January 1, 1929 – May 15, 2023
Ruth Elaine Van Zee Davenport left this earth for her eternal home on May 15, 2023, at 94 years old. She was born on New Year’s Day in 1929 in Prairie City, Iowa, to Martin and Nellie Van Zee and was one of six children. Ruth had great pride in being an “Iowa farm girl” and loved to tell stories about farm life. During her high school years, the family moved to the Rio Grande Valley and continued to farm there, although it was a very different experience. After a few years, her parents and younger brothers moved back to Iowa. Ruth stayed in Texas and moved to Houston and began a 30+ year career with Shell Oil where she had various secretarial jobs, eventually becoming a proofreader for Shell publications and reports. She was a great speller!
Ruth was married to Ray Davenport, and they had one son, Mark. She divorced in 1959 and never remarried. She was a fiercely independent woman and a devoted mother to Mark. She faced many challenges as a single mom, but she was proud of what she worked to accomplish. After retirement, Ruth moved to Comfort and bought a home on High Street to be closer to Mark and his family. Gardening was her favorite pastime and she always had beautiful flowers in her yard. In 2020, she moved to Boerne where she lived until her death.
Ruth was “full Dutch”, and she was proud of her heritage, collecting all kinds of Delft ceramics. She had a beautiful singing voice and sang in the church choir for many years. She was a member at John Knox Presbyterian Church in Houston and then at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Boerne.
Ruth was preceded in death by her son, Mark Davenport, her parents, four of her siblings, brothers George Van Zee, Hermann Van Zee, and Robert Van Zee, and her sister Joanne Erlandson. She is survived by her two grandsons and their wives, Brian and Nina Davenport, and Travis and Jennifer Davenport, and her four great grandsons, Thatcher, Forest, Elliot and Austin, along with her daughter in law and “stepson in law” Sherri and Steve Layton. She is also survived by her brother, Donald Van Zee and his wife, Dorothy, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
The family is very grateful for the care and kindness shown to Ruth over the past few years by the staff at Morningside Ministries at Menger Springs; first in independent living, then assisted living, and finally in long term care. Also, the staff of Alamo Hospice was so supportive and helpful in her final days. There will be a graveside service later this summer when both grandsons can be in Texas. Please contact the family if you’d like more information. To leave condolences for the family, please visit www.ebensberger-fisher. com. Arrangements with Ebensberger-Fisher Funeral Home of Boerne.