RODNEY BELL DAVENPORT, 89, of Warsaw, passed away on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 9:45 p.m., in his Irish Lake home surrounded by his family. Born Nov. 24, 1923, in Los Angeles, Calif., he was the youngest child of Fred and Muriel (White) Davenport's three children. Rodney married Wilma Edna Thomas on Oct. 16, 1948, in South Bend, Ind. In 1957, Wilma and Rodney made a cottage on Irish Lake their permanent residence. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II in the Pacific Theater as the commander of the U.S.S. Kopara and as the Executive Officer of the U.S.S. West Moreland APA-104. He was a graduate of the University of Southern California. He held several patents and was manager of Whirlpool's Kenmore Home Appliance division during his distinguished engineering career. He retired from Whirlpool Corporation in 1984. He was a passionate gardener, a voracious reader and a lifelong learner. His children are grateful that his long retirement made it possible for him to pursue these hobbies. Rodney and Wilma were the proud parents of 12 children, David Davenport of Bloomington, Ind., Rebecca Taylor of Berea, Ky., Christie Davenport of Warsaw, Ray Davenport of South Whitley, Bridget Davenport of Indianapolis, Mary Hurley of Warsaw, Anne Mynhier of South Whitley, Clare Gilmore of Portland, Texas, Siobhan Davenport of Warsaw, Kelly Davenport (husband, Thomas Delaney) of Columbia City, Stephanie (husband, David) Clements of Kirklin, Ind., and Elizabeth (husband, Thomas) Stonecypher of West Columbia, S.C. In addition, they were the grandparents of 34 grandchildren, and great-grandparents of 40 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Wilma, in 2009; parents; siblings, Lueane Davenport Wait and Gilbert Davenport; and three great-grandchildren. Funeral service is 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 28, 2013, at Redpath - Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw, where friends and family may visit from 1 to 2:30 p.m. A private burial will be held at a later date. Online condolences may be sent through the funeral home's website at www.redpathfruth funeralhome.com
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Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on Apr. 26, 2013