Lonzo Robert age 99, of Glen Este, Ohio died January 13, 2017. Husband of the late Dorothy (nee Burdine) Davenport. Loving father of Rod (Sandy) Davenport and Gina (Randy) Sprague and the late Lee Davenport. Grandfather of Dottie Davenport, Christopher (Julie), Kristen (Charlie) Blair, Adam (Emily) Sprague, Haley (Joshua) George and Rachel Sprague. Loving brother of Frances Petry. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, January 21st 10:30 AM at Faith Church 5910 Price Rd. Milford, Ohio 45150. Memorial donations may be made to his church.
The Life of Lonzo Davenport
Lonzo Robert Davenport was born March 17, 1917 to James and Ellen Davenport in Barbourville Kentucky. He was one of 7 children, Lester, Claud, Johnny, Frances, Arrie, Olie, and Billy.
Life was very challenging for Lonzo. He lost his mother and baby brother, Johnny in the Swine flu epidemic before his third birthday. His father quickly remarried and his beloved sisters and his youngest brother Billy came along.
Lonzo was a hard worker and took pride in the work that he did.
He spent his childhood days on the farm. His main job was to provide the meat for the family's table. He hunted rabbits, squirrel and fished in the nearby creek. Like many farm boys during the Great depression he dropped out of school after eighth grade. He left the farm at 16 and worked in President Roosevelt's CCC camps, splitting rock for roads and putting out forest fires. He sent all but $5 of his pay back home every week and left his car at home so his sisters could use it to go to school. He had a quick mind and could fix almost anything (yes - even sometimes using duct tape). Living through the depression, he learned how to save and not waste a drop of anything. This was proven when several boxes of used spark plugs were cleaned out of his storage barns. (Never know when you're going to need a spare.)
He married Dorothy on July 30, 1939 and had a son, Lee the following July. They moved to Cincinnati in the 1940's to work in the factories there. He worked at Globe Wernicke, an office furniture manufacturer, turned plane making factory during WW II. He was passed over a couple of times for the draft due to the war factory work. When he was finally drafted into the army, the war ended, so he got to stay home. Two more children, Gina and Rod came along as well as his first granddaughter, Dottie. When Globe Wernicke closed he quickly got another factory job at Formica making wall paper, counter tops and bath tubs.
Factory shift work was just his money making job. He was always busy on other big projects after work and on weekends. When he wasn't rehabbing or building his own houses he was helping the church with some of their projects.
Even his hobbies revolved around work. He always put out a big garden each year up until his early 90's. He had to have his favorite "half runner beans", many varieties of tomatoes, and rows of sweet corn. Working on automobiles was another hobby that he enjoyed. He loved his cars, especially those that he restored. After "retirement" he continued working at various odd jobs, expanding his garden and raising apples. When his knees gave out he avoided the doctor's office and bought a Honda 4 wheeler instead. He found that he could even hoe the garden on it and plant corn while riding it. During his long retirement he helped with raising his grandchildren and when his wife came down with dementia he cared for her as long as he could. He was a faithful husband, a hardworking man who was always provided for the needs of his family and cared for his neighbors.
His Christian Life began at a revival meeting at Liberty Baptist Church in Norwood, Ohio in 1948. Both he and Dorothy accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and were baptized in that church. Lonzo said that until then, he just went to church for entertainment purposes - he loved that good ole Gospel Music. Soon after this, he moved to Clermont County and helped to start The First Baptist Church of Glen Este, serving as "trustee" for many years there.
If Lonzo stopped working long enough, it didn't take him very long to start talking. He was a story teller and he had some very interesting stories about his nearly 100 years on earth. He had a great long term memory so he could tell stories in great detail. He could describe all of the cars he owned, knowing the years and models and remembering exactly how much he paid for them, how those cars ended up and who he sold them to. He had 83 years of automobile history to talk about!
He also enjoyed talking about his adventures with animals over the years. One of his favorite stories was about the ground hog that lived under his front porch. He would tell that story every ground hog day. He would start out saying "that ground hog myth is really real, I know because I had one living under my porch and it would come out every year on ground hog's day. One year he ate cake right out of my hand!" Another story that would come up was the sad story of Lonzo's pet pig. He would caution his grandchildren to not eat their corn too fast because he lost his pet pig one day because it got a piece of corn stuck in its wind pipe. He said he knew that for sure because he dissected the pig himself afterwards, finding the swollen piece of corn lodged there.
Lonzo longed to celebrate his 100th birthday with all of you but the Lord preferred he celebrate with Dorothy and with Jesus. His earthly life ended on January 13, 2017, 2 months and 4 days shy of his 100th.