Dudley D. Davenport, 81, passed away suddenly on May 15, 2019 at his home in Westport, Massachusetts.
Dud was born on December 14, 1937 in Fall River, Massachusetts. The life that he lived was something legends were made of and anyone that encountered him would agree, he was larger than life. His legend began in Westport, Massachusetts where he was a standout athlete as a four-year starter on the Westport High School basketball team. Dud set the all-time scoring record for the school in 1956 netting 1,529 points in his career. This legend stood for fifty years before his record was eventually broken. In the true humble fashion of Dud Davenport, he was in attendance to shake the hand and congratulate the man who finally broke his record in 2006. Dud earned himself a basketball scholarship to the University of Rhode Island, where he continued his basketball career until graduating in 1960.
When Dud loved, he loved passionately. His first love was of the woman he began dating his sophomore year of high school, Shirley. Shirl and Dud eventually married in 1957. The couple spent 61 years married together before his passing. In that time, Dud and Shirl set the foundation of his ongoing legacy by welcoming and raising their four children David, Diane, Tracy, and Jay. The love that Dud and Shirl shared was something their children adored and strived for in their own lives. Eventually, once the kids were older and married themselves, Dud and Shirl enjoyed traveling the world and supporting one another through all of life’s highs and lows. Dud’s love for Shirl was unconditional. He had truly found his soulmate and his better half in Shirl.
Dud’s second love was his love for impacting the lives of children. He began his career as a teacher and coach at Roosevelt Junior High School in New Bedford. He spent one year there before moving to Sharon in 1961 where he became a science teacher, a coach, and eventually the athletic director for the Sharon High School. Dud’s coaching career was as legendary as his athletic career. In 23 years of being the head basketball coach, Dud tallied a record of 328 wins and 114 losses. This earned him five Hockomock League championship teams, nineteen teams qualified for the state tournament, ten semi-final appearances, and four final appearances. Dud was inducted into the state coaches Hall of Fame in 1989. He was also inducted into the Sharon High School Hall of Fame, and the Westport High School Hall of Fame. The Hockomock League further honored his achievements in 2010 by naming a division after him, the Davenport Division. Regardless of the number of awards that Dud won in his career, nothing meant more to him than the number of lives he impacted both in the classroom and in athletics. He was the voice of reason, the sounding board for advice, and the supporter of thousands of kids over the course of his career.
Dud spent over 40 years as a board member at the Sharon Credit Union. He rose through the ranks and served as Chairman of the board for 19 years before his passing. While in Sharon, Dud served as a deacon at the First Congregational Church. He was a longtime member of the Sharon Country Club, and was a beloved community member.
Most recently, Dud and Shirl spent their winters in Naples, Florida, where he spent his time with his Winter Park pals, playing golf, bocce, and cards.
Dud was an avid golfer, a New England sports fanatic, and true friend and mentor to all that knew him. He will be sorely missed. His given name was Dudley, Dud for short, but his life was far superior to his nickname.
Dudley is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Shirley. His children, David and Libby Davenport of New York, NY; Diane and Rick Malcolmson of Westport, MA; Tracy Davenport of Eastham, MA; Jay and Michelle Davenport of Sharon, MA. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Bobby Malcolmson, Jessica Stacy, Brett Davenport, Danielle Marchesini, Andrew Davenport, Jamie Fitzgerald, Eliza Fitzgerald, Caitlin Davenport, and Kendall Davenport. Also survived by his great-grandchildren, Kaylee Malcolmson, Maia Malcolmson, Sasha Davenport, and Sophia Davenport.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to Dudley’s Life Celebration on Thursday, May 23, 2019 from 4 to 8 PM in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole. Dudley’s family will gather with friends to continue celebrating his life on Friday, May 24, 2019 at 1:00 PM at the home of Jay and Michelle Davenport, 15 Edgewood Road, Sharon, MA 02067.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Davenport Scholarship Fund c/o Sharon Credit Union – 30 Pond Street, Sharon, MA, 02067.