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Jo Downend


1926 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Jo Downend Obituary
Jo M. Downend
1926 - 2018
Jo M. Downend passed April 5, 2018 at Emerson House following a recent fall. Jo was born July 2, 1926 at Nampa, ID to Howard and Lucy Morrow and for the first few years lived in Mountain Home with her family on a farm attending school at Ten Mile. While her parents didn't think it was necessary, she was determined to continue her education, so she joined with other students to drive to Meridian High School and graduated in 1944.
Jo accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord, and was baptized before marrying her husband, Kenneth Downend on January 2, 1948 at the First Presbyterian Church in Boise where they remained active members for many years. Ken and Jo had been married for over 70 years at the time of her death. They moved to their present home April 17, 1955 and three years later, their daughter Kelli was born. While the original home was quite small, they had several remodeling projects over the years and purchased additional land so they could have horses, cattle, dogs, cats, chickens and Jo's two greenhouses where she grew and sold geraniums and other flowers to both stores and individuals. Both Jo and their daughter Kelli loved animals, especially working with their horses.
In addition to her home business', Jo was both a talented accountant and office manager, working at companies where she gained lifelong relationships; Stawn's Office Supply, Labor Temple, Legettes, Hertz Rental, Bob Drake Refrigeration and Fireball Travel Trailer Manufacturing. When Jo wasn't working, she always wanted to be busy, and often put her creativity to good use around the house with woodworking projects, building cabinets, dressers, built in shelving or coming up with new ideas. She always wanted to try something new, so on one occasion she bought twelve clocks at an auction that had just been thrown out in the center of the floor. She started training herself on how to repair them, found the needed sources, bought parts, and got them all running again. Then she announced she was going to open a clock shop! She found a location, obtained credit from the bank, took additional courses, hired employees, bought clocks to sell, and opened Downend's "Clock Shoppe" which was very successful in both sales and repairs. During these years Jo was often seen wearing ring watches and commenting she had "time on her hands!"
Jo hadn't had much opportunity to travel before she met Ken, so among their other travels to Canada, Europe, Australia, and cruising the Panama Canal, they set a goal after being married to visit every state capitol in the United States. In 1993, on the trip to see the final state capital, Jo had a massive stoke in Jacksonville, FL, being completely paralyzed and unable to speak. After surgery and three weeks there, Ken and Kelli were able to bring her back to the Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Hospital. Through daily rehabilitation and perseverance, she taught herself to use her left hand to eat, and write and while not completely mobile, she was quite active, and Ken and Jo continued some of their favorite travels to the Oregon Coast, Lake Tahoe, and even camping at Bruneau Sand Dunes. Several years later Jo successfully fought both lung and thyroid cancer. She still loved her time out with friends and their church home has been at Boise Friends Church for many years. While she was not always able to converse, she loved going to church, seeing her friends there and singing hymns. Over the years she was at home friends would assist, and in particular our family thanks Jackie Suteu for her loving dedication to Jo, even after Jo moved to Emerson house for full time care in 2016 Jackie continued to visit her on a regular basis. Our family thanks the dedicated staff members at Emerson House and Encompass Hospice for their loving support to her.
Jo was preceded in death by her parents, Howard and Lucy Morrow, and her sister Olla Jane Rutan. She is survived by her husband Ken Downend, her daughter Kelli Downend Campbell, granddaughter Jessica, great-grandson Brycen Cody, and brother-in-law Gene B. Rutan. Jo will be remembered for her love of clocks, animals, her intelligence, determination, and her warm greeting, giving you her left hand, a smile, and an enthusiastic "yes"!
Services will be held at Boise Friends Church, 7751 W. Goddard Rd, Boise, Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 11:00am followed by a luncheon at the church to share fellowship and memories. If desired, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Idaho Humane Society, the National , or CancerResearch.Org.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Apr. 15, 2018
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