Clifford R. Davenport

Clifford R. Davenport

Clifford R. Davenport, 95, a 72 year resident of Galena, passed away peacefully July 2, 2018. Funeral service will be 11 AM, Saturday, July 7, 2018 at the Furlong Funeral Chapel, Galena. Visitation will be from 4 to 6:45 PM on Friday, July 6, 2018. At the conclusion Masonic rites will be by Miners Lodge #273 of Galena. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery, Galena, where Military honors will be accorded by the Dubuque Marine Corps League. Cliff was born on October 5, 1922, in Oquawka, Henderson County, Illinois, the youngest son of Emmett Lloyd and Mary Maude (Ives) Davenport. He grew up in Oquawka, where his father Emmett served three terms as Henderson County sheriff during his youth. He graduated from Oquawka High School in 1940. After briefly attending Monmouth College, he accepted employment with the Illinois Bell Telephone Company in the summer of 1941. He started as a lineman and pole setter, a member of a 6-man travelling line construction crew, “earning starting wages of $11 per week plus room and board”. Cliff spent 41 years working for Illinois Bell, the last 25 years as Wire Chief and Commercial Manager of the Galena exchange. During his tenure as Wire Chief, the current Galena exchange office on Main Street was constructed in 1963, and Galena telephone service was converted from manual operator to dial service on July 19, 1964. Cliff’s employment with Illinois Bell was interrupted by service to his country during WWII. From December, 1942 till January, 1946, Cliff served with the 2nd Marine Division in the Pacific theater and in the post-war occupation force in Japan. He was part of the “other D-Day”, the Marine invasion of Saipan on June 15, 1944. In June 2004, he was able to return to Saipan as part of the Marines’ 60th anniversary celebration of the freeing of Saipan, and was humbled to receive the respect and thanks of the grateful islanders. Cliff was a proud Marine, and at the time of his passing was the senior Marine in the Dubuque Marine Corps League. On one of his early telephone line crew trips to Galena in 1941, Cliff met and soon fell in love with Galena native LaVonne Schleicher. Cliff and LaVonne were married in Galena on January 29, 1946, shortly after his discharge from Marine service. They celebrated a 43-year union to which two children were born, Patricia and Dennis. LaVonne preceded him in death on June 2, 1989. Cliff subsequently married Sylvia Starovasnik Shannon on November 10, 1990. They celebrated 27 years of marriage in 2017. Cliff served the citizens of Galena as a city council member from 1971 to 1984. He was a member of the founding group of the Galena Stauss Hospital, and a member of the founding committee and first president of the Galena Ambulance Board. He was a member of the Galena Lions Club, Galena Elks, Galena Masonic Lodge, the Dubuque Marine Corps League, Galena VFW Post 2665, and a 65 year fan of Galena Pirate football. After his retirement from the telephone business he served as Assistant Jo Daviess County Coroner. He enjoyed hunting fox, deer, turkey, and morels, and later in life, watching the wildlife from his back porch perch. He treasured the many friendships made over the years in Galena at morning breakfasts and senior coffee-times, and enjoyed renewing these relationships each day. Cliff is survived by his wife Sylvia; a daughter, Pat Heim of Galena, a son Dennis (Betty) of Ferndale, Washington; grandsons Damon (Anne) Heim of Galena and their children Landon Clifford and Lila; Blake (Louisa) Davenport of Las Cruces, New Mexico and their children Charles, Katie, Lia, and Thomas; Brian Davenport of Fort Worth, Texas, and his children Joseph and Anthony; Dr. Mark (Kim) Davenport of Decatur, Georgia, and their children Beatrix and Arthur;; step-children Daniel (Joan) Shannon of Guttenburg, Iowa, and their children Liam, Mara, Jack, Patrick, Molly(Tyler) Johnson, and Kathleen(Larry) Wopat and children Jonas and Stellan; and Rita Mae (Marty) Leonard of Mendota, Illinois, and their children Andrew, Monica, and Valerie. Cliff was the last living member of his Davenport generation. He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife LaVonne, siblings Lois, Harley, and Margaret, 10 brothers and sisters-in law, 5 Oquawka-area Davenport cousins and their spouses, and a step-grandson, Steven Shannon. Cliff’s family wishes to express special thanks to the caregivers who made it possible for him to remain at home till he passed, including his wife Sylvia, Tina, Melissa, Audrey, Marianna, 24 Hr. Care, and Hospice of Dubuque. Cliff was fortunate to live a long and eventful life filled with service to his family and fellow citizens. “Those we love shall never go away; they live within us every day – unseen, unheard, but always near; forever loved and eternally dear.”

Leave a reply

Commnets

Submit a condolence