CARTHAGE, Mo. — Patsy Ann Downum, 80, formerly of Oswego, died at 11:21 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011, in Carthage, Mo., following a brief illness.
She was born Dec. 30, 1930, in McCune to Frank and Esther Hevel.
She graduated from Oswego High School in 1948 and then attended Labette Community Junior College. Upon receiving her teacher's certification she taught kindergarten through eighth grade at Hackberry School.
She married Homer Ray Downum on July 21, 1951, in Bentonville, Ark.
Endowed with a strong work ethic, she began working in the Southeast Kansas area at an early age. Her long and varied employment included Hanley’s Greenhouse, McClellan’s Drug Store, the Dairy V and Dairy Breeze Restaurants, Stott's Realty, the Oswego Motel, the Labette County Courthouse, where she worked as a legal secretary, and the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant. She was a creative and skilled homemaker, cook, doll maker, quilter, teacher, baton twirler and writer. She loved her family and her hometown of Oswego and resided there until her health required her to move to Carthage, Mo.
She had a lively mind and a keen memory for the people and events of her life. Her interests were many and varied, ranging from politics to music to history to nature. She was an avid correspondent with friends, family and public figures, and she wrote and received a large number of letters each year. She often could be seen walking in Oswego’s Riverside Park, a place she enjoyed greatly and where a memorial tree will be planted and a remembrance observed in the spring.
She lived in Oswego from 1943 to 2007. She had lived in Carthage, Mo., for the past four years.
Survivors include a daughter, Janine Jennings of Carthage, Mo.; two sons, Timothy Downum of Oswego and Christian Downum of Flagstaff, Ariz.; four grandchildren, Danica Giles of Carthage, Mo., Aaron Jennings of Joplin, and Ellen and Brendan Downum of Flagstaff, Ariz.; a brother, Lewis Hevel of Parsons; a son-in-law, Ed Jennings of Carthage, Mo.; daughters-in-law, Denise Downum of Flagstaff, Ariz., and Terry Downum of Oswego; and sisters-in-law, Wanda Hevel of Parsons and Wanda Hevel of Oswego. She had three great-grandchildren, Sophie Ray and Emmie Ann Giles of Carthage, Mo., and McKenna Jennings of Joplin.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Homer R. Downum, on Jan. 31, 2000; six brothers, Carl, Forrest, Francis, Marvin and William Hevel and Wilbur Sailsbury; and two sisters, Freda Thompson and Fern Maddox.
The service will be at 2 p.m. today at the Oswego Cemetery in Oswego. Derfelt Funeral Home of Oswego is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials are suggested to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure breast cancer research, which can be left online (http://ww5.komen.org/).