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Laurel Wade Downing


1925 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Laurel Wade Downing Obituary
September 6, 1925 - October 27, 2017 Laurel Wade Downing passed away at Kaiser Hospital Baldwin Park, Calif, surrounded loved ones. At the age of 92 he was residing in Whittier, Calif. at the time of his departure. He was born on September 6, 1925, to the parents of Samuel and Mary Downing, in East Los Angeles, Calif. and was the 10th of 11 children, all of which have predeceased him. Wade attended Garfield High School where he was an exceptional athlete who excelled in basketball, baseball, football, and track. Throughout his life he remained physically active, and still played first base at the age of 77 for the City of Commerce Eagles and participated in the Senior Olympics. He had a passion for College Athletics and was a staunch UCLA fan! During World War II he volunteered for the United States Navy and travelled through Asia and Australia, serving for more than four years. After his service, Wade attended East L.A. College and received an Associates of Arts Degree. Wade worked many years at AO Smith in Commerce, and at 38, began his career with the United States Postal Service and stayed with the department until retirement. Wade lived his life knowing that time was invaluable, and ensured that he used it wisely. His lifestyle emanated exuberance and he made an effort to remain physically, socially, and mentally active until his last days. The curious man valued knowledge and continued to educate himself by reading non-fiction, staying current with events, and scouring the Los Angeles Times. Wade cherished his childhood memories at the YMCA, and throughout his life gave back to his community by volunteering at organizations such as the YMCA, Girls and Boys Club, and the Commerce Senior Center. He continued to donate his time until his last days, and at the age of 92 served as Trip Chairman for the senior center where he organized fun and educational trips, and packed meals for other senior citizens. He was an active member of the Commerce Social Club, the Democratic Club, the Auld Lang Syne Club, the American Legion, and the Montebello Elks. His passion was recognized by Gloria Molina from the County of Los Angles for his "outstanding volunteer service rendered to the community by sharing (his) ability, mature knowledge and vast experience, and giving freely (his) time and energy." Wade was survived by Nephews, Richard Downing, Philip Wedlake, Steven Stutes, and Nieces, Judy Case, Carol Stutes, and Dawn Natividad, and their spouses and families. He was a hardworking man who cared about the world, the people in it, and was loved by many. He will live forever in our hearts. A Celebration of Life Memorial will be held at the Montebello Elks Lodge on Saturday November 18, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 16, 2017
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