Helen Ruth Downing

March 25, 1920November 8, 2012

Helen Ruth Downing, 92, of Greeley, died Thursday, November 8, 2012 at Garden Square of Greeley. Helen was born on the cold winter day of March 25, 1920 along with her twin brother, at their home on the Niobrara River south of Merriman, Nebraska to Howard Oakley Glen Coder and Bessie Leora (Sawtell) Coder. Together the twins weighed 5 lbs. and neighbors did not expect them to live 3 months. They both ended up living long, long lives. They along with their older sister rode a horse or walked to the one-room school house known as “Center” located on the prairie, south of Merriman. Helen liked sharing her memories and many stories of “living on the river.” She moved to Gordon, Nebraska to attend high school and graduated in 1938. After graduating, she worked as a cook and nanny at several ranches in the Sandhills, where she met Floyd Downing. They were married in Alliance, Nebraska on May 17, 1941 and settled on the Downing ranch north of Ashby, Nebraska. They both loved the ranch life. For a wedding gift, Floyd gave Helen a team of 4 horses. She enjoyed working in the fields as much as homemaking. They later moved to operate a ranch east of Gordon, Nebraska, then eventually moved to Alliance where Floyd built them a home when he got into the construction trades. In 1955, they moved to Greeley. Helen was a homemaker and worked part-time jobs, including being a baker at the high schools. The students loved those cinnamon rolls and krautburgers. She took over a paper route from her grandson, and delivered papers for the Greeley Tribune for 12 years, enjoying the camaraderie of the seniors she served. Helen enjoyed gardening, canning those harvests, and cooking. Very seldom “ate out.” She was known for her bread making, special jams and jellies and homemade pickles. She enjoyed having friends and family for dinner, playing cards and games. She was a skilled seamstress, and did many other crafts like crocheting, knitting, embroidery. She was a proud mother and grandmother. She took great pride in her grandchildren and always attended their many events. In the fall of 2008, Helen and Floyd moved into Garden Square of Greeley Assisted Living where she became active in many of the activities offered there. While there, they renewed their vows on May 17, 2011 celebrating 70 years of marriage, with Helen wearing her original wedding dress. She is survived by her husband Floyd, an older sister Alice Myers of Gainesville, Georgia; a younger brother Clarence (Doris) Coder of Pierre, South Dakota; a daughter Sharon of Greeley; a grandson Ron Mayer of Kansas City, Kansas; and a granddaughter Christy (David) Moran and great-granddaughter Stella, all of Arlington, Virginia. She was preceded in death by her twin brother Jack Coder, at age 80, and of course, her parents. A graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 13, at Sunset Memorial Gardens. (side note: they lived on “Sunset” Lane for 51 years) In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Garden Square of Greeley, OR Accent Hospice – both in care of Stoddard Funeral Home, 3205 West 28th Street, Greeley, Colorado 80634.


  • Graveside Service Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Helen Ruth Downing

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November 15, 2012

Dear Sharon and Floyd so sorry to hear the passing of Helen, we all have such fond memories. Our hearts and prayers go out to you.

Love Pam and Marge

Mary Lynne Cochrane

November 13, 2012

Dear Sharon, I want to tell you what a joy it has been to see your Mom and Dad on the days I would visit my Mom. Helen always greeted me and we would wave each time as I was leaving. That was such a blessing to me. I know you will miss her. Please extend my sympathies to your Dad as well.

Doug & Jill Sandin

November 13, 2012

To Floyd, Sharon, and the rest of the Downing Family,
Helen was one-of-a-kind! To us, Helen was a beautiful spirit and embodied the essence of a hard working woman. She had incredible drive and perseverance, to pursue what ever stood in her way. She was kind, caring, and loving too. We were so blessed, to not only become neighbors with Helen and Floyd, but I'd say over the years, we became friends. The only thing we could have wished for... would have been to have moved next to them so many years earlier. We will always cherish those memories --- Forever. In this difficult time, may GOD cover all of you with his; Grace, Comfort, Peace and Love. May you be showered with each of these, knowing that everything is okay and not to worry! For in the end, Floyd, Helen is waiting for you.

With much love,
Sandin Family

Dean & Carolyn Martin

November 13, 2012

Dear Sharon: No matter how old we are, it is so hard to loss a parent. Your mother was a special lady and our love and prayers go out to your family.

November 13, 2012

Dear Sharon and Floyd;
I am very sorry about Helen's passing. She will be greatly missed I know.
You three were good neighbors for many many years in Belair. I will always think fondly of Helen walking Nero with such dedication in spite of the weather, their trodding along up and down Sunset Lane.
You will both be in my thoughts, Sharon and Floyd.I will see you when I am in Greeley over the holidays.

November 12, 2012

Dear Sharon, Floyd and family: Sorry to read about your mother and wife. Floyd you had many good years together but I know that you all will miss her. God bless you. Jean Hecht

Martha Downing

November 12, 2012

O Sharon, what a dear she was. So glad I had a chance to know this wonderful lady. Our love is with you and your family.

Robert O. Singer

November 11, 2012

Dear Sharon and Family:
I was very sorry to learn about your Mom's passing.
Please accept my sincere condolences.
Bob Singer