Merle Ray Downing was born April 21, 1947 in Claremore, Oklahoma to Mink James and Eva Ethel (Ward) Downing and departed this life on November 17, 2016 at his home in Adair at the age of 69 years, 6 months, and 27 days.
Merle was a lifetime resident of Mayes County. He grew up in the Locust Grove area and graduated from Locust Grove High School in 1965. Merle served in the United States Army Reserves for six years and attained the rank of E-6 staff sergeant. On October 18, 1991 he married Vicki Thompson. Merle worked in the construction field doing drywall work for many years.
Merle enjoyed spending his time fishing, golfing, raising vegetable gardens and watching OU football. He was a music lover and enjoyed singing. Merle loved family gatherings. He loved his family dearly and each and every one will miss him deeply.
He is survived by six daughters, Traci Lynn Salyers and husband Tracey Dean of Locust Grove, Shelly Spradlin of Broken Bow, Daesha Cagle and husband Jason of Locust Grove, Kendra Hunter and husband Jimmy of Murphy, Nicole Manus of Pryor and Rhonda Decker and husband Jason of Tulsa; two sons, Ryan Forrest of Pryor and Jonathan Forrest and wife Beth of Riverbank, CA; twenty grandchildren and seven great grandchildren; one sister, Connie Loffer and husband Roger of Peggs; five brothers, Dennis Downing and wife Verna of Salina, Doyle Downing and wife June of Locust Grove, Darrell Downing and wife Kay of Crockett, TX, Jack Downing and wife Joyce of Pryor and Otis Downing and wife Merle Gay of Locust Grove; special children Tammy Lee and Chris Hassinger; several nieces, nephews, and other family and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, one brother Jim Downing, one sister Joann Loffer, and one grandson John Fogleman.
Published on November 21, 2016