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James Wiggington of Brookeville, Illinois, a Vietnam veteran and former basketball player under the leadership of Buster Davis, saluted Davis’s casket during the military portion of the longtime Fulton businessman and philanthropist’s funeral service, last Tuesday. In a 2019 interview, Wiggington told The Times Davis not only left a lasting impression on him as a coach, but as a human being.

Family, friends, and business colleagues came to pay their final respects to Windle ‘Buster’ Davis during his funeral service on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

Services were held at Itawamba Community College’s Davis Event Center, named in honor of Davis and his brother Bud’s long-standing support and philanthropy with the school. The brothers both coached at the community college.

Davis’s longtime friend, attorney Tom Childs, gave the eulogy.

“For over 50 years I have loved, admired and respected Buster and stand in awe of all his accomplishments,” Childs told those in attendance. “An entire newspaper could not display all he has done for many, many people.”

Childs touched on some of Davis’s most notable accomplishments, including the creation and ongoing support for Itawamba County’s long-running bluegrass/gospel concert, held at the Davis Event Center. The event raised funds for Tupelo-based Regional Rehab Center, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Itawamba Community College Foundation.

Through his efforts with the fundraiser, Davis struck up a longtime friendship with the concert’s frequent headliner Rhonda Vincent. The seven-time Grammy nominee and 2017 winner of the Grammy’s Best Bluegrass album returned to Fulton to sing at his funeral.

“I loved him so very much and enjoyed visiting with him in his home through the years,” Vincent told The Times. “I cherished his friendship and will miss him very much.”

Davis’s funeral ended with full military honors for his service during World War II. James Wiggington, a Vietnam veteran and former basketball player under Davis’s leadership, took part in the salute of Davis’s flagged draped casket during the ceremony.

“He left a lasting impression on me, not just as a coach but as a human being,” Wigginton said in 2019 interview with The Times.

Davis was buried next to his wife, Billie Faye South Davis, in Cotton Springs Cemetery in Tishomingo County.

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