James began his life of 77 years in Alpine, Brewster County, Texas, at 12:30am on May 18, 1935, the second son of Elmer Devenport, an architectural engineer, and Frances Ferguson Devenport, an educator. Education was stressed to James by his parents who each had earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Texas Technological College in 1929 and 1930, the first and second graduating classes at Texas Tech. James attended grade school years 1-12 in Alpine and then earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Sul Ross State College in 1956 and a Master of Education from Sul Ross State College in 1958. He began a career of teaching mathematics with Midland ISD in 1959. He married Judith Hardaway on August 14, 1960, in the First United Methodist Church of Midland. In 1961 they moved to Austin where James attended postgraduate mathematics studies at The University of Texas on a National Science Foundation Grant. In September 1962, he returned to Midland and resumed his teaching career with Midland ISD. In June of 1968 he attended Penn State University, State College, Pennsylvania, again on a National Science Foundation Grant, and afterwards returned to Midland as Mathematics Chairman of Lee High School and part-time Mathematics Instructor at Midland College. He retired from Midland ISD in June 1977 and established James F Devenport & Company, a petroleum land and leasing company. He received his Real Estate License in 1972 and his Texas Real Estate Broker's License in 1978. He was certified as an American Lineage Specialist by the Board for Certification of Genealogists in December 1991. He served as a member of the City Council of Midland 1991-1993. In 1992, James co-authored with Laurence B. Gardiner of Memphis, Tennessee, a genealogical reference book, Descendants of James Hardaway, Charles City County, Virginia, 1650-1800, a copy of which is in the Midland County Public Library. Lineage society memberships include The Sons of the Republic of Texas and The Jamestowne Society of which he served as Governor, West Texas Company, 1993-1995. James is a member of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, The Petroleum Club of Midland, and The Racquet Club of Midland. He cherishes friends from each. He was predeceased by his Father and Mother, Elmer and Frances Devenport, two brothers, John Elmer Devenport and Joe Lee Devenport, and a sister, Jane Devenport Hoffman. He is survived by his spouse of 52 years, Judith, and his sister, Anne Devenport Powell as well as many nieces and nephews. There will be a graveside service at Elm Grove Cemetery, Alpine, Texas, at 11:00 am on January 5, 2013 followed by lunch at Holland Hotel in Alpine. A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Midland on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 11:30 am, followed by a reception at the Petroleum Club of Midland. Honorary pallbearers are his coffee group from the Petroleum Club of Midland, and the Partners Sunday School Class from First United Methodist Church of Midland. The family requests any charitable donation made in James's honor be given to The First Presbyterian Church of Midland, 800 W Texas, Midland 79701, or to one's choice. Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home of Midland. Online condolences can be made at: www.npwelch.com
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Published in Midland Reporter-Telegram from Jan. 1 to Jan. 6, 2013