Earl Clinton Downey

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2016

HOUSTON, Texas — Earl Clinton Downey, 91, died Sunday, March 6, 2016, following a battle with cancer. Funeral services with military honors will be held on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Welch Funeral Home, in Longview, Texas, with interment on Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Camp Ground Cemetery in Lafayette County. Seven Oaks Funeral Home is in charge of local arrangements.

Born in Sperry, Oklahoma, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps after Pearl Harbor was attacked at age 17 and began flight training school. At 19, he became a first lieutenant and pilot of a B-24 bomber. He successfully completed 26 missions, primarily over Austria and Germany. He received several medals, including five Bronze Stars. He and his brothers owned and operated Downey Brothers, a residential building company in Houston, Texas. He also owned and operated a commercial building company in Longview, Texas. He was also a past president of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, golf, baseball and competitive tennis.

Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Madeleine Lou Smith and second wife, June Lucille Petmecky; son Earl Clinton Downey Jr.; three brothers and one sister.

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He is survived by six children, John Adair Downey of Water Valley, Chaille Anne Walsh of Durham, North Carolina, Lana Lee Crawford of Orange Beach, Alabama, Mary Gail Waguespack of Austin, Texas, Donna Lynn Mancuso of Baytown, Texas and Rocky Randolph of College State, Texas; sister Wanda Galyon Homewood of San Antonio, Texas; 18 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to M.D. Anderson Center, Houston, Texas, at www.mdanderson.org/howyoucanhelp.