Jesse Paul Downing, the son of Earl Daniel and Cammie Marie (LeCocq) Downing, was born September 21, 1921, in Creston, Iowa. Paul was educated in the Union County Country Schools and Creston Public Schools, graduating from Creston High School. Following graduation, Paul enlisted in the United States Navy during WWII. He was stationed at the US Naval Training Station in Great Lakes, IL as an Aviation Cadet. Due to the death of Paul’s father, he received a Special Order Discharge on August 2, 1943 and he returned home to the farm.
Upon his return to Union County, Paul married Berniece June Antisdel on September 12, 1943 in Nevinville. Two children, Richard and Judy, were born to bless this union. J. Paul was a lifelong farmer, raising hogs and a large herd of Angus cattle He also grew corn and soybeans and practiced soil conservation; Paul was definitely a good steward of the land. He served on the Union County Conservation Board for over 20 years. He also served on the
Board for Green Valley Chemical for several years. Paul was a former member of the Elks Lodge, Eagles Lodge and the VFW. When he was younger, he was active in the Masonic Lodge.
Preceding Paul in death was his wife, of 72 years, Berniece in 2015; by his sister and brother-in-law, Mildred and Earl Woods; and his parents.
Left to cherish Paul’s memory are his children: Richard (Mary) Downing, Creston, IA and Judy (Dennis) Loudon, Afton, IA; eight grandchildren: Todd (Lesa) Downing, Creston, IA, Brett (Kathy) Downing, La Vista, NE, Kasey (Jody) Downing, Creston, IA, Cody (Jenni) Downing, Creston, IA, Chris (Ashley) Downing, Creston, IA, Traci (Tom) Lust, Des Moines, IA, Brook (Cody) Adams, Lenox, IA, Clint Williamson, Afton, IA; Eighteen great-grandchildren; his brothers: Donny (Sharen) Downing, Orient, IA and John (Betty Mae) Downing, Nevinville, IA; Paul is also survived by his special friend, Dennell Hensley, Orient, IA; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and host of friends.