Berl Downing
  • Born on: June 30, 1921
  • Departed on: March 6, 2005
  • Resided in:

Berl Downing

Berl Downing, 83, of Decorah, IA, died at his home March 6, 2005 There will be no services or visitation. His body was cremated and inurnment will be at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Berl was born June 30, 1921, in Guthrie Center, Iowa, the son of Berl and Pearl (Mozena) Downing. He graduated from Guthrie Center High School in 1940 and entered the U.S. Navy April 1940. He served aboard the U.S.S. Maryland for six years in the Pacific Fleet, including the attack on Pearl Harbor, and was discharged April 1946 in Bremerton, Washington. He was married to Margaret (Billie) Rilla Menefee on March 18, 1944, in Guthrie Center at the Methodist Parsonage. Berl and Billie moved back to Iowa in 1948 and Berl worked in body shops in Atlantic, Guthrie Center, (Jim Vail Motors for ten years) and Bayard. In 1959 he became a Game Warden for the State of Iowa. He worked for the state for 25 years serving the counties of Jefferson and Washington from 1959-1967; Winneshiek and Howard counties from 1967 to retirement in 1984. He was President of Iowa State Fish & Game Association in 1971. In 1961 he served as a U.S. Deputy Game Warden. Berl was a Boy Scout Master in Guthrie Center from 1955 to 1956. He was also President of the Coon Valley Archers, Guthrie Center. While in Decorah, he was President of the Northeast Iowa Fox & Coon Club. He was also a member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, U.S.S. Maryland – BB46 Veteran’s Association, VFW of Decorah, and the Cresco Wildlife Club, Cresco, Iowa. His hobbies included hunting, trapping, and especially fishing. He was also an avid reader. He and his wife and three sons lived in Seattle, Washington, Marne, Guthrie Center, Fairfield, and Decorah, Iowa. He is survived by his wife, three sons: Douglas (JoAnn) Downing, Mascoutah, Ill, Craig Downing, San Francisco, CA, and Mark Downing (Steve Schmidt), Cedar Rapids, IA; three grandchildren: Joshua Downing, San Francisco, CA, Nikkole (Fred) Smart, Bridgeport, W. VA, and Elizabeth Downing, Mascoutah, Ill; four great-grandchildren: Tristan MacMurray, and Logan, Bladen, and Jackson ‘Berl’ Smart. He is also survived by a brother, Jerry (Donna) Downing of Priest River, Idaho, and Marjorie (Glen) Hetrick, of Atlantic, Iowa. He was preceded in death by his Mother and Father and his sisters, JoAnn Tapp, Delores Steffens, and brothers Carroll and Dennis Downing. A memorial fund will be established at the Decorah Public Library or donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.
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