Funeral services for Charles A. "Chuck" Downing, 70, of Muskogee, OK, will be held at 2:00 pm Thursday, May 9, 2013, at Grandview Baptist Church with Pastor Danny Mills and Rev. Joel Downing officiating. Pallbearers will be George Abel, George Fletcher, Kim Crissler, Larry Cragg, Harold and Buck Hooper. Burial will be in Citizens Cemetery in Fort Gibson, OK, under the direction of Lescher-Millsap Funeral Home of Muskogee. Chuck passed away peacefully, Monday, May 6, 2013 at his home.
The youngest child of Alfred L. and S. Opal (Dill) Downing, Chuck was born December 3, 1942 in Coffeyville, KS. He grew up in South Coffeyville, OK, and graduated in 1960 from Lenapah High School. He came to Muskogee in April of 1964 as the Assistant Manager of Cunningham Red Bud Grocery and married Mary McLain of Muskogee on June 8, 1964 in Nowata County, OK. He was a Sales Representative for Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company for 21 years. He was employed in sales with Solaray Corporation for several years and in 1995 started his own business, Blackhawk Investigations. He went to work for the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Department in 1999 as Sheriff Patrol Administrator, retiring in 2006 after 26 years of service with the Sheriff Patrol and Sheriff Department.
Chuck loved his family, church and community. He and Mary attended church at Grandview Baptist. In years past, he served in the Pentecostal Holiness Church in Muskogee as Deacon, Sunday School Superintendent, Youth Director and Teacher.
He was very active in the Masonic orders where he was Past Master of Oriental Lodge No. 430, dual member of Trinity Lodge No. 502, Muskogee, and was presently serving as Treasurer for the Masonic Building Association. He was a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of McAlester where he served as Class Supervisor for the reunions and also served on the 29th Degree Ritual Team. He received his 33° in 2011. Chuck was a member of the Merri-Maker Unit of Bedouin Shrine since 1975 where he paraded as "Mickey Mouse" for years and served as Director of the First Section Ritual Team. He was a member of the Muskogee York Rite bodies, Muskogee Hope Chapter, OES, and Mt. Olivet Shrine No. 1, White Shrine of Jerusalem. Chuck proudly served for years with the International Order of Rainbow for Girls and International Order of DeMolay.
He served on the state and national level with the United Commercial Travelers of America. He was also a member of the Muskogee County Genealogy Society, Cruis'n Angels Car Club and charter member of Honey Springs Civil War Historical Society.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred and Opal Downing, his brothers, Dwayne Downing and Roscoe (Rocky) Brown. Chuck is lovingly survived by his wife, Mary, of the home and two daughters, Diana (Greg) Mashburn and DaRhonda (Seth) Clabaugh. The lights and love of his life were his two grandchildren, Matthew Charles and Mary Dawn Clabaugh. He is also survived by a sister, Shirley (Bill) Bryant of South Coffeyville, OK, and brother, William (Bill) Brown of Huntington Beach, CA.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Bedouin Shrine Transportation Fund or the Masonic Building Association, PO Box 1037, Muskogee, OK.