Major Bob L. Davenport flew his last earthly flight and arrived at his final destination on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.
“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth … Put out my hand and touched the face of God.” — “High Flight” by John Gillespie Magee Jr.
Bob was born to Lloyd and Mary (Sebesta) Davenport on June 26, 1934, in Burwell, Nebraska. When Bob was nine months old, his family moved to Nampa, Idaho.
Lloyd and Mary’s marriage ended when Bob was a young boy. Later, Mary wed Gordon M. Dyas, father of twelve children. Gordon and Mary added three more children, creating a “Yours, Mine & Ours” family with sixteen children.
From a young age, Bob had an intense desire to fly airplanes. After graduating from Nampa High School in 1952, he worked for Honstead’s Car Dealership and Clark’s Flying Service in Nampa. Wanting to learn to fly, Bob would often trade his wages for flight time.
Bob spent one year in the National Guard before joining the United States Air Force in March, 1953. After serving for three years, Bob was accepted into pilot school. In June, 1957, Bob graduated from the pilot training program, serving as a USAF pilot for 13 years. Bob served another four years as a Life Support Officer.
During Bob’s Air Force career, he was stationed in various locations, including Arizona, South Carolina, Texas, California, New York, Virginia, Guam, and Vietnam.
During Bob’s time as a pilot, he flew the F86-D and the F101-B as a fighter interceptor pilot, where his mission was to intercept unidentified aircraft(s) that had violated airspace by flying over restricted areas. Bob also flew the B57-B for two years.
In 1961, while stationed at Beale Air Force Base in California, Bob married Virginia Lindstrom. In 1969, while stationed at Griffiss AFB in Rome, New York, the couple adopted a baby boy, Matthew Lloyd Davenport. In 1977, they adopted a baby girl, Maryann Kathleen Davenport. Bob and Virginia’s marriage ended in 1993.
After 20 years of military service, Bob retired from the U.S. Air Force and brought his family back to Nampa, Idaho to be closer to family.
Bob worked at the Armour Meat Packing plant and was a Canyon County Volunteer Sheriff’s Deputy before beginning a 26 year career as a carrier with the U.S. Postal Service, delivering mail to the residents and businesses of Nampa.
From 1965 to 1970, Major Davenport was the holder of the Individual Base Carbine Championships at Griffiss AFB, New York. He was awarded the title “Top Gun'' at the National Rifle Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio, where he outshot 495 other shooters. He walked away from that competition with both gold and silver medals.
Bob was an avid outdoorsman and a gun aficionado, reloader, and sharpshooter. He was an exceptional hunting guide, and everyone’s favorite hunting camp host.
It has been said that if Bob could have earned a degree in gun knowledge, he would hold a doctorate. He made sure that anyone who was interested in shooting or hunting had the history, knowledge, skills, and of course, a gun.
In the summer of 1993, Bob was registering for an upcoming surgery at Mercy Medical Center in Nampa. There, he met Sue Aman-Horn, a surgery coordinator. A few months after that chance meeting, Sue saw a photo and article about Bob in the newspaper. Sue made the bold move of calling to wish Bob, the Mailman, a happy birthday. That phone call became the beginning of their beautiful love story. Bob and Sue were married on May 21, 1994, blending their two families into one.
After marrying, Bob and Sue purchased a home with land near Murphy, Idaho, establishing their life together in the high desert of Owyhee County. Bob loved and used every square inch of their property. Eventually, Bob had to leave his heart at their homestead when it became necessary for them to move closer to town.
In November, 2018, after sustaining a serious injury from a fall, Bob moved to the Idaho Veterans Home in Boise, ID.
For three years, Bob was lovingly cared for by the doctors and nurses on One-West of the Veterans Home as he fought many difficult medical issues caused by Agent Orange.
When it became apparent that Bob was nearing the end of his life, Sue made the decision to bring him home where he would be cared for and surrounded by his family and friends.
Bob leaves us with a deep-rooted legacy of love and compassion, and we will be eternally grateful for the impact he made on our lives.
Bob is preceded in death by his parents, numerous siblings, relatives, and his beloved daughter-in-law, Andrea Horn.
Bob is survived by his wife, Sue Davenport (Nampa, ID); his children, Matthew (Kristi) Davenport (Pocatello, ID); Sheila (Duane) Taylor (Nampa, ID); Aaron Horn (Nampa, ID); and Maryann Cartner.
Bob had eleven grandchildren: Garrett Davenport (Mountain Home, ID); Olivia (Preston) Harris (Pocatello, ID); Ashley Taylor, Alexander Taylor (Fiancée, Mackenzie Miller) (Nampa, ID), and Nichole Taylor (Nampa, ID); Alyssa Horn and Kenlee Horn (Caldwell, ID); Kai Laukkanen (Olympia, WA); Jacob Mork and Easton Mork (Spokane, WA).
Bob is also survived by brothers, Don (Marie) Dyas (Renton, WA); Gordon (Sylvia) Dyas (Boise, ID); sister, Dee (Sam) Sampedro (Great Falls, MT).
Visitation will be held on Sunday, February 28, 2021 from 5:00-7:00pm at Nampa Funeral Home, 415 12th Ave South, Nampa, ID 83686
The memorial service will be held on Monday, March 1, 2021 at 2:00pm at Bethel Church of the Nazarene, 3001 12th Ave Rd, Nampa, ID 83686.
The service will be streamed live on YouTube (search “Bethel Nazarene Nampa”) or access this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC080Nl1pGJ_jttp_Z5SW3Jw at the scheduled service time.
With adoption being dear to Bob’s heart, those wishing to make a monetary donation to the adoption fund set up for Bob’s niece, Crystal (Cole) Cooper can do so online at this link: www.tvbiblemethodist.churchcenter.com under the “Give” tab for the Cooper Adoption Fund or click here: Cooper Adoption Fund
Bob’s family offers heartfelt gratitude to the compassionate and dedicated care team on One-West at the Idaho State Veterans Home, to Keystone Hospice, and to Dr. Michael Dee, Bob’s friend and physician.
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