Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hugh Downing’s four sons were among those who greeted the former BJ printer’s friends and family at The Villages, Florida home of their mother, Sharon Downing, for a Celebration of Life on the Downing property at 17900 S.E. 87th Bourne Avenue.

Hugh in his favorite chair
Hugh and Sharon’s sons are Mark Downing, who lives in Erie, Pennsylvania; Ben Downing, who lives in Toledo; Chris Downing, who lives in Hudson; and Jonathan Downing, who lives in Vienna, Virginia. The 4 sons are the fathers of 7 children.

Hugh’s favorite chair, where he sat in the Florida sunshine, was left empty for the guest of honor at the memorial. Hugh passed away Wednesday, November 9. He was 77.

Hugh and Sharon, married for 56 years, moved to The Villages in 2000. The Downings lived in the city of Medina during Hugh’s BJ days. Both are from Galion but didn’t begin their romance till they met at the home of Sharon’s parents in Florida.

Hugh’s siblings are Barbara Downing Roelle, Bert Downing, Colleen Downing Elliker, James Downing, Judy Downing Johnston and Karen Downing Yochem.

Among those attending Hugh’s memorial was 1970s BJ State Desk reporter Paula Stone Tucker, who has a home in The Villages only a few miles from the Downing residence and shares a second residence in Tallmadge with BJ newsroom retiree John Olesky.

Condolence cards may be sent to Sharon at

17900 S.E. 87th Bourne Ave.
The Villages, FL 32159

Sharon's email address is 

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