The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

April 6, 2013

Ronald B. Downey

The Clinton Herald

---- — Ronald B. Downey

July 30, 1919- April 4, 2013

Ronald B. Downey, age 93, of Preston, Iowa died on Thursday, April 4, 2013 at Genesis Medical Center West, Davenport, Iowa.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Preston with Reverend Gregory Geier officiating. Burial will take place in the Preston Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m., Monday, April 8, 2013 at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Preston. Memorials may be given to St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church or a charity of the donor’s choice. Online condolences may be left for the family at

Ronald was born on July 30, 1919, the son of Ben and Grace (McNeil) Downey near Dodge Center, Minnesota. His family returned to the area when he was a year old. He graduated from Preston High School in 1936 and attended the American Institute of Commerce in Davenport. Ronald was employed in the Jackson County Auditor’s office for four years. He was married to Ruth Sullivan on September 30, 1939 in Elkader, Iowa.

In the summer of 1944, Ronald decided to volunteer for military service. He entered the Army Air Corps where he was a teletype operator. He was on the high seas in the Pacific Ocean when VJ Day took place. On the Island of Saipan, Japan he served with the 69th Anti-Aircraft Group and was an Administrative C.E.O. in charge of processing servicemen and women for their return to the United States. Ronald was honorably discharged from the United States Army on August 16, 1946 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois.

Ronald and Ruth farmed for three years near Lost Nation before coming in 1950 to the farm near Preston where they lived for fifty years. He was in the dairy herd business for twenty years and at one time served as President of the Jackson and Clinton County Dairy Herd Improvement Association.

Ronald was a member of the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Preston. He served as past Commander of the V.F.W. Post 3633 in Maquoketa and was a member of the American Legion in Preston. Following his retirement from farming in 1974, Ronald worked as a crop hail insurance adjuster for Grinnell Mutual Insurance for ten years. He and Ruth enjoyed traveling and visited every state in the union, except for Alaska. They also spent twenty-one winters in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their trip to Hawaii was to take part in the 25th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Ronald enjoyed Keno, reading, playing cards and was very proud of his family.

Ronald will be dearly missed by his wife, Ruth; a daughter, Myrna (Carl) Neumann of Clinton; one son, Robert (Denise) Downey of Marshalltown, Iowa; four grandchildren, Brenda (Carl) Dissette of New Buffalo, Michigan, Matt (Sarah) Downey of Marshalltown, Megan (Kevin) Nagel of Grinnell, Iowa and Mitchell Downey of Ames, Iowa; ten great grandchildren; a sister, Marian Wacha of Omaha, Nebraska and one brother, Loyd (Barbara) Downey of Preston.

Ronald was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Robert and Lyle and one granddaughter, Laura Neumann Lantero.

Death date: April 4, 2013