Benny Richard Downing

October 29, 1937April 5, 2018
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Benny Richard Downing was born on October 29, 1937 and passed away on April 5, 2018


  • Visitation Tuesday, April 10, 2018
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, April 11, 2018
  • Committal Service Monday, April 16, 2018

Benny Richard Downing

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Barbara Massey

April 12, 2018

So sorry to hear Ben passed away. I have a lot of great memories of him. He was a true friend. Prayers of comfort for his family.

Marsha Brown

April 10, 2018

Ben was one of a kind. A gentle soul and friend who had a zest for life. His wedding and commitment to Neda was everlasting. Ben was a great conversationalist and always had a story to tell. His wit and humor was a welcomed joy. Memories of Ben will forever remain in my heart!



Benny Richard Downing was known as many things to many people. He was a loved one, a friend, and someone special. To family and friends who knew him best, Benny will be remembered as a very exceptional person.

      Benny was born on October 29, 1937 at home in Lawrence, Texas. He was the son of Haskell and Velma Downing. At the age of ten his family moved to Terrell, Texas.
      A typical teenager, Benny had a fairly happy high school experience, making that critical transition from adolescence to adulthood. The teacher he enjoyed learning from the most was his English teacher, Mrs. Birdsong. He loved football and was a line backer on the 1956 Terrell Tigers football team.

      Benny worked hard to be a good father to his children and he did his best to fulfill their needs. Benny was blessed with Four children, two sons, Richard and Sam, and two daughters, Jenna and Laura.

      Fortunately, Benny enjoyed what he did for a living. He was a barber in Terrell at City Barber Shop for 50 plus years with his friend Kenneth Foster. They worked well together for all those years. He made many friends there during that time.

      Benny was an Army veteran. He retired after 27 years with the Army National Guard. He was a dog handler at the Nike Missile Base in Terrell. His fellow soldiers viewed him as a brother in arms and knew that he was as much a part of their family as their loved ones.

      Benny enjoyed his leisure time by taking part in various hobbies. He had limitless interests. He loved reading books. He was a history buff that loved telling facts about the civil war. He wrote poetry that was published. He was a bull rider in the RCA Rodeo Circuit in his early years. He also was a Skydiving exhibitionist. He taught skydiving lessons at a Jump School. He also loved flying small airplanes. He was always looking forward to his next adventure.

      Benny found pleasure in sports. In high school, Benny played football and pole vaulting and track. Recreational sports included golf which he was quite good at winning several trophies. Benny was also something of a sports fan and enjoyed following his favorite events whenever he had the chance to do so. He loved going to High school football games and he saw 61 state championships during his lifetime.

Benny was the receipient of a life saving kidney transplant in 2004 from a high profile author that wrote the book "First Wive's Club" Olivia Goldsmith.

       Benny succumbed to a chronic infection after many months of battling it. He is survived by his wife Oneda Downing and her children Regina, Deborah, and Neil. Their Children, Chris, Jason, Melissa, and Karen as well as their children and grandchildren. Benny's children Jenna, Laura and Richard as well as their children and grandchildren. His youngest son Sam preceded him in death.

      Simply stated, Benny was a good and kind person, an individual who will for all time be remembered by his family and friends as being a caring and giving person, someone who was a vital part of their lives. Benny leaves behind him a legacy of life-long friendships and many cherished memories. Everyone whose life he touched will always remember Benny Richard Downing.