On Sunday October 11, 2020, just about the break of day, our beloved Shirley William Davenport took the Savior’s hand and transitioned from labor to reward.
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Shirley William Davenport, a retired Letter Carrier and proud proprietor of D’port Taxi, Inc. was born in Cumberland County, VA on June 18, 1935 to cucumber and tobacco farmers, the late Harry and Mary (Fleming) Davenport. He was the youngest of seven children and attended the public schools of Cumberland County. Prior to leaving Virginia, he accepted Christ as his savior and was baptized at the Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Cumberland, Va.
Shirley moved to New Jersey in 1954, where he secured a job with Berless Cartons in Paterson, NJ. Shirley eventually moved to Montclair, where he met Letitia Henson on the steps of the Bright Hope Baptist Church in 1956. Shirley joined Bright Hope in 1957 before entering active duty in the US Army. He and Letitia were married on October 24, 1959. God blessed their union with four children.
After leaving active service, Shirley returned to Montclair and went to work at the U. S. Postal Service in 1962. He was a letter carrier for more than 27 years and served as the president for the Montclair branch of the National Alliance of Postal Employees. In this role, Shirley and Letitia attended conventions in Boston, Hartford and Atlantic City.
Shirley loved to help people and was always willing to serve. He had “Here comes help” and “There goes help” painted on the front and rear of one of his cars during the 1960’s. Shirley loved Bright Hope where he served as a Sunday School Teacher, Men’s Usher, Trustee, and Church Treasurer. He would often stop by the Youth Center and church to check on the buildings and ensure things were operating smoothly.
Always a public servant, Shirley was an active member of the Montclair Branch of the NAACP and served as the President. He received an award in recognition of his community involvement in 1999. He also served on the Montclair Volunteer Ambulance Service.
Shirley leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife of 61 years, Letitia, three sons Ronald (Julie) Yukon, OK, Reginald (Stephanie) Plainfield, NJ, Rodger Montclair, NJ, one daughter Sharon Montclair, NJ, one brother-in-law Cornelius Henson (Hazel) Washington, DC, fourteen grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and a number of nieces, nephews and cousins.
"In lieu of flowers please feel free to make a donation in Shirley's name to any of the following organizations:
Bright Hope Baptist Church - Youth Ministry
Montclair Branch of the NAACP
Montclair Ambulance Unit