William Ronald “Ron” Downing was born on November 12, 1946, in Monroe, Louisiana and departed this worldly life on September 21, 2021, in West Monroe, Louisiana.
During his time on this earth, he had a passion for historical preservation of Ouachita Parish. He was a 3rd generation descendant of Judge Robert Endom and Mayor Fred Endom who played a large part in creating the first path linking Monroe and West Monroe, known as the Endom bridge which he had dedicated in their honor in 1988.
This rich history fueled his interest in genealogy of the early descendants of Monroe and West Monroe. Through his efforts, he worked with private funding to create the replica of the bell tower of the original West Monroe City Hall as well as the streetlights on Trenton Street. This funding also provided the pavilion at Hasley Cemetery for families to use when weather conditions prevented graveside services.
A graduate of West Monroe High School and Northeast Louisiana University, he pursued a degree in marketing, working his way through school in the floral industry which would change his career path.
In 1983, he would establish R. Downing Ltd., Flowers with his wife and children for 32 years in the location of his first job in the industry.
He often said that “If you don’t know your past, you don’t know where you are going.”
He was a member of the Knight of Pythias, Sons of the American Revolution, a charter board member for The Northeast Louisiana African American Heritage Museum.
He spearheaded the reestablishment of the Cottonport and Don Juan Fihoil Historic Districts in West Monroe. He was a contributing historical writer for the Ouachita Citizen and Louisiana Road trips.
In 2005, he was honored with the A.O. Evans Award by the West Monroe- West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce for his efforts to enrich his community.
Antiquing was his passion which would create a weekend refuge for his family in Natchez, Mississippi with many friends for several decades at the historical homes. That love of antiquing also brought the introduction of his wife by her mother.
Ron is preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Walter and Aline Endom; his paternal grandparents, William Otis and Karline Jackson Downing; his father, William Otis Downing, Jr.; his in-laws, Edwin Olin and Mary Frances Hondelink Whitney; his aunt, Arlease Endom Lee; and brothers-in-law, Dr. George Thomas Bowling and Capt. Glen Gorton, USMC.
He is survived by his mother, Beverly Jean Endom Downing; his devoted wife of 51 years, Janet “Jan” Whitney Downing; his son, Clinton Whitney Downing; daughter, Sarah Downing Watley and husband Ricky; grandsons, Paul William Downing and wife, Christina, and Garrett Waller Watley; great grandson, Jaxon Cole Downing; sister, Beverly Downing Bowling; sister-in-law, Nannette Whitney Gorton; and numerous nieces, nephews, and loved ones. He is also survived by his dearest friends, Nell Chennault Calloway and June Golson Eby.
A private burial took place on Monday, September 27, 2021, under the direction of long-time family friends, Mulhearn Funeral Home, whom he once was employed, at the Old Monroe City Cemetery with his Endom descendants.
A celebration of his life will take place on his 75th birthday in the courtyard of his son, Clinton’s antique shop, Revival on November 12, 2021, from 4:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. at 300 Walnut in Historic Downtown Monroe. This celebration of life is open to family, friends, and anyone whose life he many have impacted.
The William Ronald Downing Memorial Fund will be set up to provide funding for the historic preservation and restoration of the Old Monroe City Cemetery’s iron fencing and monuments.
A memorial service for Lottie Gaar will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at Kilpatrick Funeral Home, West Monroe. Visitation will be from 2 p.m. until the time of service at Kilpatrick’s. Lottie was born on June 24, 1938 and passed away on Oct. 14, 2020.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.kilpatrickfuneralhomes.com.
Robert Q. “Bob” Humble
Celebration of the life of Mr. Robert Q. “Bob” Humble, 81, of Monroe, was at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at First West with Pastor Michael Wood and Dr. Mark Fenn officiating. Interment was in Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home, Monroe. Visitation was from 1 p.m. until service time Saturday at First West.
