Barbara J. Downs,
83, of Michigan City, died Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. at Franciscan Saint
She was born July
7, 1928, in LaPorte, the daughter of Marshall and Alice (Handtke) Smith, who
preceded her in death.
On Dec. 28, 1944,
in Paxton, Ill., she married Stanley Downs, who also preceded her in death.
She is survived by
two daughters, Joan (Kenneth) Johnson of Michigan City and Julie (Bob)
Rusboldt of Chesterton; five sons, James Downs, Jack (Kristie) Downs, Jerry
(Janet) Downs, and Jay Downs, all of Michigan City, and Joel Downs of
LaPorte; fourteen grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; one sister,
Jennifer Zallas, and one brother, Steven Lemons.
She was preceded in
death by two sisters, Gail Kniola and Judith Mills, and by two brothers,
David Smith and James Smith.
After many years as
a homemaker, Barbara returned to the workforce with Filter Specialists in
Michigan City and remained there until she retired. During their winter
months in Lady Lake, Fla., she pursued her interest in golf. Barbara enjoyed
working with stained glass and oil painting and loved bowling on a weekly
league until her health prevented it.
She was a dear,
sweet, loving, wife, mother and grandmother who will be sorely missed by her
family and friends.
that her body be donated to the Indiana University Anatomical Program.
Pursuant to her wishes there will be no formal services. The family will
have a private memorial at a later date.
Root Funeral Home
is handling local arrangements.
Memorials may be
made to the National Parkinson Organization or to the charity of the donor's