Dr. Bruce Nelson Davenport, age 93, was born in Saranac, Michigan to Nelson and Mable Davenport. He went to be with the Lord on Saturday, July 10, 2021. Dr. Davenport is survived by his wife, Harriet Wheelock Davenport; and his children, Gerald and his wife RoxAnn, Paul and his wife Cherith, Merle and his wife Karen, and Diane Sander and her husband Donald; in addition to nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren; one brother, Dr. Edward and his wife Shirley, and one sister, Ethelyn and her husband Arthur Rasmussen. He was preceded in death by his parents Nelson and Mabel Davenport, his brother Ivan, and his wife Mildred Louise Avis Davenport.
Dr. Davenport attended the Saranac Free Methodist Church where a missionary came to the church and talked about missions. Bruce felt a strong calling to go to Africa as a medical missionary.
After graduating from Lowell High School, he went to junior college in Spring Arbor where he met Mildred Avis. They were married on August 29, 1947. They moved to Adrian where he was appointed to Pastor of the Petersburg/Townline Churches. A year later they were appointed to the Sherwood Free Methodist Church. While he was there, he felt a renewed call to medical missions, so they moved to Seattle, WA where he finished his pre-med and medical school. After finishing his internship, they moved to Spring Arbor in 1958.
In 1967, he worked at the mission hospital in Greenville, South Africa. In 1982, he was able to return to South Africa. After a miraculous deliverance in 1986, it became clear that they should return to the United States.
On October 19, 2012, his wife Mildred Avis Davenport passed away. They had been married for just over 65 years. Later, he married Harriet Wheelock, a former missionary who served in Central Africa. A celebration of his life will be held at The Arbor Church, 120 E. Main St. Spring Arbor, MI 49283 on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at 2:00pm with Pastor Darold L. Hill officiating. Interment will follow at Spring Arbor Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Central Africa Health Organization c/o Free Methodist Foundation 8050 Spring Arbor Rd. Spring Arbor, MI 49283.
The family will receive friends at the Watson Funeral Chapel in Jackson on Monday, July 12, 2021 from 2:00-4:00pm and 6:00-8:00pm and at the Arbor Church on Tuesday from 1:00pm until the time of service.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Bruce N. Davenport, MD, please visit our floral store.
Central Africa Health Organization c/o Free Methodist Foundation
8050 Spring Arbor Road, Spring Arbor MI 49283