Freda M. Downey, 93, passed away in San Antonio Texas on December 27, 2012.
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She was born in Potterville MI on April 2, 1919 to Carmi J. and Marjorie Fordham Spears.
She was predeceased by her parents and siblings Clarence, Frank, Fred and Margaret Spears Phalen. She graduated from Potterville High School and Mercy College of Nursing in Detroit MI. While working at the hospital in Battle Creek MI she met and eloped with Lt. Clyde J. Downey, Sr. (Colonel, USAF Ret.) who predeceased her in March 2007.
Mrs. Downey was an Air Force wife, raising her children while traveling the world - Mississippi, Texas, Colorado, California, Idaho, Montana, Virginia and England. Freda was the American representative to the Girl Guides of England and fostered the Girl Scouts program at American Air Bases throughout England culminating in a working relationship with Lady Baden Powell. Returning to the United States, she directed the nursing staff as Head Nurse at several Northern Virginia hospitals until retiring from her final leadership position at Warren Memorial Hospital in Front Royal, VA. Freda was renowned for the wonderful biscuits she would bake whenever the family gathered.
She was initiated into the Order of the Eastern Star, Potterville MI Chapter #413 on April 19, 1943. She affiliated with Front Royal Chapter #6 on February 25, 1972 and became adual member with Page County Virginia Chapter #24 (Luray) in 1994. During her years in Front Royal she served as Chaplain, Martha, Associate Conductress, Conductress and Associate Matron. She served as Worthy Matron Front Royal Chapter #6 1985-86 and 1996-97 with her husband Colonel Clyde J. Downey Sr., a Master Mason, as Worthy Patron, During 1991-1993 she was Grand Representative to Illinois. She also served the Grand Chapter of Virginia on the First Aid Committee and on the Orlando Committee. She was a 50 year member of the Order of the Eastern Star.
She is survived by her daughter Claudia J. Kardian (Walt) of Bentonville VA, son Colonel Clyde J. Downey II (USAF Ret) (Mary) of San Antonio TX, four grandsons, Todd R. Kendrick, Scott R. Kendrick (Patty), Clyde J. (Trace) Downey lll and Lee Downey (Michelle) and three great-grandchildren, Shannon, Ryan and Erin Kendrick. Also surviving Freda are numerous cherished nieces and nephews.
The funeral will be at Maddox Funeral Home, 105 West Main Street, Front Royal, VA at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, January 18, 2013 with internment following immediately at Culpeper National Military Cemetery.
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Maddox Funeral Home
105 West Main Street Front Royal, VA 22630
Published in Northern Virginia Daily from Jan. 8 to Jan. 9, 2013