Our beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle, son-in-law and dear friend, Wayne Orville Downer, 73, El Dorado Springs, passed away Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. Wayne, son of Jesse Victor Downer and Hazel (Wood) Downer, was born in Glendale, Arizona on May 14, 1948. He graduated from Mt. Zion Bible School in Ava and served as a missionary in Mexico before enlisting in the Unites States Air Force.
During his childhood he lived in both Phoenix, AZ, as well as Salem, OR. Wayne was the sixth of seven children and had many fond memories of playing with his brothers, sisters and cousins at his uncle’s orchard, sledding on Mt. Hood, or running and playing in his neighborhood in Phoenix.
Wayne married Leola (McCullick) Downer on Jan. 8, 1971, in El Dorado Springs. They lived in Port Lavaca, TX during the early years of their marriage where Wayne was stationed at Matagorda Island, TX as part of the 4004th Air Base Squadron. While in Port Lavaca, they had their only child, Bryan. After fulfilling his duties to his country, the family moved to El Dorado Springs where Wayne would reside until 2018 when he moved to Springfield to be close to his grandchildren.
People recall Wayne to be someone who was always cheerful and full of life. He worked for the telephone company in El Dorado Springs for many years then later for the city electric power department. During their 47 year marriage, Wayne and Leola enjoyed boating, car shows, visiting Florida and spending time with their family. After retirement, Wayne enjoyed taking his grandchildren for rides in his golf cart, feeding his deer and working on projects with his son and daughter-in-law.
He is survived by his son, Bryan Downer, and wife, Jennifer (McNish) Downer; three grandchildren, Keilei, Nathaniel and Alexis – all of Springfield; one brother, Lowell Downer, and his wife, Joan; two sisters, Marcy (Downer) Ozanne, and her husband, Lonnie, – Greenback, TN and Melody (Downer) Willard – Maryville, TN; as well as 14 nieces and nephews and 22 great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Leola Downer; parents, Jesse and Hazel Downer; sister, Beverly (Downer) Jerkins; and brothers, Eugene Downer and Lyle Downer.
Services for Wayne Downer will held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, at the El Dorado Springs Church of God (Holiness) with burial to follow at the El Dorado Springs City Cemetery under the direction of Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home.
Visitation will be held from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, at Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers donations are suggested to St. Jude’s.
Online condolences may be left at www.blandhackleman.com.