He was the greatest husband, dad and grandpa. He retired from Noranda after 36 years. He was an EMT for New Madrid County, First Responder Crew Chief, Assistant Fire Chief of Gideon, Former Alderman of Gideon, Police Commissioner, Weblo Scout Leader and Mayor of Gideon. He was a Deacon of Stanfield General Baptist Church in Gideon.
Born on June 29, 1945, in Gideon, he was the son of the late Lavern Downing, Sr., and Luella St. Cin Downing. On July 26, 1963, in Gideon, he was united in marriage to Martha Ann Graham, who survives of the home.
Also surviving are three daughters, Tammy Rhoades of Perryville, Lisa and Marc Godwin of Sikeston and Nicole and David Ford of Gideon; six grandchildren, Drew Godwin of Sikeston, Alex Green of Perryville, Austin Godwin of Sikeston, Nick Stoelting of Gideon, Jalynn Ford of Gideon and LeeAnn Ford of Gideon, two sisters, Pat Wilburn of Gideon and Reggie Owens of Gideon and a host of other family and friends.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, Robert (Bob) Hawlett and one son, Ricky Downing.
Visitation was held Tuesday, September 25, at Bradshaw Funeral Home in Gideon. Funeral services will be conducted today, Wednesday, September 26, at 2:00 p.m. in the funeral home chapel with Rev. Andy Evans officiating. Burial will be in Stanfield Cemetery at Clarkton. Bradshaw Funeral Home of Gideon was in charge of arrangements.