Shirley Veale Davenport, 90
Shirley Veale Davenport, 90, passed away in her home surrounded by her family, following a brief decline in her health. She was predeceased by her husband, Richard (“Dick”), with whom she shared 54 years of marriage.
A resident of South Dartmouth for over 60 years, Shirley grew up in Marblehead, later graduating from Bates College in 1953 with her nursing degree. While Dick was in Officer’s Candidates School and beginning his Air Force career in Texas and Oklahoma, Shirley put her nursing degree to practice, eventually working at St. Luke’s Hospital when Dick was stationed at Otis Air Force Base.
Some years later, Shirley left nursing to dedicate her time to raising her four children, but was always immensely proud to mention she kept her nursing license renewed for many years, just to be prepared (as she always was). While busy with her children, Shirley also worked side-by-side with Dick, serving as the office manager and bookkeeper for his business, Davenport Distributing. In this role, her duties ran the gamut of a family business, wherein she utilized her keen abilities of common sense each day to better the business.
Shirley was a long-time and very active member of Congregational Church of South Dartmouth, where she was a Deacon for over 10 years, an organizing leader of the annual fundraising rummage sale for numerous years as part of the White Circle, and someone who was always ready to lend a hand to the other groups within the Church.
Shirley was also involved in assisting the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownies, and Girl Scouts during the times her children were participating in them. A Red Hatter and member of the Seahorse Bowling League for many years, she was also a founding member of the Clean Plate Club.
A longtime member of Anthony’s Beach, Shirley could be found entertaining many family members in her corner by the pier most summer weekends. She was overly attentive to all the family and friend’s birthdays, not just with a card, but a tailored note to go along with it. Her Christmas cards usually had to be started around Thanksgiving to get them to their destinations on time, again each with its personalized message. And if you needed a dessert to go with a meal, no matter how spur of the moment the invite was, all you had to do was dial up Shirley and she would be there, never empty-handed. She always made time to be with her grandchildren, whether to babysit, attend performances, sporting events, etc., and was proud to share their accomplishments with others.
Shirley, a true matriarch who deeply loved her family, leaves 4 children, Doug Davenport (and his late wife, Ilze) of Medfield, Nancy Kearney of Norwood, Steve Davenport and his wife Kathy of Dartmouth, and, Janice Davenport Russell and her husband David of Westwood, as well as 9 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother, Russell Veale, and his wife Eleanor of Manchester, NH.
In honor of Shirley, donations may be made to the family’s Jimmy Fund Walk Team, either by mailing a check to the Jimmy Fund Walk, 10 Brookline Place West, Brookline MA 02445, or by visiting danafarber.jimmyfund.org/goto/RoadRunnerRussells.
In lieu of a funeral, there will be a private graveside service for the immediate family.