EDWARD DAVIS Tiger Mike Davis passed away Sept. 18, 2016, at age 85. Life is fragile and fleeting, but should be lived to the fullest. Tiger Mike Davis did that better than anyone. An oil wildcatter, a riverboat gambler, a socialist and iconoclast all rolled into one. Tiger was bombastic, but lovable. He was dumb like a fox. He was bigger than life and filled every casino in Las Vegas. He loved to gamble whether digging oil wells or playing blackjack. He loved beautiful women and jet airplanes. If he loved you, it was Heaven. If he disliked you, it was Hell. If you were powerful and arrogant, he would destroy you. If you were down and out, he would pick you up, dust you off and change your life forever. He was hard, but yet soft. He was strong, yet gentle. When he loved, it was with abandon. When he won, he won big. When he lost, he lost big. He never ever complained that his life was controlled by someone else. He was, and always will be, a paradox. A paradox of everything that is good and everything that is bad in humanity. He was loved. He was hated. But, most importantly, he was Tiger Mike Davis, all he wanted to be. He was born Edward Mike Davis March 1, 1931, on the Rosebud (Sioux) Indian Reservation in South Dakota. His father was Mike Davis, who died while Edward Mike was a child. His mother, Ollie Davis, died in 1975, at 94 years old. Edward Mike was the youngest of seven children. His siblings were Jean, Faye, Dave, Julia, Martha and Sadie. All have since passed away. Edward Mike had no offspring. He is survived by his lifelong companion, Phyllis McGuire; one nephew; and three nieces. He is mourned and missed by companion, Joy Bell; his employees, his housekeeper and personal caretaker, Jun Clark; his executive assistant, Kevin "KT" Trujillo; his chaufer and personal assistant, Marcello Amezcua; his personal assistant, Jeff Kleven; along with all those that knew him; and, of course, his faithful Dalmatian dogs, Spotty and Angel, who were forever by his side. Edward Mike was a depression child who led a hardscrabble life in Valentine, Neb. That most of us would never have survived. He was raised by his older brother, Faye. He left school at the age of 14 and learned to drive a truck to help support his family. At 16, he joined the U.S. Army, served for four years and was honorably discharged. When Edward Mike reentered civilian life in 1951, he moved to Denver, where Faye and his family had moved. In Denver, he drove a cement truck during the day and worked at Shugi's bar as a "swamper" at night. His driving skills, pugilist skills and strapping strength earned him a position as the limo driver and bodyguard for Helen Bonfils. When Helen's husband, George Somnes, died in 1956, Edward Mike Davis developed a romantic relationship with one of the earliest "cougars" on record! In 1959, at the age of 28, he married Helen Bonfils, age 69. This was Edward Mike's only marriage, but not his only love. His real love was yet to come. As one might expect, the relationship fractured after two years, ending in a divorce decree Dec. 21, 1971. During Edward Mike Davis' extended separation and divorce proceedings, he met the love of his life, Phyllis J. McGuire, a young, beautiful musical prodigy that captivated his life until the day he died. Tiger Mike and Phyllis lived a storybook romance of love, song and dance throughout the world. As they both aged, Phyllis grew, but Tiger Mike never wanted age to steal the romance of young lovers. He strayed to try to find the love he experienced with Phyllis, but never could. He and Phyllis remained companions until he died. However, Tiger Mike never lost the eye for a beautiful leg and the exhilaration of the chase as he lost his race with prostate cancer. From 1959-1995, Tiger Edward Mike Davis rose from a high school dropout to an oil corporate titan. Founding Tiger Oil in the early 70's. From that point on, everyone just called him "Tiger Mike." In 2015, Larry Fuller, former chairman and chief executive officer of Amoco Oil said it all, "I could never figure out how Mike Davis could find oil while none of our armies of researchers could find any?" Tiger Mike Davis was different. Tiger Mike Davis was unique. Tiger Mike Davis was genuine and original. Well, I guess, Mike Davis was just "Tiger Mike." We will all miss him. May he and all his family and friends who have passed rest in peace together. Celebration of life for Tiger Mike Davis will be Tuesday, Oct. 4. If you are interested in attending, please contact Kevin "KT" Trujillo at (702) 877-5678 to secure a reservation. If you have a story of Tiger Mike Davis impacting your life in a positive way, please send your story to Kevin "KT" Trujillo at [email protected]
We plan to create a book and have it at the memorial celebration of life. In lieu of flowers, Mike was a lover of animals, so please direct your donations to the referenced 501c-3, "Paals for Life" No Kill Animal Rescue Farm, [email protected]
, (303) 688-9537, P.O. Box 926, Castle Rock, CO 80104.
Published by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sep. 25, 2016.