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Maria T. Downing

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Maria T. Downing Obituary
Maria Tulia Brigida Trinidad de Jesus Downing, 87, PhD, beloved wife (58 yrs) of James R. Downing Jr. of Medway, formerly of Lincoln, Nebraska, died February 16, 2012. Born in Costa Rica to Dagoberto & Gloria Quirs, later naturalized a US citizen, she earned a Doctorate in Geography with honors from Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico. While employed by the "Instituto Geogrfico de Costa Rica," her "Geografa de Costa Rica" was the first published by a native Costa Rican geographer. Prof Emeritus of Geography and Spanish, Nebraska Wesleyan University (U), she also taught at U of Nebraska-Lincoln, Southeast Community College, Meadow Lane Elementary, Sergeant Bluffs High School (IA), St. Joseph's School (Salix, IA), instructed Peace Corps volunteers, gave private Spanish lessons, served as Foreign Student Advisor, Fulbright Scholar Advisor, President of Nebraska Chapter American (Am) Assn of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. Member Am Assn of U Women, Society of Women Geographers, Assn of Am Geographers, Am Assn of U Professors, Pi Gamma Mu, Sigma Delta Epsilon, Alpha Mu Gamma. Fluent in Spanish, English, French, and Italian, she learned more languages traveling the globe including with the Friendship Force and was part of Lincoln's Mayor's Committee for International Visitors. She was Moderator, Nebraska Educational TV's "Conversations in Spanish," Red Cross Language Bank Coordinator, Toastmaster, interpreter, translator, lecturer, poet and artist. A Roman Catholic daily communicant, her faith was central: as a young adult, she was President of Costa Rica's Young Catholic Worker (JOC)/Catholic Action Organization; later, a Sioux City Diocese Census Taker, member of Legion of Mary, Bible Study and Charismatic groups, Pink Sisters Auxiliary, Ladies of the Eucharist perpetual adorers, Magnificat, RCIA instructor (St John's, Lincoln), Chair, International Affairs Commission Lincoln Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. Pre-deceased by her parents and siblings Berta Quirs de Daz, Beto, Enrique, Manuel, Odilia & Too Quirs, she leaves her husband Jim; Liz (Gary) Estler of Medway; Rose (Terry) Russell, Jennifer Russell, all of Fort Collins, Colorado; Marti Downing, Gloria and Mara Rosa Quirs, Maruja Gil, Cecy (Foster) Easley, all of California; the Quirs Amador, Daz Quirs, Easley Quirs, Gil Quirs, Quirs Carvajal, Quirs Quirs, Quirs Rodriguez, Quirs Sols families, cousins, extended family, colleagues and friends in the US, Costa Rica, Mexico, Spain, Canada, Germany and around the world. A life well lived! We will miss you! Relatives and friends are invited to attend her funeral on Monday, February 20 from the Ginley-Crowley Funeral Home, 3 Barber St. in Medway (www.ginleyfuneralhomes.com) at 10:15 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Joseph Church, 151 Village St. in Medway at 11 a.m. The Rite of Committal will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery. The Vigil will be held on Sunday from 2 - 4 p.m. at the funeral home. If desired: in lieu of flowers, the family requests Mass be celebrated for the repose of her soul; memorials to St Joseph Parish, PO Box 557, Medway MA 02053, St John the Apostle Parish, 7601 Vine Street, Lincoln NE 68505 or Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, 1040 S. Cotner Blvd, Lincoln NE 68510. Please visit online at http://tinyurl.com/TuliaDowning to see pictures and sign the guest register. Thank you.

Published in The Country Gazette from Feb. 18 to Feb. 25, 2012
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