AUGUST 29, 1923 - JANUARY 28, 2009

Nellie Mae Downing died at 2:00 a.m., Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at Monroe Manor in Jay, Oklahoma.  She was 85.

Nellie was born August 29, 1923 to James and Nancy (Casper) Jackson.  Nellie was never one to have idle hands.  She helped manage the family farm, care for the animals, cut wood, and pick blackberries and walnuts.  Nellie also loved to garden, cook, can, and sew, especially quilts. 

At the tender age of 17, she married Delbert Downing.  They had three children: Ray Gene, Jo Ann and Harvey Neal.  She later married Sanford Downing and they had three children: Alan Dewayne, Nancy Lynn and Jimmie Arnold.

Nellie was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Sanford Marine Downing, three children, Harvey Neal Downing, Jo Ann Tanner and Nancy Francis; eight brothers, William Jackson, Orville Jackson, Morris Jackson, Cleve Jackson, Charlie Jackson, Ray Jackson, A.D. Jackson, and Gene Jackson; two sisters, Fanny Clark and Naomi Needham; and one grandchild, Michelle Downing King.

Survivors include three sons, Ray Gene Downing of Zena, Alan Dewayne Downing, and Jimmy Arnold Downing both of Grove; one brother, James Jackson, one sister, Elizabeth Beal; ten grandchildren, Paula Prins, Amanda Bice, David Downing, Kim Poage, Jimmy Downing, Holly Wright, Jacob Downing, Brittany Francis-Shields, Tiffany Francis, and Robert Francis; thirteen great-grandchildren, Todd Prins, Melissa Prins, Vanessa Roberts, Dustin Downing, Ashley Downing, Amber Downing, Whitney Downing, David Wesley Downing, Kolton Poage, Kody Poage, William Ryan Shields, Ember Jade Wright, and Jimmy Austin Downing.  She also leaves behind an abundance of nieces, nephews, friends and other family members that she always cherished.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 29, 2009 at Worley-Luginbuel Funeral Home in Grove.

A funeral service will be at 1:00 p.m., Friday, January 30, 2009 at Elk River Baptist Church with Reverend Larry Jackson and Reverend Mark Hester officiating.  Burial will follow in Zena Cemetery, Zena, Oklahoma.  Pallbearers will be David Downing, Jacob Downing, Jimmy Downing, Robert Francis, David Melson, and Todd Prins.

The family suggest memorials to Alzheimer’s Association, Oklahoma and Arkansas Chapter, 6465 S. Yale, Suite 206, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74136.  To make online donations, visit

Worley-Luginbuel Funeral Home of Grove, Oklahoma is in charge of arrangements.

Friends and family may leave online condolences at