John Wayne Downing Sr., 82, of Ozark passed away peacefully Friday, May 25, 2018. He was born September 17, 1935 to John and Annie (Rodgers) Downing in Arkoma, Oklahoma. John was a proud Cherokee native of the Wolf Tribe. In 1955, he joined the Navy and worked as a mechanic on aircraft carriers for four years. After leaving the Navy, he moved to Fort Smith, Arkansas where he met and married the love of his life, Verna Chaves. John was a glazier and traveled extensively in this profession. In 1964, this took him and his family to Alaska where he worked on the Alaskan Pipeline and loved spending time outdoors. He and Verna traveled to Alaska in 2002, spending the summer living in a small apartment and fishing almost every day. It was one of his most cherished memories.
John’s favorite role in life was as a daddy and Poppy. He was always up for an adventure and spent countless hours with his children. He had a contagious sense of humor and was a great storyteller, he will be missed by all who knew him.
John is survived by his wife of 58 years, Verna Downing, his children Jeannette Glas and husband Ron, Elizabeth Tatum, Victoria Knight and husband Chuck, John Downing Jr. and wife Layla and daughter in law Carole Downing; grandchildren, Cory Collins and wife Christy, Niki Shuey and husband Matt, Jeremy Collins and wife Damaris, Adam Collins, Stephanie Mather and husband Spencer, Ryan Tatum, Sara Downing, Sonja Nunley, Leit Downing and wife Sarah and Lucas Downing. Great grandchildren, Isaac Collins, Hudson, Asher and Saylor Collins, Emerson Shuey, Killian Tollard, Nixon Mather and Aurelia Downing along with many nieces, nephews and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers and a sister, his son, Michael Downing and grandson Scott Washam.
Funeral services for John will be 10:00 A.M. Wednesday, May 30, 2018 in Barnes Family Funeral Home, Ozark. Visitation will be 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Tuesday, May 29, 2018 in the funeral home. Lunch will be served immediately following funeral services at Victory Baptist Church, Ozark. Online condolences may be shared at www.barnesfamilyfunerals.com.