Helen Davenport

Helen Davenport, 100, passed away peacefully with her children by her side, Friday, May 12, 2017, in Phoenix, Ariz.

Helen was born Aug. 30th, 1916 in LaFollette, Tenn. There she graduated from high school, worked as a book keeper and met her husband of 65 years, George Davenport. Helen and George were married in 1939 and shortly thereafter moved to Storm Lake, where they lived for nearly 60 years.

Helen was truly an entrepreneur and a business woman way ahead of her time. She didn’t just sell World Book Encyclopedias, she became the top sales person in the region. And when she signed on to sell Luzier cosmetics, she won national sales honors. In the late 60s, she opened a yarn shop in downtown Storm Lake called the Knitting Den. Always a stellar knitter who even judged at the state fair, Helen not only sold beautiful yarn but she taught dozens of folks in the area how to knit. Even George learned to knit his own sweaters. Later in life, Helen knitted caps for the kids with cancer at Children’s Hospital in Phoenix, lap robes for wheelchair vets and dog sweaters for shelter pups. She loved a challenge and there was no knitting pattern too difficult for Helen Davenport!

Helen and George were members of Lakeside Presbyterian Church and throughout her many years in Storm Lake, Helen was active in a number of service organizations including Ladies Aide and Meals on Wheels. For many years, she volunteered her time managing the BV hospital coffee shop. 

Helen and George were members of the Penguin dance club and charter members of Lake Creek Country Club. Forever a competitor, Helen played in many golf tournaments across the state every summer. She also bowled on two leagues and played pitch in a couple of clubs. But her real love was contract bridge. Again, she didn’t just play bridge, she killed bridge and quickly earned enough competition points to become a Life Master, playing in tournaments across the country. Once she honed her computer skills she also played online with people around the world.

Helen and George were snowbirds for many years and after George passed away in 2001, Helen moved to Phoenix full time. She enjoyed her time there reading, catching a  horse race or two, playing games on her iPad, working puzzles, knitting and stopping by a casino now and then to try her luck. Until a month before she died, she lived in her own home,  took a taxi to the Deer Valley Senior Center three times every week to have lunch with her many friends and play bingo.

Helen Davenport had a rich, full life and was well loved by her children: Steve Davenport, Sheri Davenport, Betsy Davenport and her husband, Bryan Ellis. Her oldest son, Michael, passed away two years ago. She’s also survived by many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and nephews.

Her memorial service will be held May 28, at 1:30 p.m. at Shadow Rock United Church of Christ, 12861 N. 8th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85029.