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Blanche Downs


Blanche Downs

Blanche (Dresbach) Downs, 91, formerly of Hallsville, passed away at Brookdale in Columbus on Jan. 10, 2016.

Blanche is survived by three daughters, Deborah Downs and her sons Trevor Downs-Razouk and Colin Downs-Razouk, living in California, Connie Brantley and her children, Jennifer Sleeper and Justin Brantley and her five grandchildren, living in Ohio, and Toni Downs, also in Ohio.

She is also survived by two siblings, Celia Zeigler of Hallsville and Carl Dresbach of Zanesville; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Iva Mae and Walter Dresbach; her husband, John Downs; and her siblings, Ralph Dresbach, Genevieve Cramer, Louise Benson and Fred Dresbach.

Blanche was born on June 29, 1924, on the family farm near Hallsville as the sixth child in a family of seven. Milking cows was one of her vivid memories of those times. She graduated from the Dresbach grade school and Centralia High School in 1943.

During World War II, Blanche worked at the National Fireworks. Near the end of the war, she married her high school sweetheart, John Downs, and joined him in Philadelphia while he finished ship postal duties. They celebrated VE Day there and then returned to Chillicothe, where John went to work for the Veterans Hospital and they remodeled or built a few houses in their spare time.

They also joined everyone back from World War II in producing three members of the Baby Boomer generation. To provide more room for their growing family, they moved to 12 acres in the country near Williamsport. Blanche was a stay-at-home mother which included the usual housewife things but also carting kids to music and dance lessons; mowing an enormous lawn; planting, harvesting and preserving a large garden; teaching her children a wide range of sports; providing love and affection to the neighborhood stray animals; and just generally being a great mom.

In the early 50s, the Downs family started spending winter months in Florida, eventually buying a place on Big Pine Key with Louise and Lawrence Benson, Blanche’s sister and brother-in-law. When John retired they became snowbirds, spending six months in Ohio and otherwise in Florida.

Blanche was an enthusiastic boater, fisherwomen, motorcycle and bicycle rider, traveled the country in a 5th-wheel and enjoyed her large, extended family.

John and Lawrence died in the early 1990s, and Blanche and Louise with their dogs and cats moved to side-by-side houses in Frazeysburg and continued their snowbird lifestyle until about two years ago when Alzheimer’s Disease forced them to move back to Ohio permanently.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, at the Hill Funeral Home, Kingston, with Pastor Greg Gardner officiating. Burial will follow in the Hallsville Cemetery. Friends may call from 1 p.m. until the time of service at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Hill’s.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1700, Chicago, IL 60601-7633.

The family would like to thank the Brookdale staff and Heartland Hospice (Megan) for their dedication and high level of care.

Condolences can be made on Blanche’s online guest registry at www.hillfhkingston.com.

This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal