I entered this world at home in Middleton, MI on April 2nd 1933, the fifth of seven children born to Chancey W. and Myrtle L. (Chamberlain) Downing. When I was 10 years old we moved to a farm in Pewamo where I grew up, went to school and graduated with the class of 1951. In 1952 I married the love of my life, June Janes, of Ionia, MI. We were blessed with 4 wonderful children, 13 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. We moved to St. Johns in 1952 where I went to work for Egan Ford Sales as a mechanic. In 1975 a partner and I bought the dealership and owned it until 1984, when we sold it to Frank Pauli. I worked for Frank until I retired in 1995. I continued to work for Frank, after I retired, driving cars. I loved all sports especially St. Johns Redwings and P-W Pirates. I had the honor of being chosen to be the Honorary Redwing for two Homecoming parades. I enjoyed working and coaching the youth of the community. I was one of the founders of the St. Johns Little League program and the Clinton County Soap Box Derby. I was on the Board of Directors for the Clinton County Golden Gloves Boxing team, Vice President and President of the St. Johns Jaycee chapter where I won the Distinguished Service Award for service to the community. I loved all kinds of hunting and fishing. I really enjoyed the family fishing trips to the cabin at Houghton Lake. I especially loved the turkey hunts with special friend John Williamson and the deer hunting trips to the UP with special friends Gordon Matter, Bob Lublow and Lou Richards: and in the later years, with son in law Mark Heibeck, grandsons Jason Heibeck and Ken Kendall and two very good friends, Lonnie Richards and Tony Miller. I was pre- deceased by my parents, brothers and their spouses: Eldon and Violet Jean (Perry) Downing, Reverend Kendall and Lillian (Dietrich) Downing, their son Reverend John Downing, and Eugene and Donna (Fox) Downing; also a sister and brother in law, Barbara (Andrew) Gager and infant sister Gloria Downing. I am survived by my wife of 67 years, June Downing, youngest sister Glenna (Downing) and her husband Ed Miller and many nieces and nephews. My children: Brenda (Downing) Munger and her husband Mike, Brian Downing and his wife Barbara, Becky (Downing) Stoddard and Barbie (Downing) Heibeck and her husband Mark. Also, my 13 grandchildren: Gina, Elissa (Joel) & Shawna, Michelle (Ken), Jacob & Morgan (Marc), Allison (Dan), Cody (Brandi), Casey & Emily, Jason (Molly), Jamie (Theron) & Britney. Well, it is time to sign off, I hear my calling. No goodbyes, just so long until we meet up later. God Bless you all.
Love, Grandpa Jack
Funeral services will be held 11:00 AM Monday, October 14, 2019 at Pilgrim United Methodist Church 2965 W. Parks Rd. St. Johns with Pastor Andy Croel officiating. The family will receive relatives and friends 2:00-8:00 PM Sunday, October 13 at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home, St. Johns. Jack has requested that any donations in his honor be made to The Sparrow Clinton Infusion Center or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
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