October 4, 2007

(11/20/1952 – 9/26/2007)

Stephen Lowell “Steve” Downing, 54, of Memphis died Wednesday, September 26, 2007 in the emergency room at Blessing Hospital in Quincy.

He was born the son of Victor Lowell and Annie Irene (Bechtel) Downing on November 20, 1952 in Scotland County, Missouri.

Steve was educated in the Scotland County R-I schools and was a member of the First Baptist Church in Memphis.

He married the former Orene Wilson on August 22, 1987 in Decatur, IL. She survives.

Steve was a faithful and dedicated employee of the Johnson Pepsi Cola Bottling Co. in Memphis for 36 years. He started right out of high school.

He greatly enjoyed and was an avid race fan at the Scotland County Speedway. The Downings attended every Saturday night along with his nephew Adam and wife Melissa, and Helen Baker, whom Steve called his “second Mom.”

Steve had a heart of gold and would help anyone in need, if possible. He truly was a loving husband to Orene and will be sadly missed by all.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers-in-law, Mackey Ward and Bobby Wilson.

He is survived by his wife, Orene, of the home; a brother, Charles and wife Mary Downing of Memphis; sister, Sharon and husband George Frederick of Bible Grove; sisters-in-law, Sylvia Wilson of Arlington, KY, and Carolyn June Ward and Phyllis and husband Donald Gholson, all of Fancy Farm, KY; nieces, Charlene and husband Tracy Crawford of Copperas Cove, TX, Tammy Jones of Memphis, Debby Downing of Springfield, Lori Pillow of Lexington, KY; Aprilla Richards of Fancy Farm, Nedra Roger of Jackson, TN, Amber Rader of Kirksville; nephews, Allen Frederick and friend Karen of Overland Park, KS, Adam and wife Melissa Frederick of Downing, Jerry and wife Patty Chuites — Tabitha, Jerry Jr., Violet and Eugene Chuites, Dylan Jones, all of Memphis, Christopher Pillow and Tommy Mac Ward of Fancy Farm, and Gene Tyler Wilson of Louisville, KY; many special uncles, aunts, and cousins that he dearly loved and was very close to.

Funeral services were September 29 at the First Baptist Church in Memphis with Pastor Larry Groom officiating. Alan Richards provided music.

Ray Ward, Rick Hunt, Mike Johnson, Bob Garrett, Danny Buford and Randy Garrett served as pall bearers. George Koontz, Coney Baker, John and Gayle Johnson, David Peterson, Daly Lynn Lancaster, Jim Forrester, and Vern Bullock served as honorary pall bearers. Burial was in the Beulah Baptist Cemetery in Beulah, KY.

Memorials were suggested to the Scotland County Cancer Fund and can be left at or mailed to: Gerth Funeral Service, 115 S. Main St., Memphis, MO 63555.

Condolences may be sent to Mr. Downing’s family via email at gerths@gerths.com.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Gerth Funeral Service from its Memphis chapel.

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