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Gerald M. “Jerry” Downs, 92

February 28, 2019
Northern-Sun Print
Gerald M. “Jerry” Downs, 92, of Marshalltown, Iowa passed away Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at the Iowa River Hospice House of Marshalltown, with his loving and devoted family by his side. A celebration of his life will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, February 22, 2019 at the First Church of the Nazarene in Marshalltown. Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, February 21, 2019 at Anderson Funeral Homes in Marshalltown. Following the funeral service at the church, combined Military Honors will be provided by Marshalltown VFW Post 839 Harry C. Harter Post and Marshalltown Frank Lewis Glick American Legion Post 46, with a luncheon to follow. A private family burial will be in Maple Hill Cemetery in Montour, Iowa. Arrangements have been entrusted to Anderson Funeral Homes in Marshalltown. Online condolences may be sent to www.andersonfhs.com. Jerry was born October 21, 1926 to Earl A. and Clara (Meling) Downs of Montour, Iowa. Growing up in a farming community, Jerry said of his mother, “She could milk a cow faster than anyone.” During Montour High School, Jerry established himself as an exceptional athlete playing baseball and basketball, qualifying for State Tournaments, and proud to have beaten Marshalltown, Ames, and Dowling High Schools. Drafted to the military as a high school senior, Jerry departed in January, 1945 bound for Korea. Sent to guard and protect the 38th parallel border, he served in the U.S. Army, 32nd Infantry Regiment, and received the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal and WW II Victory Medal. Upon his return, he received his high school diploma, and afterward continued his studies at Marshalltown Junior College in pursuit of a career as a history teacher and coach. Then the “new girl,” Donna Dunham, moved to town and became the love of his life. They married, and to this union were born Rick, Jim, Gerry, John, and Cindy. In 1958, Jerry joined a partnership forming Robbins & Downs Painting, and in 1960 moved the family to Marshalltown and established the professional painting company of Downs Painting & Decorating. Under his leadership, the company grew to serve the painting needs of the community, and today, its operation is in its 3rd generation of the Downs family. Together with Donna, his wife of 68 years, they enjoyed their children and grandchildren, and took many camping and fishing trips. The trips would culminate with everyone enjoying Jerry’s fresh fish-frys. He loved the outdoors; gardening, hunting, fishing, cutting elm trees for his roaring-hot wood burning stove. He was a true woodsman finding solitude and peace in his native, untouched timber land. He was a member of B.P.O. Elks Club, lifetime member of the Masonic Lodge, Marshall Lodge No. 108, member of the Frank Lewis Glick American Legion, lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and attended the First Church of the Nazarene. Left to honor his legacy are his sons Dr. Richard (Colette) Downs of Dubuque, Iowa, Jim (Marilyn) Downs, Gerry (Debbie) Downs, and his daughter Cindy (Joe) Mummert, and daughter-in-law Judy Downs, all of Marshalltown, and beloved grandchildren Jeff (Molly) Downs, Ryan Downs, Sadie (Tony) Geary, Martin (Katie) Downs, Joel (Dani) Downs, Leslie (Eli) Hargrave, Autumn (Zach) Smith, Levi Downs, Summer (Evan) Hoyt, Matthew Downs, Sarah (Dustin) Chase, Michelle Kriegel, and Cameron Mummert. Great-grandchildren include Noah, Lauren, Adriana, Cooper, Rebekah, Ellie, Michael, Maggie, Leah, Philip, Brianna, Isabella, Attalia, Noah, Freja, and two on the way. He is further survived by his brother William Downs of Dubuque, Iowa and longtime friend, Jean Hinegardner. Jerry was preceded in death by his son, John Downs, wife Donna Dunham Downs, great-granddaughter Siena Downs, and parents Earl and Clara Downs of Montour, as well as siblings, Lucille Downs Leiba and Gordon Downs. Memorials may be directed to Marshalltown Christian School. Jesus said… “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”

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