Patricia Ann Downes
30 agosto , 1930 – 8 diciembre , 2019
Patricia Ann Walker Downes, 89, passed away December 8, 2019, in Oak Ridge, TN.
Pat was born August 30, 1930, in Monmouth, Illinois, to Herman and Dorothy Pinney Walker. She was raised on a farm that was within walking distance of both her paternal and maternal grandparents. She loved living in the country, and attended a one-room schoolhouse that was a stone’s throw from her home.
She graduated from Roseville High School in 1948, then attended Monmouth College for one year, and Western College in Macomb for another. It was during this time that she became interested in flying, and sought her private license from Martin Airways in Monmouth. Her father became intrigued with the idea of flying as well, and they both got their private licenses. Herman bought a used Aeronca, which Pat sometimes used to get herself to classes at Western, where she took an aviation course. It wasn’t until the end of the semester that she shared with the all-male class that she would sometimes fly herself to school. Turns out she was the only licensed student in the class!
Pat’s flight instructor was Finley Downes, who was also raised in the Roseville area.
Although they attended the same high school, they didn’t become acquainted until they began this professional relationship.
They married in October of 1950, and had two children, Richard (Rick) Downes, and Pamela (Pam) Downes West.
Fin’s career moved the family to Iowa, settling in West Des Moines. Pat lived the next 60 years in the same house where they raised their children. She took pleasure spending time in her yard, gardening and enjoying the outdoors.
Pat served as the manager of Betty Hill’s gymnastic studio in West Des Moines for many years. She also volunteered at the WDM United Methodist Church, maintaining the choir robes and music, and served in a leadership role with the Camp Fire Girls association for several years.
She loved golfing, dancing, listening to music, and her friends.
She also enjoyed attending church, and was involved in various dinner and card groups over the years.
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s necessitated a move to be near her son in the spring of 2019. She became a favorite of the staff at her assisted living facility, where she peacefully passed away due to a heart condition, with her son, daughter, and their spouses at her side.
Pat is survived by her brother, Richard Dick Walker, of Roseville, IL, her son, Rick (Anita) of Oak Ridge, TN, and her daughter Pam (Jim) of Atlanta, GA.
Three granddaughters, and three great grandchildren are also mourning her passing: Tara (Cliff) Duester and son Maverick, of Los Angeles; Juli (Zachary) Johnson, son Kellan and daughter Anna of San Diego; and Olivia West of Atlanta. Also step granddaughter Monica (Raul) Ruiz, and daughter Sofia; and step grandson Anthony Aleman, and his daughter, Leah Bella, all of Houston.
The family plans a memorial service next summer for Pat at Point Pleasant Township Cemetery, outside of Roseville, IL, where her ashes will be interred next to her parents, grandparents, sister-in-law and numerous aunts and uncles.