William 'Bill' Downing


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Posted Online: Feb. 05, 2013, 6:19 pm
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William R. "Bill" Downing, formerly of Rock Island, died on Feb. 2, 2013.
Bill was born on Aug. 26, 1925, in Rock Island, one of six sons of Harry and Mary Downing. He graduated from Rock Island High School in 1942.
He began working at the family business, Downing Brothers Dairy (later known as Downing's All-Star Dairy), in 1938, at the age of 13, and after serving in the United States Navy during World War II, he returned in 1946 to work at the dairy. That year, he met the love of his life, Rita L. Shaughnessy. They were married in Chicago on Oct. 19, 1946, and this past October celebrated their 66th anniversary.
They had two sons, Michael W. Downing (Pamela L.), White Bear Lake, Minn., and Dennis J. Downing (Dianna), Monterey, Mass; and four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
After a 40-year career as plant manager at Downing All-Star Dairy, he worked for another 10 years at the Rock Island Arsenal as procurement officer. He retired from the U.S. Army in January 1988 and he and Rita moved to Pine Island Cove on Pine Island, Fla. in 1990. He greatly enjoyed his friendships at Pine Island Cove and especially enjoyed playing baseball, bocce and bowling with the guys. He was a Cubs fan and a member of the Pine Island Elks, Pine Island Moose and Pine Island American Legion.
A great man, a great father and a great role model, he will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.












 



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1864 -- 150 years ago: Sheriff McLaughlin had the misfortune to dislocate his right shoulder some days ago when his carriage upset. He is now able to walk about but has a very sore shoulder.
1889 -- 125 years ago: A kindergarten was started in the downtown district of Rock Island with the Misses Dodie Hawes and Grace Knowlton as teachers.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Pope Pius X died in Rome.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's new theater was named Esquire.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The J.I. Case Co. plant in Bettendorf will add from 150 to 200 employees by Jan. 1 a spokesman for the company said today. The Bettendorf Works today had a payroll of 1,350, but an increased production schedule will require additional people.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illowa Council Boy Scouts of America reached and passed its campaign goal in a drive that began 14 months ago by raising more than $2.2 million for the expansion of Loud Thunder Reservation near Andalusia.






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