Mary Carol Downing, 77, of Memphis, died Friday, September 27, 2019 at her home with family and friends.

She was born the daughter of W. Harold and Violet Irene (Asher) Murphy on October 11, 1941 in Kirksville.    Phillip Pinkerton was Mary’s stepfather in her early teens.  The family included Mary, her brother, Gary Murphy, stepsisters, Linda and Ellen, and stepbrother, Ronie.

Mary was educated in the Kirksville schools.

She received salvation with Jesus as her savior, accepting God as her savior during her childhood.  She was baptized at the Southside Baptist Church by Pastor Cyrus Davis in the Chariton River west of Kirksville.  Mary always liked Genesis chapter 1, “In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth with life.”

She was married to Charles “Chick” Downing on August 8, 1970 at Bible Grove by Terry Hunt.   Chick and Mary, along with Jerry and Tammy, resided in Memphis for 49 years of marriage with God’s help.   Mary was a textile factory worker in Mississippi, Kirksville and Memphis as well as a nurse’s helper and waitress.   She was one of the best wives.

Mary enjoyed her family, reunions, camping, fishing, vacation and just spending time together, especially going to church with her brother and sister.   She was fond of listening to her brother Gene, and his son Dave, bring God’s message on Sunday.   Mary savored going to the Bonaparte restaurant and having the house special drink and shrimp.   Conway Twitty was her favorite singer.  She liked to play cards with Roger and Noralyn Armstrong and their children.

Mary had a hand in raising her grandchildren, and cherished the time just getting to be with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren that she loved.

She was preceded in death by her parents; stepfather; brothers David Pinkerton and Gary Murphy; a sister, Roberta (Pinkerton) Morris; a son, Jerry Chuites.

She is survived by her husband, Chick, of the home; daughter, Tammy Jones, of Memphis; brother: Gene (Helen) Pinkerton of Kirksville; sister: Lenore (Larry) Rogers of Kirksville; sisters-in-law: Connie Halford of Greentop, Sharon Frederick of Memphis and Shirley Murphy of Kirksville; a brother-in-law, Charles Morris of Kirksville; grandchildren: Jerry (Stacy) Chuites of Cedar Rapids, Violet Chuites of Lancaster, Tabitha Chuites of Glenwood, Eugene Chuites of Moberly, Dylan Jones of Kahoka and Amber (Jason) Blake of Kirksville; 12 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., Wednesday, October 2, at the Gerth Funeral Chapel with Dan Hite, pastor of the First Baptist Church, officiating.   Burial will be in the Maple Hills Cemetery in Kirksville.

Visitation is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., prior to the service on Wednesday, at the Gerth Funeral Home.

Memorials are suggested to her great-grandson’s education fund or the charity or organization of the donor’s choice and can be left at or mailed to the Gerth Funeral Service, 115 S. Main St., Memphis, MO 63555.

Online condolences may be sent to the Downing family by signing the online guest book at

Arrangements are under the direction of the Gerth Funeral Service.

God does bless every day of our life.   May the peace of God be with you.