Our obituaries page allows for you to light a candle for a loved one or leave a guest comment. You are able to search for obituaries by first and last name or by the date of death.

Obituaries » Robert Downard

Robert Downard

May 10, 1925 - February 24, 2021

Service Date: March 3, 2021

Funeral Home Memorial Services of Iowa

Obituary Viewed 2069 times

Subscribe to updates for Robert Downard

Please choose your subscription settings below, you can unsubscribe through email at any time.

Email me when someone posts in the guestbook

Email me when an update is made to the obituary

Email me on the anniversary of passing


Robert “Bob” L. Downard, 95, of Ankeny, IA, formerly of Peoria, IL passed peacefully away on February 24 at Journey Senior Living in Ankeny.

A visitation, with family present, will be held on March 3 from 4-6pm at Ankeny Memorial Funeral Home in Ankeny, IA. Feel free to wear your best flannel shirt.

Robert, and his twin sister Roberta, were born to John Lincoln and Justina Bohun Downard on May 10, 1925 in Stockport, IA in the family home.  Bob was the last in the line of 11 children.

He went to grade school in a one-room schoolhouse in Uttica, IA from kindergarten to 5th grade. The family lost their farm in the depression and moved to Keosauqua, IA where he completed grades 6-12. He graduated high school in 1943.

He worked on the family farm until traveling with his brother Kenny to work in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in 1945 where he worked as a laborer and a brick mason. He met his wife Mary Lou at a local ice cream parlor. Rumor has it she made the best chocolate malts in the midwest. They were married July 27, 1947 in Urbana. They moved to Peoria, IL in the fall of 1948 to start their family.

Bob took a job where he set metal forms for home foundations for Best Factory Built Homes. He had several odd jobs, including returning to Keosauqua for some time, to help build the Van Buren County Hospital until 1949 when he began work as a carpenter for T. Haefli & Sons, where he worked for the next 38 years, until he retired in 1987. Not one to sit around Bob took a job with Blume Construction for the next few years. In 2018, he received his 70 year pin from the Carpenters Union local 183.

After spending more than 50 years in the home where they raised their family, they moved to Ankeny, IA in 2004. They enjoyed family, bowling, gardening, and walking their dog.

Bob is survived by his four children, Patricia (Ron) Strah of Ankeny, IA, Steven (Jennifer) Downard of Plato, Missouri, David (Catherine) Downard of Auburndale, Florida, and Julie (Eric) Mangels of Ankeny, IA; 10 grandchildren; numerous, great-grandchildren, Daisy Mae (his beloved 4-legged companion) and special friend Millie Swanson.

Bob was preceded in death by the love of his life, his wife of 60 years, Mary Lou Downard, parents, 10 siblings, and his grandson Kevin Strah.

A light luncheon and gathering will take place at The Manning Hotel in Keosauqua, IA, March 4 at 11:00am, with a burial interment following at 1:00pm at Miller Chapel Cemetery in Keosauqua, IA.

Light A Candle

Light A Candle for a loved one, leave your name and choose an image.

Choose a candle or special image.