Juanita Downs
Juanita Downs
  • September 20, 1927 - January 14, 2018
  • California

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Mother Juanita Downs was born to the proud parents of the late Mr. A. C. Mason and Mrs. Susie Williams-Mason on September 20, 1927 in Bryan, Texas. She was reared by her maternal grandmother of whom she was affectionately and honorably named after, the late Mrs. Juanita Dorsey-Williams. She accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Savior at an early age and was baptized at Allen Chapel AME Church in Bryan.
As she often teased, she was the "eldest sister" and "eldest cousin" in the family, and she played an active role in assisting her grandmother in raising her sister, Katie Mae Mason, and her cousins Archie B. Sterling, Leona Bonner, Tillie Mae Bonner-Smith, Charlie Robinson Jr., and Norman Robinson.

Juanita attended school and graduated with her high school diploma from E.A. Kemp High School in Bryan, Texas. In 1948, after the passing of her grandmother, she relocated to San Diego, California. She met and married Mr. Raymond Downs. She was a great lover of children; however, the Lord did not see fit for her to biologically birth any of her own. Yet in His faithfulness, he allowed her to be the God-mother and Aunt of many young lives in which she greatly influenced. She worked hard as a direct sales agent, a homemaker, and caring for children.

Upon her arrival in San Diego, Juanita joined the Mt. Zion Baptist Church under the pastorate of the late Rev. Caney Johnson; she would later join the Mount Sinai Baptist Church, where she remained an active member, serving on the deaconess board, as well as the willing workers guild, until her health declined, rendering her unable to serve in those capacities. Although her illness rendered her unable to attend church services, she was still actively ministering to the needs of people bye sharing God's Word, encouragement, intercessory prayer, generously giving to those in need, and still praising and worshipping God in her home, and on a weekly conference prayer and Bible study call. She suffered greatly in her body until her passing, yet she never complained, and was hopeful that God would heal her on Earth or in Heaven. She was a woman of great faith, and would often declare with boldness, "I don't worry about anything."

Juanita was very hospitable, opening her home to short and long-term visitors; she loved to entertain in her home. She was a wonderful cook, and she loved to prepare meals and enjoy company, particularly after Sunday morning church services were over. Juanita was passionate traveler, and has traveled extensively with friends and family. She was always full of humor; her beautiful smile was infectious. She was fun to be around and was the life of the party. She was always joking and was quite witty. She loved to shop, and was very stylish. She would be seen wearing beautiful suits, with matching hats, shoes, handbag, lipstick and nail polish to match.

Mother Juanita Downs was preceded in death by her parents, one sister Katie Mae Mason, aunts, uncles, and the following cousins Archie B. Sterling, Leona Bonner, Tillie Mae Bonner-Smith, and Charlie Robinson Jr, and many other family members. She leaves to celebrate her life and legacy several cousins, God-children, friends, her Mount Sinai Church family, and members of her community. She was deeply loved and will greatly missed.