Marianne Downey
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Marianne Downey (nee Bankert) age 77, a resident of Naperville, IL, formerly of Lockport and Chicago, IL, passed away on Sunday, June 14, 2020 at St. Patrick's Residence in Naperville, IL.

Beloved wife of Edward Downey, proud step-mother of Edward (Shannon) Downey, Cathie (Tom) Fletcher and the late James Downey; her cherished step-grandchildren Eamon, Michaela and Brianna Downey and Meghan and Maeve Fletcher. Devoted daughter of the late Edward and Helen (Hartnett) Bankert, dear sister of the late Edward (Coletta) Bankert and Nancy (Frank) Crotty. Loving aunt to Jean (Mark) Longo, Marianne (Mark) McKibbin and Sharon (Matt Beranek) Bankert and fond great aunt to Meghan and Madeline McKibbin and Alexander Longo.

Marianne grew up in Chicago, attended Little Flower Grade School, Longwood Academy High School and St. Xavier University. She received her masters degree from the University of Chicago.

Marianne taught at St. Albert the Great School in Burbank. She was formerly Chair of the Department of English at the College of St. Francis, Joliet, IL, where she founded a Women's Studies program and was active in the education of nurses. For seven years she was Managing Editor of the quarterly Continuum, an interdisciplinary journal of the humanities, religion and social thought. She published numerous literary studies. In 1989, she published the award winning book Watchful Care: A History of America's Nurse Anesthetists for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Following the publication, she traveled around the world speaking on behalf of the nurse anesthetist profession.

With her loving husband Edward, she enjoyed their dance club, their exciting trips to China, Ireland and a train ride through Copper Canyon, as well as US trips to New Orleans and Sarasota, Florida. She was an early supporter of the Irish Repertory Theater and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. She also enjoyed attending the opera, local museums and plays.

A future memorial is being planned. Interment is private.

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Published in SouthtownStar on Jun. 21, 2020.
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3 entries
June 26, 2020
I am greatly saddened to hear Marianne has died.

Please accept my most sincere condolences.

I am so very glad her rich life included the writing of Watchful Care.

I can see her book now on my bedside shelf, and I will remember your great loss when I re-read her excellent work again.
John Pozar
June 24, 2020
My sympathies to Marianne's loved ones. Marianne was a friend and mentor to me. We shared an interest in the history of nurses as anesthetists. She prodded me to advocate for the establishment of an archive at the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Her book Watchful Care: A History of America's Nurse Anesthetists, went a long way toward correcting the record about what nurses do to care for patients under anesthesia and to advance anesthesiology. We met in Oslo, and reconnected in San Francisco. We corresponded and she hosted me in Chicago where she toured me through the old books and records in the attic of the AANA offices. They needed a better home to ensure their safe preservation, and with Marianne's inspiring encouragement, this was accomplished. Nurse anesthetists, now and in the future, have much to thank her for. Marianne will be missed. I would very much appreciate hearing from Marianne's family. The archive she helped to establish at the AANA would gladly and proudly house any papers of Marianne's that pertain to nursing, anesthesia, or women's studies.
Bruce Koch
June 24, 2020
Marianne was a gifted writer and historian. It was a privilege to meet her shortly after Watchful Care was published. This book enriched the lives of countless Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists and Student Nurse Anesthetists. Condolences to her family.
Mike Kremer
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