Farming Rural 18

Kenneth L. Downing

August 2, 1929 ~ July 6, 2019 (age 89)

Kenneth L. Downing, 89, of Sherrard, formerly of Rock Island, passed away on Saturday, July 6, 2019 at his home. Services for Mr. Downing will be 10 am, Saturday at the Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, Rock Island. Visitation will be Friday from 4 to 7 pm, at the funeral home. Burial will be in Rock Island Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association. 

Kenneth was born August 2, 1929 at his home in Rock Island, son of Harry and Mary Alexander Downing. He married Norma Jean Nixon on July 26, 1949 in Rock Island. Ken worked for many years at the family business, Downing’s Dairy in Rock Island; he retired in 1994. Ken was an avid Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bulls fan. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, was proud to still be mowing his yard and would tell everyone he had the best looking yard on the block, loved telling the history of Rock Island and how he “swept Jean off her feet” by taking her out for “a .10 cent hamburger”. He always looked forward to a good cup of coffee & conversation at QC Coffee & Pancake House where he was known as “Mr. D” and treated like a celebrity. 

Survivors include his wife, Norma Jean; daughters, Dianna Downing (Norman Anderson) Columbus, OH., and Debora Downing, Milan; grandchildren, Julie Sexton, Tiffany McDaniel (Corey), Sara Baumbach (Nic), Signe Anderson (Drew) and Erinn Anderson; nine great grandchildren; and a great-great grandson. 

Kenny was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Darcy Gerk; and his brothers, Bob, Jerry, Bill, David and one brother in infancy. Online condolences may be left for the family at



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