John K. Deavenport was blessed with an abundance of leadership qualities. It would be accurate to say that this man was an outstanding professional, father and husband and that his natural leadership abilities served him well. He knew with certainty how he wanted to set priorities in all aspects of his life. John was flexible and tolerant and always took a pragmatic approach focused on immediate results. He wasn’t too into theories or conceptual explanations—these tended to bore him. He wanted to act energetically to solve the problem. He struck those who knew him as the kind of person who awoke in the morning with a clear sense of exactly what he expected from his day and how to set about accomplishing those goals. John was a man who definitely liked order and was most comfortable with an organized and structured lifestyle. When this climate was absent, John would set about immediately to create it.
His parents were Dorothy Adele Blackman and Jimmy Don Deavenport. John was raised in Midland, Texas. John was brought up to be reasonable in his actions and was taught to use his intellect wisely. He was an honest and straightforward child, traits that reinforced his self-confidence. Even at a young age, John was credited with having a positive influence on those around him.
The positive atmosphere that John generated spread to his family. John was raised with five. He had brothers, Larry, Mark, Fred and Jimmy, and sister, Connie. John served as a catalyst within the family. He often found himself in the role of providing fair solutions to those sibling disputes. In every family activity, John was able to demonstrate his uncommon logic and skill at building compromise.
John's enthusiasm for learning and the personal energy that enthusiasm generated led to his exhibiting leadership qualities early on in his childhood. He liked to see things executed properly and showed a skill for taking control of situations that were drifting out of control. At the same time, he was willing to experiment with different approaches as he worked a plan towards a solution. As a young boy, he took part in football, track, French Club, writing and history. He learned best by doing. In his spare time he liked playing outside and biking with his friends.
When it came to academics and school, John's organizational skills and unrelenting drive for excellence reaped dividends. John was able to create a system for getting his class work done in a proper and timely manner. With a strong ability to analyze his schoolwork and assignments, he could apply a practical, common sense approach completing his studies. He showed a natural curiosity in the manner in which he tackled new types of problems and would regularly challenge his own reasoning ability in finding solutions. He graduated from Azel High School in 1968. He enjoyed some courses more than others and developed favorite classes and teachers. His favorite class in high school was math.
The work habits and approaches to studying that John utilized in high school also served him well in college. John always seemed on a quest for knowledge. He was able to generalize, summarize and compile information for his classes, employing a matter-of-fact approach. John was intuitive and mentally alert, seemed to crave the challenge of solving complex problems. In addition to tackling his own studies, he also assisted and tutored others in their studies. He earned his Bachelor or Arts degree in Engineering from University of Texas at Arlington in only two years. He required special permission from the Dean to take an additional course load. Not only did he complete his degree in record time, he also graduated with honors and was a member of two honor societies, Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi.
In a group of friends and acquaintances, John was typically the first person to take the initiative to go up and greet someone new. That quality made him very approachable by others throughout his life. This same quality brought John the reward of many friends. Maintaining loyalty to those friends was a trait that came naturally to John. He believed that he should treat others in a fair manner, in the same way he wanted to be treated. John also showed a great deal of appreciation for the accomplishments of his friends. While growing up, some of his best friends were David Blackman, Larry Loveless, Don Huisman, and Bill Bush. Later in life, he became friends with Bill and Kathy Gray, Jim and Janet Herstock, Ray Eastlack, Mike Rowland, Jerry and Penny Swigart.
As John knew in other aspects of his life, he had a clear vision of what he sought in a relationship and worked hard to achieve it. On May 21, 1971 John exchanged wedding vows with Deborah Marie Brown at Church of Christ in Newark, Texas. Deborah was a significant part of his life, and it wasn’t necessary for John to be overly sentimental or expressive about it for others to be aware of their mutual devotion. John's secret to success was that he always kept the lines of communication open in the marriage and applied the important skill of being a good listener.
