Edward Thomas Downes
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Edward Thomas Downes
  • July 4, 1930 - October 26, 2017
  • Columbia, Missouri

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Edward Thomas Downes, 87 of Columbia, MO passed away in the early morning hours of October 26th, 2017 under the comforting care of the Harry S Truman VA Hospital.



Visitation will be held on Friday, November 3, 2017 from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM at Memorial Funeral Home with memorial service to follow at 3:00 PM. Inurnment will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery with full military honors.



Ed was born on July 4, 1930 in Alton, IL the son of Edward and Anna (Herron) Downes. He was born during the height of the Great Depression on the family farm just outside the city of Alton, Illinois. The times were tough, at age 9 he got his first job on a paper route and a second job on the weekends at a nearby golf course as a caddie and retrieving golf balls from ponds. Near the end of WW2, a better job offer came from a customer on the paper route, with Rock Poole Pharmacy working the soda fountain and stocking shelves. During his senior year of High School, he went to work for Sears & Roebuck as a sales clerk in Sporting Goods. As veterans returned home from the war, the Marine Corp was looking for replacements and in December of 1947, he joined the Marine Corp Reserves along with a number of classmates and friends. In June of 1950, the Korean War broke out and the calls to active duty began to come in. By November, some were already in Korea or on Parris Island, South Carolina. The ship arrived in Korea in April of 1951 and Private First Class Edward T. Downes was assigned to George Company Third Battalion First Marine Division as a rifleman. Edward was the recipient of the Korean Service Medal, UN Service Medal and two Purple Hearts. In lieu of the second Purple Heart, he was awarded a Gold Star. He was honorably discharged with the Rank of Corporal, March 1st, 1952



In 1952 his tour of duty was completed, and Ed returned to civilian life and his job with Sears. He took advantage of the GI Bill and enrolled at Shurtleff College in Alton, IL. He then transferred to the University of Illinois in 1953 continuing employment with Sears. Absence made the heart grow fonder and on January 30, 1954 he married Joan E Noll in Alton IL. They returned to Alton when a management position was offered in the Alton Sears store. In 1955 a career change to the insurance business came along with the Western Adjustment & Inspection Co. In 1962, he joined State Farm as one of the first Fire Claims Rep in the Illinois Region. In 1963, a promotion to Fire Claim Superintendent in the Mo-KS Region brought a move to Columbia Mo. where he retired in 1992. Ed was a charter member of the Columbia Chapter of CPCU and served on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Fair Plan from 1975 - 1992 and Chairman 1989 -1990.



Ed loved to travel visiting family and friends from Florida to Oregon. Was a charter member of the Country Club of Missouri where over the years had the good fortune to record 5 holes in one. Ed was the “Commish” of the popular Dot game and enjoyed golfing with his best friends several days a week for many many years. As an added note, word was, after Virginia, Commish Eddy was on a short list of those whom Coach Norm answered to.



Survivors include: six children, Becky Mountjoy of Columbia, MO, Jo Billings (Ward) of Kennett, MO, Tom Downes (Cindy) of Columbia, MO, Steve Downes (Janice) of Columbia, MO, Sandy Boulden ( Oran) of Fayette, MO and Dee Scrivner (Brad) of Tulsa, OK; 15 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Joan on May 6, 2016 and one sister, Alice Rieke.



In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Welcome Home (Honoring Veterans – Restoring Lives) 2120 Business Loop 70 E, Columbia, MO 65201 – mark in honor of Edward Downes.



Online condolences may be made at www.memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.