Bob Humble, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, age 81, left his earthly body to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Sept. 24, 2021. Bob’s grandmother was a founding member of First Baptist Church of West Monroe, where he was a lifelong member. Here, he served as a deacon and taught 8th grade boys Bible study for many years. His deep faith and service to his church served as an example to everyone. Bob received a B.S. in Business Administration from Louisiana Tech University in 1963. After graduation, he proudly served his country in the U.S. Army from 1964-1971. He lived with great pride for his country and had a passion for a strong work ethic. Bob was President of Century Ready Mix and served on the Board of Directors at Origin Bank. He instilled his love for hard work into his sons and enjoyed working with them, just as he had worked with his parents. Bob greatly valued his children and grandchildren, and he was proud of all their accomplishments. Also, he enjoyed everyone that worked with him, and he developed many personal relationships throughout the years in the business. He cherished the opportunity to be a grandfather to his 7 granddaughters, who they affectionately called “GrandCat.” He was a constant presence at their activities and always ready to spend time with them. You would always find his face in the crowd (with his camera) of each and every one of his grandgirls’ birthday parties, recitals, graduations, and games. He was generous, fun to be around and will be deeply missed by all that knew him. Our family would like to thank the many friends who have visited, called, and sent prayers along the way. The family also wishes to extend their grateful appreciation to all the doctors, nurses, those at Serenity Care Providers, Ruston Nursing and Rehab Center and Premier Hospice.
Mr. Humble was preceded in death by his parents, Parker and Adah Humble, and sister, Joy Mitcham.
Survivors include his loving wife Sharon Humble; children, Robert Q. “Chip” Humble Jr. and wife Christy, Richard “Chad” Humble and wife Crystal, Ryan “Chris” Humble and wife Jessica; and grandchildren, Ciarra Humble Renken and husband Adam, Courtney Humble, Candice Humble, Cailey Humble, Caitlin Humble, Jessa Humble, and Chrissa Humble.
Memorials may be made to the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home.
Online condolences: www.mulhearnfuneralhome.com
Andrew “Andy” Whitaker
Andrew “Andy” Whitaker, 42 of West Monroe, passed away Oct. 3, 2021. Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday Oct. 9, 2021 at Clark Springs Baptist Church Cemetery in West Monroe; under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home West Monroe.
Betty Fay Whitten
Betty Fay Whitten, age 88, of Monroe passed away surrounded by loved ones on October 3, 2021. Betty was born on January 7, 1933 in a shotgun house in Start, Louisiana.
She graduated from Rayville High School and Bish Mathis Institute in Monroe. She worked in the business office at Louisiana Training Institute.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents Leila Virginia Eppinette Whitten and Martin Luther Whitten, and her brother John Sidney Whitten. She is survived by her loving sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth Whitten Johnston and Charles “Deek” Johnston, Sr. who took care of her for the last eight years of her life. She is also survived by nieces and nephews: Johnette Whitten, Diana Litton, Johnny Whitten, Rusty Whitten, Troy Whitten, Claudio Whitten, Karen Hart, Bobby Hendrix Jr. and Marty Hendrix.
She had lots of happy times with her family and her adored poodle “children”, Prince, Johnna, Tina, Susie, and Yvette. Betty was a member of First Monroe Baptist Church for more than 60 years. She taught Sunday School and was a member of the Ruth Sunday School Class. She had many friends there and at her workplace. She enjoyed cooking, especially for others, and was an avid cookbook collector.
As a lifelong sports fan she went to many LSU football games, lots of ULM Ladies Basketball games and her favorite—St. Louis Cardinals baseball games. Since age 10, when she started listening to the games on the radio with her daddy, she followed the Cardinals. It was a joy to her to wear her Cardinal shirts, her Cardinal jacket and to drive around Monroe with her Cardinal flags flying from her car. Her favorite player was Adam Wainwright. Decorating for Christmas was so exciting for her and sometimes she left some of her decorations out all year.
Over the years she mastered crocheting and attending yard and antique sales. Traveling was also one of her passions and she took yearly trips on which she kept notes and took pictures. She always tried to include a Cardinal baseball game on her vacations.
In her later years it made her happy to watch baseball, football, basketball and The Price is Right on tv. She was much loved and will be missed by family and friends.
The family would like to thank friend Laura Sledge for her many kindnesses and help, and also, Mary Beth Westmoreland, Crossroads Hospice and other friends in the area who assisted in her care. Per Betty’s request there will be no funeral service. Her body is laid to rest at Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery, but she is in Heaven.
Memorial donations may be made to the First Baptist Church Building Fund in Monroe.
Online condolences: www.mulhearnfuneralhome.com