Faith Family and Farming
By Blair Baumgartner
LEESBURG — Louie Davis grew up on a farm. Farming is in his blood. However, his faith in Jesus Christ and love for his family and the community are his foundation.
Born and raised in Kosciusko County, Davis was drafted straight out of high school in 1969 to join the 25th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army in Vietnam.
Davis was married to his wife, Ruby, just seven days before departing for his tour of duty. One of Davis’ primary jobs was to clear landing zones for helicopters. Just 12 days before his tour of duty was finished, he was clearing a landing zone with two other soldiers and one accidentally detonated a land mine. Davis was badly wounded.
He was flown to Zama, Japan, for multiple surgeries. He was then transported on a Medivac-141 from Japan to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He then spent time recovering at a rehab facility in Phoenixville, Pa., where he eventually received a Purple Heart for his service before being medically discharged in January 1972.
Davis has since undergone 24 operations. When he was in Walter Reed, he saw a sign on the wall in a doctor’s office that said, “Only two defining forces have offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American GI. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.” A doctor told him to never forget this quote and those words have stayed with him ever since.
Davis has been farming for over 50 years. “Back then farming was tough, it sure wasn’t easy,” he said. “My wife, Ruby, helped me out a lot with my wounds. I couldn’t have done it without her.”
Davis and Ruby went on to have two children, Rita and Clint, who have also helped them out over the years. “One thing we always did was to try our best to eat dinner together every night as a family,” he said.
Davis has always loved Kosciusko County. He has tried to help people whenever possible. “There are so many troubles in the world. When I have a good day, I want to share it with others. Many people have helped me over the years. I wish I could thank them all.
“When someone wrongs you, that’s the first person you should help. Treat them how you would want to be treated, regardless how they treat you,” he said.
“I’ve had a beautiful life. I have a great family. I have great neighbors. This is a great community. I’ve always enjoyed helping people. You don’t have to be paid for everything you do. The good Lord knows you’ve done it. The support of everyone in the community has meant so much to me over the years,” he said.
“I love seeing things grow. I always enjoy the harvest in the fall — collecting what you have sown.” Davis still farms 1,400 acres. “People always ask me when I’m going to quit. As long as I feel good, I love farming.”
Davis recently purchased a John Deere XUV835M Honor Edition Gator. It’s imprinted with a U.S. Army Star. His friend, Eric Kaiser, of Milford, said, “I’ve never seen Louie have a bad day in his life. Louie’s trademark phrase is ‘I love it!’ He has such a tenacity for farming and helping people.”