Mrs. Sylvia Davenport, 83, formerly of Woodbury passed away on June 18, 2022, in Smyrna, TN. She was born on July 15, 1938, in Bell Buckle, TN. Preceding her in death were her parents, Carson A. Barrett and Regina Harrell Barrett, husband, Arrie Davenport, a son, Tommy Davenport, and brothers, Harold Barrett, and J. C. Barrett.
Surviving her are a son, Billy (Roxanne) Davenport of Smyrna; daughters, Mary Womack of McMinnville, Janice (Kenneth) Tenpenny of McMinnville, Peggy (Eddie) Moore of Smyrna, and Laura (Willie) Blake of Bradyville; daughter-in-law, Debbie Davenport of Bradyville; brother, Freddy Barrett of Woodbury; sister, Linda Daubenmire of Lancaster, OH; 22 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren with another soon to arrive, one great great grandchild, and numerous friends and extended family.
Life didn’t hand her a box of chocolates, starting out in what would be considered a little shack now. Her family lived in the Bell Buckle community in what must have seemed like the middle of nowhere. Even though they didn’t have a lot of worldly goods they were a close family. Growing up her sisters and brothers lovingly called her “Sis”. It stuck and that was all many people knew her as for a long time. The family made their way to Woodbury and her parents ran a restaurant where she worked as a young lady. Just across the street a young man on a motorcycle caught her eye. It was her future husband Arrie. It was love at first sight. For their first date he took her to the drive-in movies in Smithville for the Elvis feature, Love Me Tender. From that point it wasn’t long until they said, “I do” and started their family.
Life in Woodbury didn’t always offer a lot of opportunities for good paying jobs. It didn’t bother her or Arrie. They knew how to work hard and to stretch a dollar. He knew how to work on just about anything and she knew how to take care of the kids and the home for the first part of their marriage. It wasn’t always easy, but Arrie had a way of always coming up with something funny to say or do to keep things on the lighter side. Keeping up with six kids had its own challenges. When the going was tough her love of music helped sooth her nerves. If that didn’t work, she’d send the kids outside to play and turn the radio up when some of her favorite tunes came on. If Conway Twitty, Marty Robbins, or Freddy Heart was on she was dancing, singing, and humming to the beat. The tv never came on in the house and the radio never went off if she had anything to do with it. The kids remembered waking on many mornings to the sound of the radio and the smell of breakfast cooking. If she was up, it was a sure thing, she had a pot of coffee brewing and a cup of it in her hand all day. She was a great cook but of all the things they loved to eat it was her chocolate pies. It wouldn’t have been a surprise to nearly see a fight to see who would get the last piece.
Even though they didn’t have much money they made the kids feel like they were number one. Love filled all the gaps left by lack of anything else. They did their best to save up and go on a family vacation every year. It may have just been to Gatlinburg, but they made them feel like it was the biggest trip in the world. Christmas was a time when they went all out to make it the best time ever. Sylvia and Arrie spent many nights visiting and playing games of Rook until the sun was nearly coming up. If they were behind Arrie would “shoot the moon” on his bid. It would get her a little torn up, but they always had a great time. She and Arrie were coming close to their 25th anniversary when he passed away. Broken hearted but too tough and stubborn to let her kids down. She worked one of the hardest and hottest jobs in shipping at the Colonial Shirt factory making $3.35 an hour. Somehow, she managed to finish raising the last three children and pay off their home. Before he passed away, he made her promise to see all the kids get at least a high school education since he never had the chance. She kept the promise.
It was no secret that she was a die-hard UT Vols and Tennessee Titans football fan. Often you could find her in a well-worn UT sweatshirt and jogging pants. Her son, Billy, was able to get her introduced to a Titan’s player, which made her day. She also got the meet country singer, Earl Thomas Conley, who lived down the street from one of his best friends. It was the highlight of the year for her, because of her love for country music. Gospel music also held a special place in her heart. She loved to hear the Blackwood Brothers, Oakridge Boys, and Statler Brothers. Her faith in God and desire to raise her family right was a priority. She and Arrie made sure to take the kids to church at the both the Sugar Tree Knob Church of Christ for many years and the Woodbury Church of Christ where she was a long-time member. They were firm believers in spare the rod and spoil the child, and love covers a multitude of sins. Her children may now “arise and call her blessed” for her love and care for their family as a wife, mother, grandmother and beyond.
Visitation will be held at Gentry-Smith Funeral Home on June 23, 2022, from 5-8 pm. Funeral services will be Friday, June 24, 2022, at 12 pm in the Gentry-Smith Funeral Home chapel. Herb Alsup and Richard Burks will officiate. Interment will be in Riverside Garden. In honor of the care shown to her by the staff of Diversicare of Smyrna over the last several years, the family requests donations in her memory to host a staff meal and to help fund patient activities. Share condolences and memories with the family at www.gentrysmithfuneralhome.com Gentry-Smith Funeral Home, 303 Murfreesboro Rd. Woodbury, TN 37190. Because every life has a story.