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James Wiley Downs

Posted 2017-09-07 by Pat R
Wickenburg Sun (Wickenburg, Arizona)
Wednesday, July 5, 2017, p. A-5

James W. Downs went to sleep in death June 29, 2017. As one of Jehovah's Witnesses he had the hope of living forever in a new system where the Earth will be made into a global paradise, and he will be able to enjoy a robust life with his family. He was born to Wiley and Imogene Downs in Warrensburg, Mo.

When he was 8 years old they moved to Stanet, Texas, where he grew up and went to Texas University. He then moved to California to work for Bumble Bee Tuna Company as a motor rewinder and electrician.

In 1963 he moved to Sedalia, Mo., where he met his wife Diana L. Laughlin. They were married in 1965 after he got out of prison for being a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. They saved their money and toured Mexico, all of Central and South America for five months then moved to Stevensville, Mont., where James worked for Pack River Sawmill as an electrician until he became sick and went on disability.

They adopted two children. Their son Chester W. Downs is married to Margie, and they have two children Vania and Melvina and live in Wickenburg. Daughter Fawn Swendson has three children: Amanda Valdez and Chris Valedez (sic) who made James a great-grandfather with two sweet little girls; John Brown who now lives in Great Falls, Mont.; and Ashlee Urias who just got married two weeks ago to Kutter Urias.

As a minister of Jehovah's Witnesses he enjoyed helping many people learn God's plan for the Earth through his kingdom that we pray for in the Lord's Prayer. He had a motor home and traveled many places, including Florida, Alaska and Canada, while it was hot in the summer in Wickenburg.

His granddaughter Ashlee Urias remembers:
While at the Boston Marathon we toured the northeastern states and enjoyed many flowers. He enjoyed building storage sheds on our place on Aguila Drive in Wickenburg along with adding another apartment over our garage. He was always helping people move from one place to another then going down to Mexico to relax for awhile.

James W. Downs was an extraordinary man, with a heart of gold. I remember growing up and always hearing a new story, different adventures he and my grandmother took. Grandpa always had a smile on his face, and saw the best in everyone. Towards the end of his life he was still giving compliments and comforting us when we needed it, even still trying to fix things around the house.

Man did he love his ice cream, no matter what kind it was. He always had to have some. James Downs was the best father and grandfather we children could ever ask for. I have wonderful memories of him, and I'll cherish every single one of them. Grandpa will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

Funeral services will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 6 at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses on Kellis Road in Wickenburg. Arrangements were handled through David's Desert Chapel.

See Also: Find A Grave

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