January 26, 1923 - October 11, 2016
Estelle Clayton Downing
1/26/1923 – 10/11/2016
Estelle was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Detroit, Michigan. As a young girl, Estelle was inquisitive and made friends easily. She loved swimming and dancing. But, the true love of her life was an Air Force cadet in pilot training whom she married on September 19, 1942 at St. John’s Methodist Church in Oklahoma City, OK. Estelle’s life as wife of Lt. Col. (Ret) Hollis Rex Downing, Sr. spanned 72 years until Hal’s death in September, 2014. During that time, she was an avid bridge player, a volunteer in base hospitals as a Grey Lady, active in the Officer’s Wives Club activities including several couples’ bowling leagues, creator of ceramic projects, and a qualified marksman in pistols through the NRA. She had three children: Hollis Rex Jr., Sue Anne, and Jan Ellen. She excelled in her role as a mother providing care and nurturing.
After Hal retired from the Air Force, they moved to San Antonio, Texas, where Hal became a realtor/broker and eventually opened his own company. Estelle trained and worked in real estate. Hal and Estelle were both active members in SABOR. She earned a broker’s license and worked with Hal in his Circle D Realty Company. Due to all the moves she made over the course of Hal’s Air Force career, she was quite experienced in what it takes to relocate. She applied all that experience to making her clients’ transition to life in San Antonio seamlessly smooth. One of the family jokes was that Estelle really wasn’t very good at directions, so her willingness to learn her way around a new place was often met with some lengthy drives before we arrived at the expected destination. As a result, it was always fun to anticipate what new things we would see. (To this day, I enjoy riding around just to check out the scenery. I have my mother to thank for that pleasure.) Estelle eventually became quite adept at preplanning her routes when she had to take her clients on showings to find their perfect house. Hal and Estelle were also members for many years of the San Pedro Presbyterian Church.
In her spare time, Estelle enjoyed knitting, embroidery, sewing, reading, and playing bridge. She also enjoyed shopping for clothes, traveling to real estate conventions, and taking cruises.
Estelle is survived by her son, Rex, and daughters, Sue and Jan; her daughter-in-law, Cheryl, and son-in-law, David; her five grandchildren, Carmen, Amy, Jenny, Garrett, and Brenda; her three grandchildren-in-law, Chris, Tom, and Stefanie; and her four great-grandchildren, Caitlyn, Andrew, Brandon, and Maddie.
There will be a family memorial service at the Dallas Ft. Worth National Cemetery for internment of the urns for Hal and Estelle on Friday, November 25, 2016. In lieu of flowers, donations to VITAS Hospice, 8585 N. Stemmons Fwy, Ste. 200 South Tower, Dallas, TX 75247 are greatly appreciated.
Arrangements are under the direction of: ARIA Cremation Service & Funeral Home 10116 E. NW Highway Dallas, Texas 75238 214.340.8008