was your man.
Louie B. Davis of Charlotte, a funeral director for Long & Son Mortuary Service for 57 years, died January 18, 2012. He was 85 and was still doing what he loved best; helping people.
After a Navy stint that ended in 1944, he met Eunice Alexander through a mutual friend. They wed in 1950 and added son Wilbert and daughters Doris, Carolyn, Melissa and Deirdre to the family.
Advocate for Education
Louie believed in education, and after high school he attended old Carver College to become a funeral director. “He never had an opportunity to go four years of college,” said his son, the Reverend Wilbert Davis, “but he made sure his kids had the opportunity and he wanted other kids to have it.”
“He was always willing to help,” his son said. “The way he handled people, everyone immediately liked him. He was a role model for children without a father. He gave them whatever they needed — a ride to the store or to use our telephone.
“He had a big garden and gave vegetables to the people who needed them. It gave him great joy to give to people and see the gleam on their face. He taught his children to do the same thing,” Wilbert said.
Daughter Carolyn Nelson said, “He was all about giving and helping people and doing whatever he could for them. If people came to him with questions and he didn’t know the answer, he would find out and get you to the right place.”
Carolyn said that one of the best things about her dad was that “He listened. No matter what you asked him, he always told the truth — unless we were being nosy, then he would not disclose things. He was always a soft-spoken man and he was in the right business.”
Treat people right
Daughter Melissa Folson CQ said, “My daddy was a wonderful man, a good man who loved people and helping people. If someone had car trouble, he’d stop on the side of the road to help. He’d do anything for anyone and not ask for recognition, He told me, ‘Melissa, if you do it for other people, it will come to you. Treat people right like you want to be treated.’
“He would help people away from his job and advise them how to get what they needed … how to do things right and get benefits. He’d go with them different places. He touched a lot of people. If you were wrong, he’d let you know in a kind way, but he believed in doing right,” Melissa said.
Daughter Deirdre Davis recalled her dad’s famous cookouts at home. “Ribs, hot dogs, hamburgers, cakes, watermelons,” she said. “There would be 50 or more people in July who came and enjoyed themselves. Daddy knew a whole lot of people. He would always have something funny to say to make you smile. He taught us lessons about saving money for a rainy day and was very adamant about children’s education.”
He kept his word
Louie’s other family will miss him, too. Ruth Bouleware, a longtime director at Long & Son has known him for 45 years. “Whatever he said he’d do, he’d do it. He was a lover of people and very dependable,” she said.
Palmer DuPree, a senior funeral director, said Louie was a very professional gentleman, very respected and had a gift of working with families and helping them through estates and probate court. “He had a good thing for doing that. He’d make sure they had all things in order for the money to come in to settle the estate. He had served on state level of mortician’s association and was the Professional of the Year in the mid-1980s.”
Owner Lem Long said, “He was good, he was real good at helping people. We didn’t call us true servers of that family until the spouse got the first check. We follow that person to apply for Social Security or veterans benefits. That’s what Mr. Davis would do for them. He was good at that.”
We’re sure that the ones he served so long and so well will gratefully agree.
Memorials may be made to: The Louie B. Davis Scholarship Fund, Jonesville AME Zion Church, 11700 Idlewild Rd., Matthews, NC 28105.
Editor’s note: This is our series called Lives That Matter. Written by Charlotte writer Gerry Hostetler, this weekly feature will profile individuals, recently deceased, who had a positive impact on those around them. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.