Wayne Ellsworth Davenport, 90, of Springfield died on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at St. John’s Hospice surrounded by his family.
Wayne was born on October 22, 1922 in Springfield, the son of Orville Byron and Florence Regina Drendel Davenport. He graduated from Springfield High School and entered the retail business. Later he joined his dad and brothers in Davenport Builders Construction Company. Wayne and his brother Kenneth continued to own and operate the company until they retired. As a local developer, he was responsible for developing several subdivisions in and around Springfield. His favorite projects were the “new” St. Joseph Church and the Ursuline buildings. In addition to the construction business, he farmed and raised cattle.
Wayne had many interests: cooking, baking, gardening, bowling, hunting and fishing. He especially liked fishing in Alaska. He was fortunate to have enjoyed these activities well into his eighties. Wayne was a sports enthusiast and sponsored several area youth teams. He was an avid and devoted Cubs fan and he loved watching the Illini basketball games.
Wayne had a great sense of humor. There was always a lot of laughter when he was around. His children and grandchildren enjoyed hearing his stories of the past. He was generous with his time, no matter what was asked of him. He volunteered and headed many activities while his children attended St. Joseph Grade School and Ursuline Academy. Wayne belonged to the Knights of Columbus, and the Holy Name Society. He served on the SHA Board of Commissioners for seven years.
Wayne married Ada Marie Venturini on May 28, 1941. She preceded him in death on November 23, 1999. Wayne and Ada had four daughters and they survive: Delores (Dwight) McFarland and Carole Davis of Springfield, Mary Lynn (Craig) Harper of Anchorage Alaska and Joan Binetsch (Steve Wallace) of Glen Carbon, IL. There are seven grandchildren: Christa Davis (Olivier) Bethany of Munich, Germany; Tim (Kate) Harper and David Harper of Anchorage; Chris Harper (Jenny) of Pueblo, Colorado; Meghan (fiancé Aaron Kafer) McFarland of Gibson City, IL; Jenny Binetsch of Glen Carbon and Michael Binetsch of St. Louis, Missouri. There are three great grandchildren: Abby, Brayden and Nathan Harper. Other survivors include an aunt Abby Davenport, sisters-in-law, Irene Davenport and Bernadine Venturini, several nieces, nephews and cousins. He is survived by a very special friend, Katie Harrison.
Wayne is preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Bryon and Kenneth Davenport and a sister, Dolores Davenport.