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James Leroy Devenport

1934 - 2019
James Leroy Devenport Obituary
James Leroy Devenport, formerly of Livingston, TX passed away at his home in Alamogordo, NM on October 10, 2015 after a long battle with COPD. He was born on December 02, 1934 on a farm in Millersville, Mo. His parents were Vernia Alene (Long) and Carl Sylvester Devenport.

Our parents produced but one son and then handicapped him with three younger sisters. We argued, fought, and surprisingly loved one another throughout our childhood. Jim was our over-seer and occasionally our hero at the most appropriate times, always keeping a close watch over each of us. He was expected to lead the way, to set an example, and to share. And he pretty much followed all the rules that our parents bestowed upon him. He was just an all-around good kid.

As a boy, Jim built 'things' out of a throw-away this, a hand-me-down that, or a dig'em up ash pit treasure. Once, he built a soap box type scooter out of a pair of over-the-hill skates, a couple 2x4s, a nail hammered into the center for pivoting, a piece of clothesline for steering. And he once again followed that drilled-into-the-bone concept of sharing. One of his sisters took possession of 'the thing' only to crash and cry and bleed. Her injury scared Jim more than the wrecked scooter frustrated him.

In 1952, Jim graduated from Hadley Technical High School in St. Louis, Mo. with high marks in finish carpentry. The Monday following graduation, he became an employee of Koken Manufacturing. He remained there for many years before joining Bank Building Corp as a field superintendent. Several years later, he joined the Texas Bureau of Prisons and taught inmates the craft of woodworking.

On March 12, 1960, James married Opal Pauline Moss. The two of them traveled extensively while Jim worked for BBC. They eventually settled in Livingston where they lived a comfortable rewarding life together. They were very active in St. Luke's Episcopal Church where Jim served as a lay reader and donated his talent to build an exquisite altar and several crosses to enhance the sanctuary.

In the summer of 1999 on one of their visits to our Mother's home in Alamogordo, Jim and Opal decided it was time to move closer to family. As age and failing health would have it, the move proved a godsend to us all. In his retirement years, the 'master builder of things made of throw-aways, put together several keepsake toy trucks and toy boxes and gifted them to each nephew and niece.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Opal, and his parents. He is survived by three sisters, Faye Gentry (Jeff), Linda Narens (Robert), and Carol Sue Locke (Robert). He is also survived by several nieces and nephews: Wes Gentry, Layne Gentry, Diane (Gentry) Silver, Debbie (Narens) Sexton, Mark Narens, Brian Locke, Rachel (Locke) Bright, and several great and great-great nieces and nephews.

With a heavy heart I say goodbye to a philosopher, friend, confidant, gentle soul and Amazon frequenter. Hours and hours and hours he drove with me to get my boy Matthew Gentry on the other side of the state...just so I wouldn't be alone doing it. How many hours we spent watching NASCAR and trying to remember one particular driver's name from years past. Receiving a call the next day with his unforgettable voice coming thru the phone to tell me the drivers name as it bugged him till he could remember! Ha. I will always love my Uncle Jim! He doesn't hurt any more. Layne Gentry.

Uncle Jim Devenport didn't have any kids of his own, but I always called him my 'second Dad'. Our minds worked the same and we always knew what the other was thinking. I will forever miss our talks, his laugh, that wisdom and the way his eyes would twinkle as he formulated a witty comeback...and he ALWAYS had a witty comeback. His family, friends and I treasure the countless woodworking heirlooms he made for us over the years. Uncle Jim wasn't famous or rich, he was just a common, ordinary, patriotic American who I loved, respected and was so fortunate to have in my life. Wes Gentry

Jim will forever be deeply missed by all his family and many friends who benefited from his humor, his benevolence, and his subtle counselling. A faithful Big Brother who shared to his last breath.

At Jim's request there was no public memorial. Direct Cremation took place under the care of PCS Direct Cremation Services.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Oct. 10 to Oct. 13, 2019
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