By Bonnie Culverhouse
Alford Davis was a quiet man who just liked to grow things.
Little did his friends know, while he was growing his vegetables, he was also growing his money.
“He was as tight as the paint on your house,” said Homer Humphreys. “I would go fill up his truck for him, and he would ‘forget’ to pay me back.”
But when Davis left this life as quietly as he lived it, he left with a bang in the form of the largest single donation ever made to the Minden St. Jude Auction.
“We were blown away,” said auction co-chairman Melissa Brown. “We knew we were getting a check, but we had no idea it would be this much. I was in total shock. He must’ve saved 50 cents on the dollar.”
Laura Hollingsworth, who went with Brown to accept the check, said she did not know Davis, but they are all very grateful.
“That check is already in Memphis,” Hollingsworth said. “The hospital already has it. We didn’t want to be responsible for something that sizable.”
The annual auction begins at 9 a.m. Thursday, and Brown hopes to have Humphreys on air around 6 p.m. to reveal the exact amount.
Humphreys took care of Davis the last 20 years of his life.
“His son David lived close to us, and he asked me, if anything ever happened to him, if I’d watch after his daddy,” Humphreys said. “Well, David died of a heart attack in his thirties. And I’ve been taking care of his dad ever since.”
Davis passed away July 30 at the age of 97, a widower with no other children or heirs.
“He would call me if his bank statement was off by 46 cents or 35 cents,” Humphreys said. “We would be on the phone for hours, just trying to get it straightened out.”
Davis lived frugally and was happy as long as he had vegetables to eat, Humphreys said.
So, he was a bit surprised when Davis drew up his will, leaving everything to St. Jude. He was even more surprised to learn he was the executor of Davis’ estate.
“Mr. Al told me one time he wanted to leave something to St. Jude,” Humphreys said. “He told me, ‘I love them little rascals.’”
Davis also loved animals and his dog, Rowdy, is pictured with him on a sign outside the Minden Civic Center.
“That was just the kind of man he was,” Humphreys said. “He would crack pecans for the birds and throw them out on his driveway. But It was all about the kids for him.”
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