Muriel A. Downhower

First Posted: 2/25/2008


Muriel A. Downhower, 91, died at 1 a.m. Feb. 21, 2008, at Lima Convalescent Home, Lima.

She was born Oct. 29, 1916, in Gladwin, Mich., to Thomas E. and Jessie Henry Martin. On April 24, 1937, she married Francis Howard Downhower Sr., who died June 9, 1991.

Mrs. Downhower was a homemaker. She was formerly employed at J.J. Newberry and International News Service. She was a member of Rousculp Church of Christ. She was a former member of the Perry school board and a past president of the League of Women Voters of the Lima area, with which she also served as public relations chairwoman for many years. She was also a past president and lifetime member of both the Allen County Democratic Party and Perry Township Democratic Party. She was a poll worker for many years and a precinct chairwoman for a short while. In 1994, she received the Jerry Tebben Democrat of the Year award. She was a past president and longtime member of the Perry School Parent-Teacher Association. She was a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees, serving as public relations chairwoman and a Sunshine Lady for many years. She was also a member of AARP, the Heritage Foundation, Common Cause, and the Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District. She helped staff the Servicemen's Canteen during World War II. She worked on the campaign to establish the Apollo Joint Vocational School.

Survivors include two sons, Francis H. (Judith) Downhower Jr. of Alden, N.Y., and James A. (Sandy) Downhower, of Lima; two daughters, Sharon (Owen) Smith, of Lima, and Beverly (Frank) Stroh, of Rockwood, Tenn.; nine grandchildren, Paul (Donna) Smith, Anne Smith, Jane (Jim) Inglese, Kelly (Larry) Hopcia, Jen (Jay) Kacalski, Jim (Renee) Downhower, Jamie Downhower, Mandy (Darrell) Basal, and J.R. Stroh; seven great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and a sister-in-law, Helen Martin, of Lima.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, Howard and Elmer Martin; a half brother, Floyd Perkins; and three sisters, Mildred Ford, Mabel Crall, and Gladys Burden.

Services will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday at Chiles-Laman Funeral Homes, Lewis Eastside Chapel. The Rev. Mark Vernik will officiate. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery, Lima.

Friends may call from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District.

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