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Geraldine Ellen Downes

October 4, 1935 April 30, 2022
Geraldine Ellen Downes
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Obituary for Geraldine Ellen Downes

Geraldine “Geri” Ellen Downes (née Lunning), 86, of Milford, Michigan passed away at West Hickory Haven Hospice on April 30, 2022 after a brief illness.

Geri was born on October 4, 1935 to Erhard Lunning and Hazel Lunning (née Phillips) in Des Moines, Iowa, where her father was stationed on a military base. The Lunnings moved back to Michigan to be closer to family while Geri was a child. Geri graduated from Allen Park High School in Allen Park, Michigan in 1953.

Geri held several interesting jobs during her lifetime: as a legal secretary, Milford Township Clerk, a school bus driver, and a car hop. It was as a car hop that she met the love of her life, Keith Downes, in Allen Park in the mid-1950s. Geri and Keith wed in November 1956 and had three children: Timothy, Victoria, and Kenneth.

A devoted wife and homemaker, Geri’s artistic side was also well-known to those who loved her best: her needlepoint, sewing, knitting and crocheting, and other fabric crafts were the envy of all she knew. She was an avid bird watcher and loved spending time appointing her yard with bird feeders and baths to draw the natural world nearer. A keen observer of both animal and human nature, Geri even found time to pen poetry about the world around her. As a couple, Geri and Keith enjoyed dancing, boating, and spending time in northern Michigan both separately and with their dear, lifelong friends, Donna and the late Bill Hargan and Jack and Linda Benson.

Geri’s three children and three grandchildren were the darlings of her life—she doted on them and made her home a welcoming, warm harbor. Always sharply dressed, manicured, and wearing elegant jewelry, Geri charmed everyone in the West Hickory Haven Nursing Center she was obliged to call home in her final years. She was a perpetual bingo star, prize winner, and kind soul who, her caretakers reported, felt like “everyone’s grandmother.”

Geri was predeceased by her parents, Erhard and Hazel; and her sister, Darlene June. She is survived by her husband, Keith Downes, who was her steadfast companion for 66 years; her sister, Grace Joan Gotts; her three children, Timothy Downes (Mary Jane), Victoria Cowan, and Kenneth Downes (Colleen); her three grandchildren, Caitlin Cowan (John Schonbok), Keith Downes, and Kyle Downes; and one dear great-grandchild on the way.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 5, 2022 from 4:00-7:00pm at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home 404 E. Liberty St. Milford, MI 48381.

A funeral service will be held at the funeral home on Friday, May 6, 2022 at 11:00am. Visitation continues at the funeral home at 10:00 am on Friday.

Burial will take place at Milford Memorial Cemetery in Milford, Michigan.

Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

5

May

4:00 PM 5/5/2022 4:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 5/5/2022 7:00:00 PM
Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Milford

404 E. Liberty Street
Milford, MI 48381

Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Milford
404 E. Liberty Street Milford 48381 MI
United States

Visitation

Friday

6

May

10:00 AM 5/6/2022 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 5/6/2022 11:00:00 AM
Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Milford

404 E. Liberty Street
Milford, MI 48381

Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Milford
404 E. Liberty Street Milford 48381 MI
United States

Service

Friday

6

May

11:00 AM 5/6/2022 11:00:00 AM
Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Milford

404 E. Liberty Street
Milford, MI 48381

Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Milford
404 E. Liberty Street Milford 48381 MI
United States
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