Johnny Ray Davenport was born August 24, 1935, in Marlin, Texas, to Hattie and WB Davenport. He passed away November 26, 2017 after a long battle with cancer.

He served his country in the National Guard at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, and was educated at Tyler Junior College and the University of Houston. He worked in photography and education related fields until coming to Region VII Education Service Center in Kilgore where he met and married Doris Iker. He worked as Director of Instructional Media for Kilgore College until his retirement. He was a gifted and accomplished photographer who proudly captured the official Kilgore College Rangerettes photo each year.

Upon his marriage to Doris on November 26, 1971, he became a stepfather to Claudia, Carol and Ron Iker (wife, Paula). They afforded him the joy of being a fun-loving, playful grandfather to ten grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

Johnny was a beloved brother to Dorothy Payne (husband, Olin), Bill Davenport (wife, Ann), Eda Smith (husband, Sid) and Janette Horak (husband, Hank). He coveted his role of uncle to nine and great-uncle to ten nieces and nephews.

He and Doris worshiped and served at Highland Park Baptist Church for many years. He prized his role as treasurer, deacon and Sunday school teacher, and cherished the life-long friendships forged there. Johnny enjoyed traveling the U.S. with Doris (and often a grandchild) in tow. He enjoyed nature and being in it whenever possible, and never wasted an opportunity to visit his favorite places the Big Bend and Red River, New Mexico.

The physical struggles were great at the end of his life, but his faith was greater. Those struggles have been replaced by the peace he now rests in. He is undoubtedly surrounded by all whom he loved that have gone before him, and has certainly been welcomed by the gorgeous roar of all the angels celebrating his arrival. There is comfort in knowing he has heard the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Johnny’s earthly journey was filled with countless adventures and accomplishments. His greatest was the love and joy he gave to all he knew who will forever cherish him and his memory. All of us blessed to know and love him are indescribably grateful for the time shared with him. His passing on his and Doris’ 46th wedding anniversary is a bittersweet gift. We know where he is now: out of pain, restored, rejoicing with his Lord and Savior, and likely already set to work preparing the mansion for the time when any of us join him in heaven. Much more than the sadness we feel as we miss him we are blessed by the hope of seeing him again.

Services for Johnny Ray Davenport, 82 of Kilgore will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, November 30, at Highland Park Baptist Church in Kilgore with Revs. Riley Pippen and Brandon Cochran officiating. Visitation will be held 1-2 p.m. Thursday at Highland Park Baptist Church. Private burial for family at Danville Cemetery will follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to the Highway 80 Rescue Mission.

Please leave online condolences

Special Sections