Daphnia Lorene Downs

August 16, 1937July 3, 2019

Daphnia Lorene Downs, 81, of Chicota, passed away Wednesday, July 3, 2019, with her husband by her side. Services are scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Saturday, July 6th, at Bright-Holland Funeral Home with Bro. David Ballard officiating. Burial will follow in Forest Chapel Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

Daphnia, the daughter of Gordon Ray Gibson & Eunice Lorene Vickers Gibson, was born Aug. 16, 1937, in Minter, Texas. She graduated from East Lamar High School, Paris Junior College, and received her Bachelor’s degree from East Texas State University in Home Economics. Later she received her Master’s degree in Counseling.

Daphnia began her career in education at Chicota Schools teaching Homemaking. In 1973, she became the counselor at Prairiland High School where she remained until 2001. In 2003, she joined the Paris Independent School District as a counselor where she worked until 2013. Mrs. Downs touched and influenced the lives of thousands of students during her forty year career in education.

She was a member of the Lamar-Delta Retired Teachers Association.

Her parents and two brothers, Tommy Glenn Gibson and Robert Ray Gibson preceded her in death.

Survivors include her husband, Sam Downs, whom she married on Nov. 24, 1960, building fifty-eight years of family and memories, one son, Downy Downs & wife Missi of Paris, grandchildren; Dara Downs Williams & husband Zac of Dallas and Dace Downs & wife Carmen of New Braunfels, sisters-in-law & brother-in-law; Sue Gibson, Nancy Ann Spiriti, Nickey Sain and Wendell O’Dea Downs & wife Wanda, several nieces & nephews including a very special niece, Annette Bangs along with a plethora of friends.

The family would like to extend appreciation to Susan Leddy and Brandy Bowerman who helped care for Daphnia, the staff of Heritage House of Paris for their special attention, and On Call Hospice for their compassion and care.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association,


  • Tracy Gibson
  • Scotty Gibson
  • Duane Gibson
  • Gary Robinson
  • Bret Bangs
  • Ryan Mathews


  • Visitation Saturday, July 6, 2019
  • Funeral Service Saturday, July 6, 2019
  • Interment Saturday, July 6, 2019


Daphnia Lorene Downs

have a memory or condolence to add?

Linda Smith Portell

July 8, 2019

Mrs Downs was a wonderful influence on my life as a teen! I always looked forward to her class.
My deepest sympathy to the family. God gave us a wonderful friend and teacher.


July 7, 2019

Dear Family,

Daphnia and I taught at Paris High School. I always felt very comfortable and, yes, loved when I sat in her office. Can you imagine how students felt as they occupied her chairs?

Daphnia was a caring, loving person. I would like to add one more adjective. She was tenacious . When she had thought through a plan of action for a student, she did not give up until that plan was accomplished. I admired her spirit.

I will be thinking of you as we remember her.

Ruth Ann King

Elaine Hanks Townsend

July 6, 2019

I have memories of all the basketball games we (Central) played against Daphene at East Lamar and then going to college with her at East Texas. Since we both ended up teaching, I had many contacts with her until leaving Lamar Co. in 2009. My husband built the cabinets in Daphene and Sam's house at Chicota. So sorry for your loss.

Tina McLean (Moore)

July 6, 2019

Mrs Downs was always so kind and had such a gentle nature. I appreciated her guidance throughout my high school years. Never an ill spoken word was heard from her lips. My prayers and condolences to her family.

Paul Lyles

July 5, 2019

Mrs. Downs helped me with so many things as my Counselor at Prairiland. She also gave me rides sometimes to and from school since she was my neighbor in Johnson Woods. I remember some fun times playing basketball with Downy and his older friends in their driveway.

Jerry Baggerley

July 5, 2019

Daphnia was always a very warm , soft spoken and caring counselor. Her warm personality was contagious . She would go the second mile to help the kids achieve and resolve many issues that confronted them.

Hattie Hobbs

July 5, 2019

Daphnia was a very sweet and caring person. We played basketball 🏀 together at East Lamar. Had many good times. She will be missed by many.

Cassidy Fuess

July 5, 2019

I have so many memories of this wonderful woman from high school and community/ family events. She did so much to support us being successful in school!

Lisa Pence (Harris)

July 5, 2019

Mrs. Downs was my school counselor at Prairiland. She was such a kind, compassionate lady. She was always so sweet and encouraging. Prayers for her family! ❤

Barbara Jean Reynolds

July 5, 2019

I remember in 1952 when I borrowed Daphnia's strapless long dress. We had to take in the sides, but at the event the seams came loose and I had to hold it together until I got home.

My favorite cousin has joined her brothers. The memory of them all are precious to me.

Barbara Barnett Reynolds