Denvil Thomas Downing, 92, passed away recently.
He was born in Cullman, Alabama to George Washington Downing and Addie Levinia Baker on Sept. 8, 1920. They moved to Armorel, Arkansas in 1926, where he attended school and played football. He lived on a farm and helped his family tend the animals, the garden and the crops of alfalfa, corn, cotton and soy beans.
In 1936, Denvil married Flossie Rean Baker, and had two daughters, Shelby Jean and Luedean. He joined the National Guard in 1942 and served for two-and-a-half years. During this time, he bought a farm in Missouri, and later he managed a 400 acre farm for a local property owner. In 1946 he moved his family and his parents to California where he owned and ran Checker Cab Company in Downey for 10 years. He began working at Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach in 1958, where he supervised DC9 and DC10 production for 16 years. Today, he has two grandsons who followed in his footsteps and currently work at Douglas (Boeing). His life was forever changed when he accepted Christ in 1958. After a long illness, his first wife, Flossie passed away in April of 1960.
Mr. Downing met Millie Vail at Bellflower Assembly of God. They married in 1961, and had a daughter, Leslie. In the early 1970s, he moved his family and his parents to Oakdale where he bought a 20 acre farm. Escalon First Assembly of God was their church family in the ‘70s and ‘80s. He began working at the Oakdale Hershey Plant in 1974 and retired 10 years later.
An avid fisherman, he especially enjoyed fishing in Alaska. In 1983, he and his dad took a long awaited, memorable trip through Texas, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas and Alabama to visit kinfolk. In the ‘90s, the Downings developed lasting friendships in the Joint Heirs class at River Oak Grace Church in Oakdale.
Mr. Downing loved his family dearly and spoke each of their names in prayer daily.
Survivors include his three daughters, Shelby Barton, Luedean Croslin and Leslie Williams; five grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Flossie and his second wife, Millie. Denvil and Millie were very grateful for the Hospice staff that cared for them.
Memorial donations may be made to Community Hospice of Modesto, 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto, CA 95356.
A Memorial Service was held on Monday, Feb. 25 at Trinity Church in Escalon.
For condolences to the family, visit their website at www.deeganfuneralchapels.com.