Obituaries » Loren Hugh Downing
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November 23, 1935 - January 23, 2022
Burial Date February 5, 2022
Funeral Home Russon Mortuary Syracuse
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An amazing man, Loren Hugh Downing, passed away January 23, 2022 at 86 years of age. He was son, brother, uncle, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend. He lived a full and interesting life, packed with adventure and service to others.
Dad was born on November 23, 1935 in Croswell, Michigan. He was the youngest of three brothers born to Vernon and Clythene Downing. His parents were both educators – Vernon was superintendent of schools and Clythene taught kindergarten.
Our father is survived by his adored wife, Jeanine. You only ever think of them together, as they were completely devoted to one another. He spent every day of their last 10 years by her side at her care center. His only regret was that he didn’t live one day longer than Jeanine, because he wanted to care for her until she died. He was so incredibly proud of Jeanine and her artistic talent. He loved to brag and show people her paintings, going so far as to turn their home into an art gallery. Dad passed away the day after their 40th wedding anniversary.
Dad is also survived by his daughters, Elaine Runyan and Tamara (Tom) Sells, and sons Kim (Donna) Rogers, Robyn (Sue) Rogers and Matt (Carol) Andrews. He leaves behind 16 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren. Dad was preceded in death by his son Kim Downing, and grandchildren Rachael Runyan and Jason Sells, and several great grandchildren. He was also preceded by his parents and both brothers, Norman and Paul.
To dad, life was one big adventure. He loved to travel and sightsee, and he thought going to the same place twice was just silly! He was a rock hound of the highest degree, and loved to mine for opals, topaz, obsidian, jasper – really, any rock was fair game. Then he would bring them home and make beautiful jewelry set in silver. Working in his shop was his passion. He found the beauty inside any rock, even polishing a piece of driveway gravel once to find a beautiful gem inside.
He traveled extensively with Jeanine, always planning fun trips. Among many other things, they spent a month in Belize; they camped in the back of their pickup while he rock hounded and she sketched and painted; they traveled in their RV and they had a great canoe adventure in the Great Lakes. He went to Italy twice (different cities!) and took a cruise that visited Croatia and Greece, he traveled all over the United States and he backpacked high up in the Rockies. He loved camping, fishing, gardening and living off the land.
When we were a young family, we moved often as dad climbed the corporate ladder, finally ending up near Cincinnati as the director of the largest chain of bakeries in the world (at the time). He learned to bake at the age of 14 while he worked sweeping and cleaning a German bakery. He spent most of the rest of his life in food service – catering, baking, decorating cakes and running the bakeries in grocery stores. He had great business sense and worked very hard to provide for his family.
Above and beyond all that, dad loved his Heavenly Father and his Elder Brother, Jesus Christ. He was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He lived the gospel every day, prayed for his family every day, and served in many callings over the years. He was generous, kind, and wanted to emulate his Savior in all he did.
He spent the last 6 years living with Tom and Tamara, and he was a blessing to our family. Dad loved to serve others, whether it was by fixing dinner for us or taking a friend out to ice cream. We had big neighborhood BBQ’s in our yard, and dad would fix the most delicious food. He loved going out to breakfast with Elaine and getting visits from the out-of-town sons. He always had a rule – the first time you visit, you’re company. After that, you’re family.
Dad and Jeanine had a very special “bonus” daughter, Chinutsu. She lives in Japan, and came to stay with them several times. First, they took her in as a visiting college student, and she came again as a friend. Chinutsu loved her papasan and mamasan, and they loved their Peanut. They exchanged mail and gifts, and Chinutsu even came back with her husband once. She is very dear to both of them.
For the last few months, Brio Hospice was a great help for dad and a great comfort for us. Nicole and Christina were loving, gentle caregivers, and they, too, became part of our family. I’m especially grateful for Nicole who sat with Tom and me, keeping dad comfortable on his last night and tenderly taking care of all his needs so I could sit and hold his hand.
Services will be held at Russon Mortuary in Syracuse, Utah. On Friday, February 4th, there will be a viewing from 6-8 pm. On Saturday, February 5th, there will be a short viewing from 11:30 to 12:30, and funeral services at 1:00, followed by internment at the Ogden City Cemetary.
Dad requested that no flowers be sent. Also, since he was ready to go and had lived a long, full life, we are celebrating his life. He told us not to cry. But that won’t happen! Wear bright beautiful clothes in his honor, and if he ever gave you a piece of his jewelry, please wear it to the funeral to remember him.