Janice E. Downs, age 73, of AuTrain, died unexpectedly and peacefully in her sleep at her home on Sunday morning, August 23, 2020. Jan was born on February 18, 1947 in Adrian, Michigan to Irvin and Wavel (Russell) Enders. She spent her first nine years in Adrian before her father’s employment took the family to Fairfield, Iowa. Jan and her family returned to Michigan for her senior year, and she graduated from Bentley High School in Livonia in 1965. She then earned her associate’s degree from Schoolcraft College. On October 1, 1966, Jan took her chances on a blind date and met Durham Downs. They were married on December 28, 1968 and together raised their four sons. Durham’s career took the family to Georgia and Ohio before returning permanently to Clarkston in 1983. Jan went to work for the Clarkston School District in 1989 and retired in 2003 as a media paraprofessional from the Clarkston Middle School library. She touched many student’s lives when they needed encouragement, and she was always touched and proud when they returned to tell her how her kindness impacted their lives. Jan and Durham began working on their retirement property thirty years ago. Throughout the years with Durham’s work and Jan’s supervision and decorating skills, they permanently moved to their home on Lake Superior in 2018. She enjoyed their labor of love. Jan was talented at cross stitching and made many family heirloom gifts. She and Durham were active in their grandchildren’s lives as they grew up, and they “adopted” many kids over the years. A lot of those “kids” had their lives influenced by Jan and Durham’s kindness, generosity, mentoring, and their listening skills when needed. Jan was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and friend.
She is survived by her loving husband of over fifty one years – Durham Downs of AuTrain; three sons – Steve Downs, Dan (Kathy) Downs, and Tom (Marisa) Downs; grandchildren – Alexander (Alexandria), Adrianna, Samantha, Hayley, Owen, Ethan, and Joshua; great-grandchildren – Patrick, Sophia, and Charlotte; and sister – Judith Nicodemus. Jan was preceded in death by her parents and her son Anthony “Tony” Downs in 2018.
Visitation for Jan will be held at the Bowerman Funeral Home on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m. Due to Michigan’s executive orders, masks will be required, and social distance rules will be in place. There will also be visitation at the Lewis Wint and Son Funeral Home (5929 S. Main Street, Clarkston) on Thursday, August 27, 2020 from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m.. Graveside services will be held at the Oakwood Cemetery in Adrian, Michigan on Friday morning, August 28, 2020.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Jan’s name are requested to be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (donate online at www.stjude.org or mail form off from their website to 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.)
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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105