Family and children were important to John, even if he didn’t always show it. John was blessed with one child, one daughter, Jacqueline. They were also blessed with two grandchildren, Amelia and Audrey. John was able to keep order in the family by using the same efficient and straightforward methods with the family as he did at work. John rarely made a scene when it came to discipline. Instead, he was subtle and patient in his dealings when teaching the children right from wrong. He was always patient amidst the chaos of his two granddaughters who doted on him, making PawPaw pretend breakfast, lunch and dinners.
At work John was viewed as a natural leader. He could marshal all of the available resources, including personnel and materials, in order to meet virtually any objective. He was great at developing strategies and made maximum progress with little wasted effort. John was also adept at uncovering new and more efficient ways of getting things done. He was able to establish and meet objectives and schedules through long range planning and was always able to keep the big picture clearly in sight. Above all, John was an advocate for safety on the job site and was a stickler for safe practices at all costs. Although John might have been described by some as an overachiever, he was without question a dedicated and diligent employee. His primary occupation was project manager and throughout his career in the Oil and Gas industry worked on more than 30 major pipeline projects. He was employed for 34 years by British Petroleum.
Not only did John find pleasure in pursuing his various hobbies, he also enjoyed the discovery and research involved in learning about them. His skill at problem solving had a positive influence on these activities as well. His favorite pursuits were biking, skiing and working on classic cars.
No matter what the activity was, John had the ability to motivate others. This talent influenced his participation in sports, too. He sought out the possibilities in a competitive situation, and he stayed cool and calm under pressure. He relished the stimulation of the action and energy associated with sports. In high school, John played football. Recreational sports he enjoyed included skiing, running, swimming, and biking. He enjoyed following his favorite events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were football, auto racing and biking.
John's ability to motivate, direct and organize others made him a valuable asset to the organizations to which he contributed during his lifetime. John was one who could be counted on to work hard to implement goals and required little to begin work on a specific task. Once a project was begun, John had a definite methodology for seeing it through to completion. In college, John was a member of two esteemed honors societies, the Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi.
John was a man who took pride in upholding his beliefs. When he became active in community affairs, he did so in the same determined and forthright manner that he applied to other aspects of his life. While living in Alaska, John served on the volunteer fire department for ARCO Prudhoe Bay, Alaska Fire Department. In Texas, John served on the Cokeberry Forest HOA.
Traveling, especially vacations, was another way for John to apply his exceptional leadership and organizational skills. He liked exploring different places but also enjoyed designing and scheduling the trips in advance. He had real talent for developing the perfect itineraries. Travels included Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Colorado, Tennessee, New York, Alabama, Alaska, Canada, Mexico and Europe. Favorite vacations included skiing at Lake Tahoe and traveling to Tulsa Speedway in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
John was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. One of John's favorites was Pug, a small family dog. They were best friends for six years. His family was rounded out by his cats, Saffy, Sterling and Pester. Pester was particularly devoted to John and sought out his attention, so much so John jokingly called him Pester instead of his original name Pepper… and that’s how Pester got his name.
John was reluctant to retirement finally came in 2008, he was well prepared. He had worked out all of the details well in advance and knew exactly what he was going to do. Houston, Texes. In retirement, he found new pleasure in lounging in the pool, keeping up with business news and playing with his granddaughters. Always a well-informed person, John enjoyed adding to his wealth of knowledge.
John passed away on July 17, 2022 at at home in The Woodlands, Texas. John survived 14 years with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. He is survived by his wife, Deborah; daughter, Jacqueline; and his grandchildren, Amelia and Audrey. Services are being held at Forest Park The Woodlands Funeral Home and Cemetery.
John knew what he wanted from life and never hesitated in going after it. He could be characterized as a driven individual, someone who understood the importance of achievement. John was decisive and outspoken at times but was also positive and upbeat about most things. He was a leader, both intentionally and sometimes by default. If he saw that something needed to be done, he was always ready to step up and actualize, organize and implement a plan.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.forestparkthewoodlands.com for the Deavenport family.
Forest Park The Woodlands Funeral Home is honored to serve this family.