Our mama once described herself as a barefoot Hamlin girl who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. She might have started life in West Texas but she definitely did not stay there. Barbara Downey (1941-2020) followed the love of her life, our daddy, Jack Downey (1934-2000) across five states – New Mexico, Kentucky, Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana – as they sought to bring the message of the Gospel to churches and children.
After daddy’s death, she did not stop but sought new ways to change the world. She began a new career as a teacher’s assistant and especially loved to teach – the mentally and physically challenged. She began to travel across America and the world as an assistant to her daughter Amy in the work of Tzedakah Ministries. She even picked up hitchhikers on the Amazon River when her daughter Janice was serving as a missionary in Ecuador. No … she did not stay in Hamlin.
Mama is surrounded today in Heaven by our daddy Jack Downey, her parents (Mr. & Mrs. Clarence Butler), and her favorite in-laws (Henry & Gladys Downey) along with untold number of aunts, uncles, cousin, friends, and lives she touched. We who are left behind to miss her include her daughters Janice, Amy; her granddaughter Katie Hurt and her husband Jonathan; her brother Larry and wife Paula; her precious sister-in-love Fayma Drummond; and untold number of family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to missions. Here are two that would honor mama’s heart - Tzedakah Ministries and Jenny Carpenter (Ecuador).