Memorial services for John Downing of Creston, Iowa will be 11:00 AM, Saturday, March 4, 2023 at the Orient United Methodist Church with Rev. Samuel Ansong and Mr. Rich Thompson officiating. Interment with Military Honors by VFW Post #1797 will be in the Greenfield Cemetery. A visitation with family receiving friends will be from 9:00 – 10:30 AM Saturday. A dinner will be served in the 4-H building at the Adair County Fairgrounds following the interment. The family invites you to attend the dinner even if you are unable to attend the service. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Orient United Methodist Church &/or Orient Fire and Rescue. Pearson Family Funeral Service & Cremation Center is in charge of arrangements. Memories and condolences may be shared online at www.pearsonfuneralhomes.com
John grew up in rural Adair and Union Counties. He graduated from Orient High School in 1950 where he enjoyed playing sports. His father was killed in a farming accident in the fall of 1948, his junior year of high school, so John and his siblings helped the best they could to pick up the slack in the farming operation. John served in the United States Army from 1953 to 1955 during the Korean Conflict. He was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia and was very proud to serve his country. After his service he returned home and married his high school sweetheart Betty Mae Conard on November 6th, 1955. To bless this union were two children, Steve in 1958 and Brenda in 1961. They partnered with Joe Sipra and raised registered Hereford cattle until 1961 when John and Betty purchased the home farm.
John was a long-time member of the Orient United Methodist church where he served on several boards. He was an active member of the Elks and Masonic lodges, founding board member of Creston Feed and Grain and was a member of Southwest Iowa Home builders’ association for many years. Holding many offices of both boards. Over the years he held many offices including president.
In 1977 John and Betty decided to branch out into innovative technology when they started their own business, Solar Systems of Iowa. They sold solar panel systems, fireplaces, and later added custom homes to the business. They exhibited their fireplaces and custom homes at several trade shows including the Home and Garden show at Veterans’ Auditorium and the Iowa State Fair for more than 20 years. While exhibiting John thoroughly enjoyed meeting and talking with people from near and far.
When the opportunity presented itself, he enjoyed playing town ball, hunting, and fishing. He loved spending time with his grandchildren, where he passed on his love of the outdoors and all things farming. He also enjoyed his great granddaughters and was always happy to play Polly Pockets and Cattle Farm, much to their delight.
John and Betty enjoyed traveling to places like Canada, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Montana, Idaho, and Cancun, Mexico just to name a few. They raised top quality show cattle with their son Steve. Over the years they earned top honors at NWSS, NAILE, and AK-SAR-BEN, along with multiple state and county fair winners.
John is survived by his son Steve (Karen) Downing, daughter Brenda (Gary) Thompson; grandchildren, Ashley (Derek) Hommer, Myles (Skylar) Thompson, Kysa (Josh) Woods, Chisum Downing (fiancé, Katelyn Clariday) and Heath Downing; great grandchildren Kynlee Hommer, Letti Mae Thompson and Maren Thompson. John is also survived by his sister-in-law Sharen Downing, and sister and brother-in-law Shirley and Max McDermott along with several nieces, nephews, and other relatives that he loved dearly.
John is preceded in death by his loving wife of 67 years Betty Mae, parents Earl Daniel and Cammie (LeCocq) Downing. Brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Berniece Downing, Sister and brother-in-law Mildred and Earl Woods, nephew Sammy Woods, brother Donny Downing, brother-in law Larry Conard and sister-in-law Helen Conard.