OBITUARY

Austin Steele Davenport

January 10, 1978May 12, 2021
Obituary of Austin Steele Davenport
Austin Steele Davenport We grieved when he arrived in this world because we did not know better, but we grieved tenfold when he left on May 12, 2021. Austin Steele Davenport was born January 10, 1978 with Down syndrome. As he grew, his smile was beguiling; he danced like a dream; his personality filled the room; he was definitely not a follower. As a child, his greatest love was creating and performing in short plays and puppet shows for anyone who would sit down and watch. He learned about serious acting while he was at Lake Highlands High School in Dallas. After graduation, he continued doing live theater the rest of his life. He found a marvelous home in acting and in expressing his relationship with God at Highland Park United Methodist Church’s BELONG Ministry, where his creativity was given free reign. Austin found most social joy from groups of people. The more the better. He was introduced to Best Buddies through a program at SMU where he met a friend for life, Ricky Townsend. A freshman at the time, Ricky was “matched” with Austin for what turned out to be a lifetime friendship. Ricky taught him how to have fun in a way he did not know existed. Another source of pleasure for him was The Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas which nourished the friendships he made and coached his family in making life with disabilities livable. He was not satisfied with just social interaction. He wanted purpose. Growing up, Austin worked part-time at the local Braum’s until he began full time employment at the age of twenty. His most recent employment was with Baker Botts law firm in downtown Dallas. He found great joy working for thirteen years in the mailroom. There was no one Austin did not accept unconditionally. Presidents of boards, elderly neighbors, peers with disabilities, and people who lived on the street. All considered him a valued friend--and he them. For a decade, he managed life on his own in a duplex with modest support, waking up and heading to work each day, preparing his meals, cleaning his kitchen, mowing his yard, buying his Starbucks. It still wasn’t quite enough. He fell in love with Christi Hockel from Walnut Creek, CA. She also has Down syndrome. They joined their lives together October 10, 2009. Austin’s home became their home where they worked hard to figure out how to be a couple. It was challenging at times, but their love grew over the years. There was lots of forgiveness, lots of unconditional acceptance. Their relationship has been a model in many ways from which the world could benefit. Christi will now learn how to do life without her best friend. Austin leaves behind his grateful parents Richard Steele Davenport and Nancy Lambert Davenport, his brother Richard Buckley Davenport, his sister Elizabeth Davenport Hughes, his brother-in-law Timothy Robert Hughes, his nieces Campbell Ireland Hughes and Elizabeth Margaret Hughes to say nothing of the love of his life, Christina Marie Hockel Davenport, her wonderful parents and their family, and so many friends and extended family. A celebration of his life will be held at Highland Park United Methodist Church on Saturday May 22, 2021 at 10:00 am in Wesley Hall or livestream https://online.brushfire.com/hpumc/funeral/gm6wp3kh6t. The family encourages all attending the service to wear bright colors, if possible. Donations in his memory in lieu of flowers/gifts may be given to: • Best Buddies of Texas - https://www.bestbuddies.org/texas/austin-davenport • Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas - 1702 N. Collins #170 Richardson TX 75080 • Highland Park United Methodist Church BELONG Ministry - 3300 Mockingbird Lane Dallas TX 75205

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Past Services

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Memorial Service (10am Central Time)