Rev. Jim Downing

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James R. “Jim” Downing, Sr. was born on March 22, 1936 in Paducah, KY, the son of Landrew and Easter Downing. He was the fourth child of six. He graduated from West Plains High School in West Plains, Missouri. Jim was a high school all American Football player and played for The Missouri Tigers and Southwest Missouri State Bears. He married Lillian Pearl Roddie on May 26, 1956.

Jim was a math professor at University of Cincinatti, Illinois State University and Southwest Missouri State University. He also was a United Methodist lay pastor for 29 years serving several churches in southern Missouri.

Jim loved people and life. He was a devoted husband, loving father, enthusiastic grandpa and faithful follower of Jesus. He enjoyed woodworking, running and biking. He cared deeply for people and especially loved kids. He started football at Branson High School and loved telling about the time he ran the Boston marathon at age 70. He loved Lillian, and was so saddened by her death 14 years ago. Now they are reunited. On July 6, 2019 Jim became a citizen of heaven.

He is survived by four children: Jim Downing, Jr., of Sedalia; Debbie and Mark Speer of Springfield; Jeff and Stephanie Downing of Ozark; and Julie and David Blevins of Ozark; nine grandchildren: Krystal, Kurt, Rachel, Tessa, Mackenzie, Jordan, Jesse, Lexi, and Zac; and 17 great-grandchildren with 2 on the way.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his siblings, and his wife.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 12, 2019 in Fraker Funeral Home, Inc., Marshfield, with visitation from 9:00 a.m. until service time. Interment will be in Ebenezer Cemetery, east of Marshfield.

Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimers Association and left in care of Fraker Funeral Home, Inc., P.O. Box 85, Marshfield, MO 65706.

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