Russell Dean Davenport was born September 3, 1925 to John Stewart Davenport and Margaret Lenore Schultz Davenport on the farm home north west of Diagonal, IA. Russell attended Lincoln No 2, Diagonal, IA, a rural school and graduated from Diagonal High School in 1944. On June 1, 1952 he married Floy Laura Beck at the Lenox Methodist Church. To this union Mary Jean was born and later Roy James joined the family. Russell was a member of the Lenox Methodist Church.
With his fatherís failing health, Russell helped with all the farming and livestock until his fatherís death in July 1948. He continued to farm and helped his mother till her death May 30, 1980. Russell and Roy continued with the farm.
Russell and Floy bought their home and farm in 1965 from Roy Bolte. Russell also farmed on the shares with Lou Vanderpluym for seventeen years and shared chores with Fred Moore during vacation times. Russell enjoyed hunting and trapping, spending many hours and miles walking, checking his traps and following coyotes for hours on many cold days.
His first tractor was a 1948 Ford 8N. Later he overhauled it a time or so including when he was 85 years old. He had it in all six KSIB tractor rides. Russell rode about ten miles of the first five rides and the grandsons finished the rides. He was also a trustee in Lincoln Township, Ringgold County for many years. Russell and another man were hired to measure farm fields for the ASCS in the late 40ís using stake and steel wire and a pulley every 100ft. It was a hard and tiresome job.
In 1960, Russell purchased a sawmill and spent many long, hard hours cutting down the saw logs and sawing up the lumber. People from all directions came to buy lumber. As Roy got older he was a big help for Russell at the mill. If the job took all day sawing the lumber for the other men, at noon Floy would have dinner ready for whomever was helping and snacks for a break. With all his nice lumber, Russell gained a wonderful hobby woodworking. He carved all kinds of ducks, miniature carousel horses; lots of pieces of furniture and several eagles with over fifty individual pieces. His mechanical ability of repairing farm machinery and overhauling cars and tractors was beneficial to him.
He enjoyed square dancing and round dancing, good times with the pot luck supper bunch, Old Tyme Power Club and visiting with family, friends and coffee drinkers and the different trips he took. This included riding the train out to Nevada to see Mary Jeanís family.
Russell was very proud of his little English Ford and his 1948 Indian Chief motorcycle, which he bought both new and later added the sidecar to his motorcycle. He enjoyed his family and his health was good nearly all his life and the mind stayed very attentive to the last few hours before his death.
Preceding Russell in death were: his parents; brothers, John Nels and wife Marjorie, Marshall Lee and Donald Ray; parents-in-law, Adolph and Sylvia Beck; brothers-in-law, Darrell Huber, Jim Beck, Joe Matheny and Kenneth Gose and sister-in-law Velda (Beck) and husband, Conrad Mullen.
Survivors include: wife Floy Davenport; daughter, Mary Jean (Skylar) Burdette, son, Roy Davenport (Shawna Fletcher); grandchildren, Andrea Burdette (Josh Farlow), Clint Burdette, Dillon Davenport, Aaron Davenport and Megan Davenport; great-grandchildren, Aodan and Mia Farlow and Cami Burdette; sister-in-law, Lois Davenport
and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held Saturday, July 22, 2017, at 9 a.m., at the Lenox United Methodist Church. Memorials may be directed in his name. Interment was at Rising Sun Cemetery. Memories may be shared at www.ritchiefuneralhome.com.
Arrangements were entrusted to the Ritchie Funeral Home of Lenox.
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2017