CHAMPION, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Richard “Dick” Thornton Downes, Sr. of Champion, Ohio, 88, left his earthly home and went to Heaven on Thursday, August 17, 2023. His wife, children and grandchildren experienced his homegoing together.
He was born in West Hartford, Connecticut on April 9, 1935, the second child of three children of Dr. William Gardner Downes, Jr. and mother, Alma Thoren Downes.
He was married to Joan Alta Conway of Maple Heights, Ohio, for 63 years. Together, they brought up their three children, Cynthia Joyce Stone, Richard (Monica) Thornton Downes, Jr. and Lonnie (Xavier) Esther Downes Ugarte.
Dick entered the United States Army and later received a medical discharge.
After graduating from Bowdoin College in Maine, Dick went to work for Mutual Of New York as a Training/Sales Assistant Specialist in Cleveland, Ohio, where he met Joan Conway. She and her father gave Dick Bible verses about how Jesus Christ had taken our place on the cross, paying for all our sins. After much studying of Scripture to prove them wrong, he saw for himself that the Bible is true and he believed in Christ alone by faith alone.
He married Joan a year later and was promoted to Manager of Mutual Of New York in Minneapolis. He had many interests and moved his family to New Hampshire and founded R. T. Downes Construction. He built a Christian campground, named Bethel Woods, which means, “Place of God in the Woods.” Over the years they lived in Rochester, New York and Clearwater, Florida but his mind and heart were always fixed on studying and teaching the Bible. He has taught the difficult book of Revelation many times, teaching also in many churches, Bible Conferences, Seminars and City Halls. All of this, while working and being a wonderful father and husband. Dick belonged to Calvary Bible Church in Cortland, Ohio where he taught an adult Bible class each Sunday.
Other than spending time with family, he enjoyed watching his favorite Boston sports teams and spending time in the woods.
He is survived by his wife, Joan; their three children; 14 grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; as well as, his sister, Lynda (Fred) Downes Brown and many nieces and nephews and his beloved cat, Cookies.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his older brother, William G. Downes III.
A Memorial Service will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 26, 2023, at Calvary Bible Church, 4747 Warren Road NE, Cortland OH 44410.
In lieu of flowers the family would like any donations to be made in Dick’s honor to Calvary Bible Church.
Arrangements handled by Carl W. Hall Funeral Home.
A television tribute will air Monday, August 21 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.