Born Nov. 19, 1916, in Malden, son of the late Sam G. and Nellie Downing, he was a 1934 graduate of Malden High School, a Captain in the U.S. Army/Air Force during WWII, and owner/operator of Farm & Home in Malden for over 60 years and never retired although his son ran the business in his later years. He was a member of the United Methodist Church in Malden, an avid supporter of many activities and organizations concerned with the betterment of Malden, served on the Board of Public Works for many years and was also active in the Boy Scout Council for Southeast Missouri, appointed an Honorary Colonel under the administration of Gov. John Dalton and served on the Athletic Commission for the State of Missouri. He was an inductee into the first annual Dunklin County Wall of Honor, selected as a Citizen of Year in Malden, a former member of the Lions Club, served on the Malden School Board, member of the Malden Historical Museum executive board, served many years on the Dunklin County Library Board, a "die-hard" Democrat, who thoroughly enjoyed political rallies and elections. He helped transform the Airbase into an industrial park as a member of the Malden Industrial Committee and he served on the Malden Airport Board, Dunklin County Hospital Board and the United Fund.
On June 3, 1943, in Langley Field, Va., he married Marion Eberhard. They enjoyed 62 wonderful years together before her death on March 25, 2006. He was also preceded in death by two sisters, Mary Ellis and Margaret Lay and three brothers, J.L. Downing, Sam Downing Jr., and George Downing.
Survivors include one son, John Andrew Downing Jr., and wife, Carol, of Malden; two daughters, Anne Downing, of San Antonio, Texas and Martha Twist and husband, Rick, of Rogers, Ark.; one sister, Nell Powell, of Malden; four grandchildren, Molly Schulte, of Dallas, Texas, Andrew Twist, of Bentonville, Ark., Susan McCormick and husband, Frank, of Springfield, Mo., and Meredith Garris and husband, Tim, of Malden and three great-grandchildren, Lexie Lambott, Ashley Lambott ad Kailee Garris.
Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., today, Wednesday, Dec. 17, at the Landess Funeral Home in Malden.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 18, at the Landess Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Susan Marner Sides and Rev. Greg Dowler officiating.
Burial will follow in the Park Cemetery at Malden.
Pallbearers are Bobby Bennett, David Burdin, Butch Burrows, Ron Dell, Charley Dierks, Larry Evans, Jimmy James and Patrick McHaney.
Honorary pallbearers are Jim Collier, Mart Bostic and J.D. Wagster.
Memorials may be made to the Malden Public Library or the charity of your choice.