Howard Tarte Davenport
May 15, 1912 – May 20, 2015
Howard Tarte Davenport passed away May 20, 2015, 5 days after his 103rd birthday. He was born May 15, 1912 to Noah Cleveland Davenport and Clara Ellen (Tarte) Davenport at Unalaska, Alaska Territory. His mother and father kept a detailed diary for the two years they lived there and wrote about that very special day. His father wrote, late that night, "This day will be a memorable one to us for all time. Our boy came this evening at 10:00 o'clock." Howard was 6 weeks old when his family left Unalaska and moved back to Whatcom County, Washington, where all of his grandparents lived. A short time later his family moved to Seattle, where he lived the next 93 years in the Rainier Beach area of South Seattle.
He was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 60 years, Isabella Mary Davenport. He is survived by his 3 children: Janice Robinson (Arthur) of Dupont, Washington, Howard K. Davenport (Sharon) of Kent, Washington, and Janet Rosa of Jacksonville, Florida; 5 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his younger siblings: Robert Davenport, James Davenport, and Margaret Boaz.
Howard learned to play a cello when he was 14 years old, and continued playing it throughout much of his adult life. In the 1930's he joined a group of musicians who played Christian music on KVL radio. The Radio Gospel Train would broadcast from the 42nd story of the Smith Tower in downtown Seattle.
Howard attended the University of Washington, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree and Secondary Teaching Certificate in Education in 1949. He majored in History and minored in English. He taught in the Seattle School District, at Rainier Beach High School, as a Language Arts teacher until his retirement at the age of 65 in 1977.
Howard held several different jobs during his lifetime. He delivered the P.I. newspaper as a school boy, worked at Boeing, had several other odd jobs, and finally settled on a teaching career for the last 17 years before retiring.
Howard loved to read, study, and teach the Bible. In 1947 he received a Bachelor of Theology Degree from Anderson College and Theological Seminary in Anderson, Indiana. He loved going to church and over the years led many Bible Study groups. He came to live with his son Howard K when he was 93 years old. At the age of 95, in 2007, he was still leading a Bible Study at the Presbyterian Church at Rainier Beach.
Howard met Isabelle Kirkland, who lived in Ohio, in 1935. She had come to Seattle to visit her relatives, who were friends of the Davenport family. They were married June 18, 1940 at her family home in Amsterdam, Ohio. When they were on their way home to Seattle, after the wedding, they were one of the first automobiles to cross the newly constructed floating bridge over Lake Washington. When he and Isabelle retired from teaching, they enjoyed traveling to many places including England, Scotland, Australia, Alaska, and Hawaii. They also took many road trips around the United States.
During the last few years, Howard's vision deteriorated. Macular Degeneration affected his ability to read; the one thing he really loved to do.
In 2014, at the age of 102, Howard lived in his own apartment at Merrill Gardens, a senior community, in Renton, Washington. We want to thank them for the wonderful care they, and his special care-givers, provided for him.
This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.