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Raymond Davenport

1929 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Raymond Davenport Obituary
Davenport, Raymond Wilson Jr.

Raymond Wilson Davenport Jr, our beloved husband and father passed away peacefully at his son's home in North Carolina on July 20, 2016.

Born In El Paso, Texas on July 9, 1929, he was the son of the late Raymond and Thelma Davenport.

Ray is survived by his wife of 64 years, Marilyn Joan; his sons Raymond Wilson Davenport III of Albuquerque and Brian Patrick Davenport of Franklin, North Carolina; his sister Evelyn and husband Roger Bell of Santa Teresa, New Mexico; sister-in-law Jacqueline McDowell of Dallas, Texas; three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Over the years Ray and Marilyn suffered the untimely deaths of three of their five children, daughter Diane Elizabeth, and sons Mark Gleason and William Michael. Ray was also preceded in death by his sister Carol Sue Davenport, his daughter-in-law Lauri Davenport, and his brother-in-law Dr. John McDowell of Las Cruces.

Ray graduated from Austin High School in El Paso, Texas, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the age of seventeen, serving from 1946 to 1948 as an aircraft control tower operator. He was recalled to active duty for another year during the Korean War. He graduated from Texas Western College (now University of Texas at El Paso) in 1951 receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, Who's Who, Men of Mines and president of the Economics Club. There he met Marilyn Joan O'Sullivan, and they were married on October 5, 1951.

From a House district in Las Cruces Ray was elected to eight years in the State Legislature. Serving from 1961-68 he chaired the Labor, and Ways and Means Committees. From 1971-75 Ray was appointed by the governor to serve on the State Corrections Commission where he was elected Chairman.

Over the years Ray was in the family bar and restaurant businesses in Las Cruces; in Albuquerque he was a television station executive, and later owned an employment agency. He was a lobbyist in Santa Fe for 25 years, representing a wide variety of commercial organizations and entities, including the cities of Las Cruces and Santa Fe, at the State Capitol and in Washington. His wife Marilyn is a retired fifty year educator.

Ray was a good, kind and exceptionally generous man, and his absence will be keenly and deeply felt by all who knew him. He will be in our hearts forever. He was a philosopher, historian, writer, sociologist, futurist, economist, fervent Democrat, and a sagacious observer of the human condition. Most importantly, he always reached out to help others. He loved the Lord and served Him well. We are proud of you, Ray! Rest in peace.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on July 31, 2016
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