A delightful baby girl was born on July 3, 1959, and her name was Stephanie Davenport. Stephanie was the 11th of 12 children raised by her parents, Rodney and Wilma (Thomas) Davenport. Steph’s grandmother “Busha” Wilma Thomas helped raise the children. In addition to the children, the family had numerous dogs, cats, horses, one pig and a monkey. We can only imagine what daily life was like in this lively household.
Stephanie always loved to sing, and she was part of a church choir named “God’s Children”. This group made several albums and toured the Midwest. Steph has at least one single on the album, although we have yet to receive any royalties. Steph also liked dancing and acting, and participated in plays at Wawasee High School. Riding horses was one of her favorite activities.
Steph started her college career at Ball State University, and her dream was to be an elementary education teacher. She was attending summer school during the summer of 1979, and also was tutoring students in math. David Clements was in Muncie working as a Construction Engineering Intern when he saw a former girlfriend at the store. She invited him to come over to her home. David arrived, and found Stephanie tutoring his old flame. Steph and Dave became fast friends, and went on many outings before they decided to become a couple. David proposed to Stephanie in April, 1980, and they were married on June 14, 1980.
David begged Stephanie to finish her college career at BSU, but she was adamant that she would travel with him to his construction projects around the Midwest (David was secretly delighted by her decision!). Stephanie was 8 months pregnant with their first child when Dave was assigned to a job in Birmingham, Al. Their first son, Daniel, was born in Alabama in August 1981. Several years later, Steph and Dave were living in Belpre, OH when their second child, Brittany, arrived 12 weeks too early in April 1985. Steph was transported to OSU hospital, and Brittany was put in the NICU until she weighed 4 pounds. Their third child, Patrick, was born in Indianapolis in 1989. Steph and David were living in Hammond, IN when their fourth child, Eddie, arrived in 1992.
Stephanie and her family loved to travel the United States and the Caribbean. They loved finding new places to visit, new foods to try, and meeting new people. Favorite places included beaches, museums, amusement parks, Broadway theater and National Parks.
Stephanie devoted her life to raising her children. Eddie was born with Autism, and Stephanie focused on educating Eddie at home. Those of you who know Eddie know what a great impact she had on Eddie! Stephanie was so proud of her children when they graduated from college. It is hard to describe how much Stephanie loved her children. She was so delighted that 3 of her children married wonderful spouses: Daniel married Amber Gulley in 2004, Brittany married Dan Ryan in 2009, and Patrick married Karlee Ferreira in 2019.
God continued to bless Stephanie and David when their first Granddaughter, Nora, arrived in May, 2009. As you might guess, Stephanie and David were over the top, goofy grandparents.
They were blessed again in September, 2010 when Ashley arrived, followed by Zachary in December, 2011. Their fourth grandchild, Audrey, arrived in May, 2012. Their fifth grandchild, Marcilene, arrived in November, 2023, and currently has the entire family wrapped around her tiny fingers.
Sadly, Stephanie was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s disease in November, 2019. This news devastated her and her family. Thankfully, we were able to care for Stephanie throughout this disease at home, where she passed peacefully in the night surrounded by her entire family. We are thankful for all the support, prayer, meals, and visits by our family and friends. Stephanie lit up every time you showed up at our home. She remained a cheerful and kind lady throughout the disease. Our family misses our sweet wife, mom and grandma.
Stephanie would want you to know she is at peace and is with her Lord. In lieu of flowers, Stephanie would want you to hug and kiss your family, and tell them every day that you love them. If you feel the need to make a donation, please make it to the Alzheimer’s Association.