MECHANIC/SHOP FOREMAN LOUIS P. DAVIS
SDPD 01/28/1952 - 07/05/1973
03/16/1918 - 09/23/1994
Louis P. Davis, a versatile mechanic whose cost-cutting flair for vehicle maintenance earned him accolades from the San Diego Police Department, died Friday of a heart attack. He was 76.
Mr. Davis was stricken while helping his son, Billy, repair a vehicle near Montgomery Field.
Mr. Davis worked 22 years at the SDPD's maintenance garage, quickly attaining the rank of superintendent and developing whiplash pads and push bumpers for department vehicles. His commendations from the department, many in recognition of his maintenance innovations, included a $1,000 award.
He retired in 1973, ending a long career in both aircraft and automotive maintenance that began in 1942 at Consolidated Aircraft, forerunner of the Convair Division of General Dynamics.
Mr. Davis worked on both construction and repair of aircraft at Consolidated. His skills on a job that paid 67 cents an hour were of such value to the defense effort that he remained a civilian during World War II at the request of his employer, according to family members.
Known to family and friends as Buzz, Mr. Davis owned A to Z Auto Service in Old Town and on El Cajon Boulevard before he began working for the Police Department in 1951.
He took up recreational flying in the early 1970s, earning his pilot's license in 1972, and enjoyed flying with his son. Mr. Davis also was an avid outdoorsman and belonged to Rey River Ranch, a North County-based club for anglers and hunters.
He was born in Castlewood, S.D., and moved to Los Angeles in 1941 before settling in San Diego a year later.
In addition to his son, Mr. Davis is survived by Lois, his wife of 53 years; a daughter, Barbara Davis Thornton, of San Diego; a sister, Alberta Engel, and two brothers, James and Edwin, all of Castlewood, S.D.; nine grandchildren, and one great grandchild.