Cozad Resident: Gerald “Red” Davenport, 86 (1926-2013)

Gerald “Red” Davenport, 86, of Cozad, Nebraska, died Tuesday, September 10th, 2013, at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney.

Red was born October 29th, 1926, at Mankato, Kansas, to Earl M. and Christean A. (Kirkpatrick) Davenport. Red attended school in Mankato, Kansas and Superior, Nebraska, before entering the U.S. Armed forces as a Merchant Marine in 1945.

Following Red’s honorable discharge in 1946, he returned to Nebraska where he eventually met and married Ila “Ike” M. Ohmstede on August 22nd, 1948, at Guide Rock, Nebraska.

The couple made their home in Guide Rock where they opened a furniture and appliance store. Their union was blessed with three children, Dan, Kathy and Randy.

In 1957, Red and his family moved to Cozad where he worked as a salesman at Hansen and Waters. Red later worked at the Cozad Local Newspaper for a number of years before becoming associated with Met Life as an insurance agent. He opened the Davenport Insurance Agency in the 1960’s, owning and operating the business for the next 20 years. After his eventual retirement, Red and Ike enjoyed travelling together throughout the United States and visited every continent except Antarctica and Australia and spending time with family and good friends. The couple had just celebrated 65 years of marriage this August.

Red helped countless people with their financial and insurance needs during his time running the insurance agency, but his dedication didn’t end with the needs of individuals. He was deeply civic minded, serving as past President of the Cozad City Council, Tri-City Shriners Club, Cozad Library Foundation and Cozad Country Club, where he played an integral part in starting the Haymaker Open and was tournament chairman for the event for 20 years. Red was active in his church, the Cozad United Methodist Church, the Cozad Chamber of Commerce, a charter member of the Cozad Jaycees, a member of the Aging Advisory Committee for the State of Nebraska, held various offices with the AARP, and was a member of the State of Nebraska Citizens Advisory Alcoholism Council. Red was also served as a scout leader and was a member of the Cozad Elk’s Lodge #2250 and the Guide Rock Masonic Lodge #128 where he recently received his 50-year pin.

Red was an avid reader and spent a great deal of time and effort in support of the Wilson Public Library. He was also a proud father and grandpa and tried hard to stay up on the events of his loved ones.

Red was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Irene Norwood.

Survivors include his wife of over 65 years, Ila “Ike” Davenport of Cozad; his children, Dan Davenport of Moscow, Idaho; Kathy (Al) Nelson of Crofton, Nebraska; Randy (Leah) Davenport of Carefree, Arizona; nine grandchildren, Kimberly, Kristina, Nathan, Katie, Alex, Kevin, Dustin, Brock, Brooke and sister Mary Ann (Charles) Paulger of Fremont, Nebraska.

Memorial services were held on Friday, September 13th, 2013 at 2 p.m. at the Cozad United Methodist Church with Pastor Doug Smith officiating.

Inurnment will be in the Guide Rock Cemetery at Guide Rock, Nebraska on Saturday, September 14th, 2013.

A memorial has been established in his memory.

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