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Maxine Eva Goodrich Downing

Maxine Eva Goodrich Downing of Grand Junction died Thursday, July 3, 2003. She was 89.

She was born June 21, 1914, in Rifle to Edith Thompson and Dewitt Clinton Goodrich. Her father was a brand inspector and her mother was the daughter of an Aspen judge. She grew up on the family’s Lee Creek homestead, and maintained the rugged, independent spirit of a child of the high country throughout her life.

She attended school in Marble, Spring Creek, Ragged Mountain and Bowie, and graduated from Delta High School in 1931. She graduated from nursing school at St. Luke’s Hospital summa cum laude in 1938. She practiced at St. Luke’s for two years. During that time, her mother was admitted to the hospital and died in her care. She moved back to Rifle in 1940.



She maried Frank Downing, a cattle puncher, on Sept. 13, 1941, in Raton, N.M. They made their home for 16 years on the Downing Ranch on upper Spring Creek in the Ragged Mountains, wintering on a ranch near Paonia. In 1957, they sold the Spring Creek Ranch and lived full time at the Paonia ranch.

Mrs. Downing was a homemaker and worked at nursing homes in Montrose and Delta and at Delta Memorial Hospital. Her husband worked as a coal miner and rancher. In their 70s, they retired.



Mrs. Downing was an active member of the Bible Center Church in Paonia.

During her life, Mrs. Downing’s home burned down twice, and two of her children died. She took solace and strength from her family and faith.

Mr. Downing preceded her in death in 1991. In 1999, Mrs. Downing sold the ranch and moved into Paonia. In 2001, she moved to Grand Junction.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Downing; by a son, George Clinton Downing; and by a daughter, Eileen Fay Downing.

Mrs. Downing is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Mary Ann and Robert Wilson of Costa Mesa, Calif.; by sons Carvel James “Jim” Downing of Snowmass, Mark Douglas and Johanna Downing of Grand Junction, and Eric Leighton Downing of Grand Junction; and by 10 grandchildren.

A meorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9, at the Bible Center Church in Paonia.


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