James Eldred Davenport, 87, of Benton, passed away quietly in his sleep Saturday, Oct. 20.
He was born April 27, 1925, in Grant County, to the late William Harrison “Harry” and Essie Pearl (Barnes) Davenport, the fifth of eight children, and grew up on his grandfather’s farm outside Sheridan after his dad passed away when he was 8. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army during World War II and earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service in Europe during the war, including D-Day at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, followed by campaigns through Belgium, Holland, and Germany.
Upon returning home from the war in 1947, he resided in Benton, trained as an electrician through the GI training program and worked at Alley Electric and then for the city of Benton Utilities, where everyone called him “Jed,” until his retirement in 1987. It was in Benton that he met and married his wife, Ethel, and they raised their son, Ronnie, and were blessed to enjoy much time with their grandchildren, Heather and Stephen, and great-grandchildren, Kaity, Daniel, Caden, and Gabriel.
James loved to hunt, fish, “piddle” in the yard, read the morning newspaper, and tell stories to his family and friends. His favorite fishing hole was Cox Creek Lake in Leola, where he spent many summers with his family and friends. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Benton.
He is survived by his wife, Ethel (Alderman) Davenport; his son, James Ronald “Ron” Davenport and wife Ramona (Moore), recently of Conway; two grandchildren, Heather (Davenport) Morris and husband Michael of Conway, Stephen Davenport and wife Tracy (Carson) of Springdale; and four great-grandchildren, Kaity Haynes and Daniel Tolleson of Conway and Caden and Gabriel Davenport of Springdale; three brothers, Wilton Davenport of Sheridan, Billy Ray Davenport of Shreveport, La.,, Kenneth Davenport and wife Nettie of Sheridan; and one sister, Fannie Sue (Davenport) McCoy and husband Eddie of Hot Springs.
Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Ashby Funeral Home, followed by burial at New Rosemont Cemetery in Benton. The Rev.Frank Thurman will officiate.
Pallbearers are Phil Davenport, Dale Davenport, Kerry McCool, Clifton Padgett, Robbie O’Neal, Mike Rushing, Bill Haynes and
Gene “Skipper” Hodges.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Ashby Funeral Home in Benton.
Memorials may be made to Calvary Baptist Church in Benton.
Online guest book: ashbyfuneralhome.com