Donald “Donny” Downing, 86 of Orient, Iowa, passed away July 25, 2021 at EveryStep Hospice House. Memorial services are 3:00 PM, August 3, 2021 at Pearson Family Funeral Service & Cremation Center. Family will receive friends 1:30 – 2:30, before the service. A private interment will be in the Greenfield Cemetery.
Donald Lester Downing, the son of Earl Daniel and Cammie Marie (LeCocq) Downing, was born December 14, 1934 in rural Union County, and was the youngest of their four children. Donny started school at Zion Consolidated Schools and graduated from Orient High School in 1953 where he participated and excelled in multiple sports.
On September 23, 1956, Donny married his high school sweetheart, Sharen Irene Felker. To this loving union, two sons were born, Mark Earl and Curtis George.
After his graduation, Donny had began his lifelong career as a farmer, and Sharen, growing up on a farm too, joined in after their marriage. They eventually settled in Adair County, raising crops, livestock and their family. He further expanded his involvement in farming by owning and operating Orient Fertilizer.
From a young child, Donny always had a deep love for horses. This love led him to breeding, raising, and racing thoroughbred horses. He loved watching his horses run, and rarely missed their races, no matter where they ran.
Having always enjoyed the outdoors, Donny instilled this love of hunting and fishing in his boys, grandsons and great grandkids. Loving sports, he was always there supporting his kids in their athletic endeavors, and as an athlete himself, he continued pitching fast pitch softball for the Orient Merchants for many years. He was always there for his family in whatever they were doing, encouraging them to work hard and do their best, and so proud of their accomplishments.
Through the years, Donny. was an active member of the Plymouth Congregational Church in Orient, served on the Adair County School Board (prior to the start of the A.E.A), was Past Worshipful Master of the Masonic Lodge in Orient, and the Vice President of the Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association.
Married for almost 65 years to his loving wife, Sharen, Donny is survived by his spouse, two sons, Mark (Sandy) Downing and Curtis (Michelle) Downing; two grandsons, Matthew (Sheryl) Downing and Adam (Heather) Downing; and three great grandchildren, Mikaela, Chasse, and Chloe. Donny is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, John and Betty Downing, his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Karen and Rex Hight, and several nieces, nephews and other relatives that he loved dearly.
Donny was preceded in death by brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Berniece Downing, sister and brother-in-law, Mildred and Earl Woods, his parents, and in-laws, George and Irene Felker.
Thank you all for being a part of Donny’s life. We will all miss him and be thankful for the role he played in our lives. In closing, we want to share what Donny would often say when we were going home, “Glad you got to see me”.