Mr. Oliver "Babe" Downing Jr., age 84, of Nashville passed peacefully on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, surrounded by his loving family at Magnum Care of Hastings, MI.
Babe was born in Nashville, Michigan on June 25, 1934, the son of Oliver and Margaret (Loftus) Downing. He lived in the Nashville area all his life and attended local schools. He was a tremendous high school athlete where he scored the very first touchdown on the newly built Nashville High School Fuller Street football field. At the age of 17, Babe, made the decision to serve his country in the United States Navy during the Korean War.
He married his high school sweetheart, Clarabelle Reed, on December 9, 1952 in Angola, Indiana. After being honorably discharge from the Navy, the couple made their home in the Nashville area where they raised their family together. Babe and Clarabelle have celebrated over 65 1/2 years of marriage.
Babe began his career as an auto mechanic at the local stations in Nashville gaining the reputation as a dependable and reliable mechanic. He loved mathematics and enjoyed sharing his knowledge with his children and grandchildren. He utilized this talent as a Certified Machinist for E.W. Bliss in Hastings, and Olofesson’s in Lansing, He retired in 1994.
Family, church, and community were a very important part of Babe’s life. Throughout the years, he has served as a Boy Scout Master, Village Council Member, Parish Council Member for St. Cyril Catholic Church, He was involved in starting the Nashville Little League Baseball program and served as a coach for several teams in this program. Babe and his wife enjoyed spending their Saturday evenings dancing at the Moose Lodge in Hastings. It was not uncommon for them to be accompanied with several family members. After retiring the couple spent 16 winters in Florida with close family and friends.
Babe is survived by his beloved wife Clarabelle, and children Vickie (Gordie) Reid, Karen McCrimmon, David (Lois) Downing, Sandy Downing, 9 grandchildren Marcie (Logan) Southfield, Nicole (Scott) Lewis, Heather (Josh) Gibson, Heidi (Brandon) Holton, Trevor (Carol) Downing, Paula (Darren) Copeland, Rachael (Jerry) Hinton, Brooke (Brett) Williams, Trenton Barlond, and 21 great grandchildren. also surviving, brother, Duane (Betty) Downing, brothers-in-law Jim Powers, Wayne Cogswell, sisters-in-law Marabelle (Doug) Yarger, and Kaye (Clyde) Stanton.
Babe was preceded in death by his parents Oliver and Margaret Downing, step-father Glenn White, brother Howard and infant brother Leon, sister Elaine Powers, and sisters-in-law Pat Downing and Penny Cogswell.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St Cyril Catholic Church, Nashville, Michigan at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, August 14th, with Father Stephan Philip officiating.
The family will receive visitors on Monday August 13, 2018 from 6-8 PM at The Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville, MI. followed by a Rosary at 8 PM.
Interment will take place at Lakeview Cemetery Nashville, MI.
Memorial contributions may be made to Magnum Care of Hastings - Memory Care Unit.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville. For further details please visit our website at www.danielsfuneralhome.net