Gerald Joseph Downey died surrounded by his family on October 20, 2019 in Springfield, Missouri at the age of 79.
Gerald is survived by his wife Gloria; daughter Shavonne (Jerry), granddaughter Zoe of Springfield, Missouri; son Gerry (Jenna), grandchildren Connor and Fiona of Los Angeles, California; brothers Austin (Sally) and Peter (Imelda); sisters Rita O’Carroll and Doreen (Eamon) Keogh all from Ireland; sister-in-law Gail Smith of Everton, Missouri; brother-in-law Gary (Patti) Gorczyca of Corona del Mar, California and many nieces, nephews and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents Gerald and Ita Downey of Ireland.
Gerald was born on November 29, 1939 in Dublin, Ireland and raised in Newgrange, Ireland. He served five years in the Royal Air Force and came to America in 1964. He settled in southern California and worked at Pacific Tel while attending Cal Poly Pomona, graduating in 1973. It was at the phone company where he first locked eyes with Gloria. The two married in 1969 and soon welcomed their two children, Shavonne and Gerry. Gerald longed to return to the land and his farming roots so the family moved to Missouri in 1977. He ran a dairy farm and then later raised beef cattle. Gerald worked hard all his life and the farm was home to him. He was relentlessly driven to tend to his animals and land around the clock. He enjoyed gardening, chatting with his neighbors, reciting poetry and a pint of good ale. A true Irishman, he held to the stubborn stereotype, but always had that twinkle in his eye. A very creative and clever man, he invented many ingenious ways to extend the life of any type of machinery or make things more efficient.
Gerald and Gloria just celebrated 50 years of marriage. He truly loved and cared for his family, taking delight in his three grandkids. He taught his children strength and courage, often quoting Keats, “beauty is truth, truth, beauty.” But above all, Gerald will be remembered for his faith. A very devout and dedicated Catholic, he attended weekly mass and found comfort in daily prayer, holding his rosary beads up to his very last moments of his earthly life.
Visitation will be held from 7:00-8:00 pm Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Springfield, Missouri where a Prayer Service will be held at 8:00 pm.
A Mass of Christian Burial Will be held at 10:00 am Thursday, October 24, 2019 at Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church with Msgr. Thomas Reidy officiating. Burial will follow at Resurrection Cemetery in Springfield. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Gerald’s life. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Herman H. Lohmeyer Funeral Home in Springfield, Mo.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ozark Food Harvest at ozarkfoodharvest.org.
The family would like to thank the many doctors and nurses at Mercy Hospital ICU for their care and efforts.
Permanent online condolences, stories and photos may be shared at www.hhlohmeyer.com