Family Login:

Charles J. DOWNS

Share This Obituary
Resources



Memories & Candles

“I wish to extend my condolences on the passing of your father Charles. The Downs name was a flash from the distant past, a lifetime ago in fact. ...Read More »
1 of 2 | Posted by: Thomas Petrocik - Family Friend

“Dear Downs Gang,Your Dad was quite the guy...his little wisdoms he often gave to us, his healthy cooking skills, his love of community and neighbors....Read More »
2 of 2 | Posted by: Carolyn Crowley


Charles James Downs, age 100, longtime Marquette resident, entered eternal life on August 20, 2016 at Marquette County Medical Care Facility. Charlie was born in Marquette, Michigan on December 22, 1915 to Timothy and Rachel (Beaudry) Downs. He graduated from Bishop Baraga High School in 1933. Charlie worked for Beyer's Brothers General Contracting as their bookkeeper after high school. He married Frances "Mickey" Smedman on July 11th, 1942 at St. Peter's Cathedral in Marquette, Michigan. A Veteran of WWII, Charlie enlisted in the Navy Seabees in June of 1943 and served honorably for 2 ½ years in the South Pacific arena. From 1946 through his retirement in 1978, Charlie worked for the Michigan Inspection Bureau as a fire insurance inspector using his skills in architectural drawing and bookkeeping to service businesses in the Upper Peninsula. Charlie was a devoted husband and father, and a devout Catholic. He was a longtime member of St. Peter Cathedral, served 50 years in the Third Order of St. Francis of Assisi, and volunteered for 35 years in prison ministry at the Marquette Branch Prison. He also volunteered as a bookkeeper for St. Peter's Cathedral for 17 years as well as Bishop Baraga School, and 4 other parishes in the U.P. He was also an active member of the Knights of Columbus and St. Vincent DePaul Society. Charlie was active in sports and he passed on his love of sports to his children and grandchildren. He also liked to dance, pick blueberries and travel, spending time in Texas and Phoenix, Arizona. He is survived by his sons, Timothy (Sherry) , Brian (Jeanette) , Robert (Julie) and Paul (Donnie Sue); one daughter, Ann (Rick) Musgrove, 14 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren; he is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Margaret Rule and Lucille Smedman, both of Marquette and a brother-in-law, Wilbur Schmeltzer of Traverse City. Charlie was preceded in death by his wife, Frances, on August 15, 2015; a daughter, Mary Ellen Ogden; sister, Helen Downs and brother, John Downs. The family extends thanks for the wonderful care provided by the staff at Marquette County Medical Care Facility and Lake Superior Hospice. In Lieu of Flowers, donations can be made to the St. Vincent DePaul Society, 2119 Presque Isle Ave., Marquette, MI 49855 or the Bishop Baraga Association, 347 Rock St., Marquette, MI 49855 in Charlie's memory. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday at 12 Noon EDT in St. Peter Cathedral, Marquette, with the Rev. Msgr. Michael Steber officiating. The Downs family will greet relatives and friends beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Bishop's Room until the time of the Mass. A luncheon will take place in the parish hall immediately following the Mass. Interment will take place in the Holy Cross Cemetery. Mr. Downs' children will act as his escorts. The family has entrusted the Canale-Tonella Funeral Home with the funeral arrangements where memories may be shared at canalefuneral.com