Obituary: Gerard Francis Downes
Gerard Francis Downes, 69, of Westfield, died April 24, 2014. He was born on Feb. 16, 1945, in Dublin, Ireland, to the late Francis Gerard and Mary Elizabeth Downes. Gerard and his family moved to Toronto, Canada, where he attended secondary school. The family then moved to Chicago where Gerard graduated from Little Flower High School in 1964. Gerard received his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Loyola University in Chicago. He was a social worker using his gifts working with young people in a group home setting. Gerard also was a proud veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, having served two tours in Vietnam; he was honorably discharged as a Lance Corporal in 1969. Gerard enjoyed playing hockey, jogging and watching old John Wayne movies. He was a loving son, brother and uncle. He is remembered among family, friends and caregivers as a kind person, with a wonderful sense of humor and charm. He was a member of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Noblesville. In addition to his parents, Gerard was preceded in death by a sister, Angela Downes of Dublin, Ireland. Survivors include his three sisters, Monica (Steven) Schnur of Toronto, Canada, Veronica (Rudolph) Timke of St. Augustine, Fla., and Patricia (Brian) Skiles of Lapel, Ind.; and several nephews and cousins. A Mass of Christian burial will be conducted at noon May 1 at the Chapel at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Alsip-Worth, Ill. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until service time at the cemetery. Burial will take place immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to donor’s favorite charity. The family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to the staff at Riverwalk Commons Senior Living, Riverwalk Village, ComForcare and the VA Medical Hospital for the wonderful care, kindness and friendship given to Gerard. Arrangements and care were entrusted to Bussell Family Funerals, Carmel-Westfield.