ABEL DAVIS FEBRUARY 14, 1925 - SEPTEMBER 30, 2013 A 45 year resident of Tesuque, NM died peacefully Monday at UNM Hospital after a long illness. He was the son of General Abel Davis and Marjorie Mayer Davis of Glencoe, IL. General Abel Davis emigrated from Lithuania and immediately enlisted into the American Army serving in both the Spanish American War and World War 1. He rose to a two star General and was a superior horseman (no jeeps in those days). Abel's mother sent her "irreverent son" to Andover for his formal education and his father had planned for him to go on to West Point; however, the government had other ideas. On his 18th birthday, Abel was drafted into the famous 14th Infantry Division and selected as a MP for his height. In France on New Year's Day 1945, Abel was shot five times during the Battle of the Bulge and spent 1 1/2 yrs. recovering in VA hospitals. He married Susan Frank in 1948 and his first job was selling "Big Yank" overalls which took them to the mills of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Thereafter, they moved back to Chicago where they had their four children and Abel started one of the first direct mail businesses, National Business Lists. While in Chicago, he split his free time between foxhunting and skiing with his family in Aspen during the early years. He personally knew many of the colorful 10th Mountain Division characters who started major ski resorts in Colorado and New Mexico. Later the family skied in Taos and the St. Bernard Lodge became their first New Mexican hangout. In 1968, after the successful sale of his business, Abel and Sue bought Marshall McCune's home in Tesuque, "La Huerta" thanks to a personal introduction and Perrine McCune's parties being ruined by the river crossing. In the 1970's Abel started horsing around with Jim Alley and Jim Ritchie and together with Phil Naumberg they created the original Santa Fe Polo Grounds where they played polo during the summers of the 1980's. When Abel's physician said "No More Polo", Abel switched to 3 Day Eventing riding with Goosedown Farm and later he jumped with Caroline Stevenson. He trail rode with the old legends like Winnie Beasley and knew where to find her martini trees. In the winter you could find him whipping in for the Juan Tomas Hounds or up on the ski mountain. Abel's primary community interest was promoting responsible growth for Santa Fe County and particularly Tesuque. He actively served on planning commissions to regulate development and regularly sued to stop undesirable development. His landmark case was "Davis vs. Morton" when he sued the Secretary of the Interior and won. Gov. Bill Richardson fondly called him "The Mayor of Tesuque". Abel was also a founding member of the Tesuque Volunteer Fire Dept. and was an avid animal lover known for his pack of red Dobermans. Abel's basic faith was in his fellow human beings. His friends all knew him as a kind and gentle man. He was large with a formidable presence. Even when Abel strongly disagreed with you, he would do it graciously and temper it with humor. When they made Abel, they threw away the mold! Abel was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Sue Davis and his daughter, Leslie Davis. He is survived by his second wife, Audrey Hays; his daughters: Patricia Willson of Albuqerque (Rich Willson and grandson Alex Willson), Lauren Davis of Croton, NY (Charles Stathacos), Bill Lazar of Chupadero (Lynn Rosen and grandchildren of Bozeman, MT, Aaron and Jenny Lazar, Peter Lazar) and Jad Davis of Santa Fe (Sarah Clarke Davis). Particularly special in his life was his Italian daughter, Bianca Guariglia of Parma and his Ghanaian son, Dr. Evans Fiakpui of Chicago, both foreign exchange students who became permanent cherished family members along with Ramzan Haji of Albuquerque. A Celebration of Abel will be held at La Huerta, Sunday October 13th 1 pm to 3 pm. All friends are welcome.
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Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Jan. 1, 1900