Grace Dorothy Downing

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      Grace Dorothy Downing, 98, of Newark, Missouri, passed away Thursday, April 10, 2008, at the LaBelle Manor Care Center in LaBelle, Missouri.

    Dorothy was born the daughter of Claude Casey and Estelle Anderson Downing, on the Anderson farm near Plevna, Missouri, on June 11, 1909.

    She attended the Plevna Elementary & High School graduating with the class of 1928. Dorothy attended Culver-Stockton College and Northeast Missouri State Teachers College before teaching at Coe District Rural School from 1936 to 1937, earning $40.00 a month. Her duties included being the janitor and she commuted each day by horse and buggy. She also attended the a semester at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois.

    Dorothy later worked as a cashier at the Farmers Bank of Plevna, worked for the Haldeman Seed Company of LaBelle and then became bookkeeper for the Bank of LaBelle, founded by her father. During World War II, she worked for the Navy Department as a secretary in Washington, D.C.

    During her adult life she worked tirelessly teaching and holding various offices at the Mt. Salem Baptist Church. She was a pianist for five decades and was heavily involved as a member and officer of the local chapter of the DAR. She was highly respected in the community and she loved living on her Century Farm purchased from the U.S. Government by her great, great, grandfather soon after the Louisiana Purchase.

    Two of her brother have preceded her in death, Donald Downing and Andrew Jackson "A. J." Downing, along with her parents.

    Dorothy is survived by her 94 year old brother, James Willis and his wife Morena Downing of Colorado Springs, Colorado; a sister-in-law, Anne Downing of Columbia, Missouri; nieces and nephews, Andy and his wife Mary Downing of Edina, Missouri, Claudia Preisack of St. Louis, Missouri, Andrea Doetzel of St. Louis, Missouri, Marobeth Ruegg of Ashville, North Carolina, Jonathan and his wife Cheryl Downing of Colorado Springs, Colorado, James P. Downing of Denver, Colorado, Joseph Downing of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Donald and his wife Debra Downing of Colorado Springs, Colorado, David and his wife Crystal Downing of Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, and Joy and her husband Mark Riley of Ventura, California; along with numerous great nieces, great nephews and a host of neighbors and friends.

    Funeral services will be Saturday, April 12, 2008, at 2:00 p.m. at the Mt. Salem Church, west of Newark, Missouri.

    Visitation will be Saturday morning from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Doss Funeral Home in Edina, Missouri.

    Burial will be in the Anderson Cemetery west of Newark, Missouri.

    An expression of sympathy in memory of Dorothy Downing may be left to the Mt. Salem Church. A memorial may be left at or mailed to the Doss Funeral Home 208 N. 4th Street, Edina, Missouri.