James Raymond Davenport III COLUMBIA - A Mass of Christian burial for James Raymond Davenport III, 54, will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Friday, January 4, 2013, at St. Joseph Catholic Church. The Rosary will be recited at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, January 3, 2013, at Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, with visitation following until 8:00 p.m. Jim died Monday, December 31, 2012, surrounded by the most important thing in his life his family. Born in Great Falls, Montana, he was a son of Gertrude Davenport and the late James Davenport. He held bachelor's and master's degrees in English and Journalism from the University of South Carolina. After graduation, he worked at The State, where he crunched numbers for the neighborhood sections. His eye for numbers and his love for journalism led to story assignments and eventually a job on the newspaper's business desk. In 1999, he was hired by The Associated Press to cover state government and politics. He was a tireless advocate of the Freedom of Information Act, doing his best to assure that governments across the state did not keep public information secret. A watchdog reporter, he made sure that taxpayers knew what their governor, legislators and other officials were doing with their power and the taxpayers' money. He earned the respect of the people he covered, and in 2012, Gov. Nikki Haley awarded him the Order of the Palmetto for service to the state of South Carolina, while both the South Carolina House and Senate passed resolutions honoring him and his lifetime of work. Jim was a devoted husband to his wife, Debra and an adoring father to his daughter, Catherine. He worked tirelessly to better the lives of both those he loved and those in the community. He was a willing volunteer whenever anyone needed help, from set-building for his daughter's Dreher High School drama productions to home building for Habitat for Humanity. He was truly selfless and considered it an honor to be a servant to his family and his community. He is survived by his wife, Debra Davenport; his daughter, Catherine Davenport; mother, Gertrude Davenport of Summerville; siblings, Regina Legette (Howard), Gregory Davenport (Leta) and Jeanine Edwards (Scott); numerous nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. The family wishes to thank the staff of Palmetto Health Hospice for their special care during Jim's illness. Memorials may be made to Palmetto Health Hospice, 1400 Pickens Street, Columbia, SC 29201 or Habitat for Humanity, 209 S. Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29201.
Published in The State on Jan. 2, 2013