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Rodney Bell Davenport, 89, of Warsaw, passed away at 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, 2013 in his Irish Lake home, surrounded by his family.
Rodney was born Nov. 24, 1923, in Los Angeles, and was the youngest child of Fred and Muriel (White) Davenportâ€™s three children.
Rodney married Wilma Edna Thomas Oct. 16, 1948, in South Bend. In 1957, Wilma and Rodney made a cottage on Irish Lake their permanent residence. Wilma preceded Rodney in death in 2009. 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 Whirlpoolâ€™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 life-long 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, 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 (Thomas Delaney) of Columbia City, Stephanie (David) Clements of Kirklin, and Elizabeth (Thomas) Stonecypher of West Columbia, S.C.
In addition, they were the grandparents of 34, and great-grandparents of 40. He was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings, Lueane Davenport Wait and Gilbert Davenport; and three great-grandchildren.
His funeral service will be conducted Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Rd., Warsaw. Friends and family may visit prior to the service from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home. A private burial will be held at a later date. Online condolences may be sent through the funeral homeâ€™s website at www.redpathfruthfuneralhome.com.