James R. “Jim” Downing, Sr.

James R. "Jim" Downing, Sr., was born March 22, 1936, in Paducah, Kentucky, to Landrew and Easter Downing. On July 6, 2019, Jim became a citizen of heaven.

Jim graduated from West Plains High School. He was a high school all-American football player, playing for the Missouri Tigers and SMS Bears. He married Lillian Pearl Roddie on May 26, 1956.

Jim was a math professor at University of Cincinnati, Illinois State University and SMSU, and was a United Methodist lay pastor.

Jim was a loving husband, father, grandpa and faithful follower of Jesus. He enjoyed woodworking, running and biking. He started football at Branson High School and ran the Boston marathon at age 70.

He is survived by four children: Jim Downing, Jr., Sedalia; Debbie (Mark) Speer, Springfield; Jeff (Stephanie) Downing, Ozark; and Julie (David) Blevins of Ozark; as well as nine grandchildren; and 17-great-grandchildren, with two more on the way.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his siblings and his wife.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 12, 2019, in Fraker Funeral Home, Inc., with visitation from 9 a.m. until service time. Interment will be in Ebenezer Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

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