Doris M. Downs, 89, passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 2nd at her home in Brookdale Senior Living Solutions in Urbana, IL.
Doris was born in Unity Township on November 25, 1929, a daughter of Kenneth and Emma (Stanley) Downs. She was the third child following William (Mildred Schroeder) and Harold (Annabelle McGuire); her younger siblings were Ruby Bryson (Wayne), Jo Anne Sieh (Danny), Jack (Joanne), Corrine, and Carl. Mildred, Jo Anne, and Danny survive.
Although she was not married nor had children of her own, she was the matriarch of the Downs clan. She had 22 nieces and nephews and more than 100 grand nieces and nephews.
Doris attended High School at the Atwood Township High School (1948) and received a Bachelor and Masters (1953) from the University of Illinois in food science. Following graduation, she worked in dormitory food service at the University of Illinois and Eastern Illinois University. She then worked at Michigan State University in the institutional administration for many years. Her most senior position was as Food Service Director of the Kankakee School District 111 serving food to over 4000 students and staff. She retired to Ormond-By-The-Sea, Florida, but later returned to Champaign-Urbana to be nearer her family.
Doris had varied interests. She participated in the Senior Odyssey research program at the University of Illinois Beckmann Institute from 2004-2008. The purpose of the research was to evaluate ways to engage seniors in mental activities and creative exercises in a social context. She also had many other interests over most of her life including bird watching, mushroom hunting, picnicking on the beach, and of course, entertaining the nieces and nephews as they grew up. She loved her many dogs like they were her children.
A special thanks to the staff of Brookdale Senior Living Solutions who treated her like family. We would also like to thank Harbor Light Hospice for giving both Doris and our family great care and support in the final weeks of her life.
Doris requested that there be no service for her in conjunction with her cremation. Her wish was to donate her hair to a charity that makes wigs for children. Memorial gifts may be made to Harbor Light Hospice, Champaign County Humane Society, or a memorial of your choice. Arrangements are being handled by Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Champaign, IL, 710 N. Neil St. Champaign, IL.