Virgil Downs

Virgil Leroy Downs

MANSFIELD: Virgil Leroy Downs, 92, of Mansfield, OH died December 17, 2013. Born January 1, 1921 in Mansfield, OH he was the son of Ray F. Downs and Harriet (Siegfried) Downs. He was a 1938 graduate of Springfield Local Township School. Virgil was a member of the U.S. Navy, serving as a Water Tender 1st Class while on the U.S.S. Essex CV-9 in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. Virgil was a dairy farmer and worked at Tappan Stove Company for 42 years.

He was a member of U.S.S. Essex CV/CVA/CVS-9/LHD-2 reunion group, Tappan Quarter Century Club, and the Mansfield Men's Garden Club. Virgil was a master gardener, judging many flower and vegetable shows with the garden club outside Richland County, and was a bee keeper. He was a member of The American Chestnut Cooperators' Foundation and The American Chestnut Foundation, and also planted American chestnut trees on his farm. He was a volunteer caretaker for the Springmill/Leppo Cemetery for 25 years and served as a member of the Ontario School Board.

Surviving are wife of 71 years, whom he married February 10, 1942, Ethel (Anderson) Downs; children, Sandra K. Downs of Mansfield, Bruce (Leigh) Downs of Mansfield, and V. Dean (Diane) Downs of Amherst, VA; six grandchildren, Craig, Jeff, Benjamin, Kim, Aaron, and Brent; eight great-grandchildren; one great great-grandson; sisters, Juanita Zody and Naomi (Fred) Dapper; brother, Raymond Downs; sister-in-law, Barbara Downs; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Virgil was preceded in death by his parents; sister and brother-in-law, Rhea (Henry) Goetz; brother, Gerald Downs; brother-in-law, Marvin Zody; and sister-in-law, Patricia Downs.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at the Ontario Home of Wappner Funeral Directors, 100 S. Lexington Springmill Rd., Mansfield. Family and friends are invited to call one hour prior to the service. Military services conducted by the Richland County Joint Veteran's Burial Detail will take place at the funeral home. Burial will follow in Springmill Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Mansfield Men's Garden Club, 750 N. Home Rd., Mansfield, OH 44906 or The American Chestnut Cooperators' Foundation, 2667 Forest Service Road 708, Newport, VA 24128.

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Funeral Home

Wappner Funeral Directors & Crematory
100 S Lexington-Springmill Rd Ontario, OH 44906
(419) 529-2323

Published in the News Journal on Dec. 19, 2013