A celebration of the life of Phyllis Jean Downing will be 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at Cedar Grove Church in Locust Grove. Visitation will be today at the funeral home from 1-7 with family receiving visitors from 5-7. Burial will follow at Little Rock Cemetery in Locust Grove. Phyllis passed away on Friday, June 21, 2013. She was 73 years old.
Born in Claremore on October 9, 1939 to Blue and Ada (England) Rowe, Phyllis was raised and educated in her birth community with her five brothers and sisters.
On October 5, 1958 Phyllis married Richard Downing and their union was blessed with three children, Tammy, Clinton and Janice. While raising her children Phyllis worked at Parsons Ammunition plant and in 1970 Tulsa became their home. In 1978 she moved back to her home town of Claremore and began working as an aircraft painter for McDonnell-Douglas until she retired in 1990 due to health issues.
Christmas and Easter were two of her favorite holidays because of their religious significance as Phyllis was strong in her Christian faith. Phyllis never failed to tell others about Jesus. She was especially instrumental in instilling God’s Word in the hearts of her children and grandchildren. Phyllis also loved to attend church and visited numerous church camp meetings as far as Oklahoma City, Louisiana and Kansas.
Spending time with family was one of her favorite pastimes. Phyllis loved to travel and spent her weekends driving around with her grandchildren and discovering treasures at garage sales. She was also a huge fan of Elvis Presley and always enjoyed his spiritual and melodic music.
This loving mother, grandmother and sister will be missed by all whose lives she touched. Phyllis is survived by her three children, Tammy Butler and husband George of Pawnee, Clinton Downing and wife Hazel of Tempe, AZ, and Janice Downing of Claremore; 13 grandchildren Ricky Williams, Jerry Heneha, Phyllis Butler, Cynthia Butler, Stephanie Butler, Richard Downing, Ja-Li Downing, Alex Downing, Mark Downing, Misha Downing, Melissa Downing, Dylan Backwater, and Devan Backwater; 13 great grandchildren; 1 great-great grandchild; brothers Charles McLane and Thomas Backward. She was preceded in death by her parents, 2 sisters and 1 brother.