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O.K. “Buddy” Davis

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
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Orville Kince (O.K. “Buddy”) Davis, 72, was born July 26, 1946, in Goliad, Texas, and died July 13, 2019, in Ruston, Louisiana.

Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. Friday, July 19, 2019, at Owens Memorial Funeral Home in Ruston, Louisiana. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 20, 2019, at the Presbyterian Church of Ruston with Nancy Bergeron officiating. Interment will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Ruston under the direction of Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home.

Buddy was preceded in death by his parents, Howard C. Davis and Mildred Lee Davis. He is survived by cousins Jennifer Davis Betts and husband Steve of Ruston, Louisiana, Stephanie Davis Burman and husband Richard of Hockley, Texas and Flo Davis Miskelley of Ruston, as well as his Ruston Daily Leader family.

A graduate of Ruston High School and Louisiana Tech University, Buddy spent more than 50 years writing about sports for the Ruston Daily Leader, starting as a reporter while still in high school before becoming sports editor in 1970 and eventually being named executive sports editor.

Buddy was a beacon shining a national spotlight on Lincoln Parish athletic figures, not only telling their stories but also striking up strong personal friendships in the process.

Over the years, Davis covered two major league All-Star games; an NBA All-Star game; an NCAA men’s Final Four; a BCS national title game; 12 Super Bowls; three NCAA outdoor track championships, two Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies, the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich and the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.

He also served as a member of the Heisman Trophy selection committee, Wooden Award committee, Football Writers Association of America All-American committee and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame selection committee.

A winner of countless awards, Buddy was a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame and the Ark-La-Tex Sports Hall of Fame. He was honored by the Grambling Legends Hall of Fame, the Football Writers Association of America and the Louisiana Sports Writers Association for his years of service as a sports writer, and he was the 2013 Louisiana Tech College of Liberal Arts Alumnus of the Year.

He was also honored by the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches in 2010 as Mr. Louisiana Basketball.

And in 2016, Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker proclaimed July 26 of that year — Buddy’s birthday — as Buddy Davis Day for the City of Ruston. He was also honored with “The Buddy Davis Story” being part of the Smithsonian’s “Hometown Heroes” exhibit in 2016 at the Lincoln Parish Library.

When the Joe Aillet Football Stadium press box at Louisiana Tech University was rebuilt in 2017, the media room there was named in Davis’ honor.

Even after suffering a stroke in July of 2013 that left him with only partial use of his right arm and hand, Buddy kept on writing weekly columns and blogs as well as other occasional stories. Buddy always appreciated the love and constant support from his many friends. A special thank you to the staff of Princeton Placein Ruston for their love, care and support over the past six years.

Pallbearers will be Aaron James, Bert Jones, Teddy Allen, Malcolm Butler, Dan Childress and Brad Laird.

In lieu of flowers, family and friends encourage donations to the O.K. “Buddy” Davis Endowed Scholarship Fund at Louisiana Tech University. Donations may be made by check payable to “Louisiana Tech University Foundation” or by credit card. Donations may be mailed to P.O. Box 1190, Ruston, La. 71273-1190. Credit card donations can be made online at ;

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