James Ruben Downing, 90, of Bethalto, passed away at 1:20 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, at Stearns Nursing Home in Granite City.
He was born on Feb. 19, 1925, in Alton, the son of the late Monroe and Bobbie (Smith) Downing.
Jim married Doris Lee Thomas in 1949 and she preceded him in death in 1964. He then married Rosalie Borders and she preceded him in death in 1984.
He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Jim was a die setter at Laclede Steel in Alton, where he retired from in 1987. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Alton, he was an avid square dancer and a member of the LIFT program.
He is survived by a daughter, Nancy (Nan) Downing of St. Louis; a son, Thomas and his spouse, Angie Downing, of Belleville; four stepdaughters, Pam Marko of Godfrey, Jackie Corrigan of Texas, Sandy Karstens of Belleville and Susan Smithey of Nebraska; one granddaughter, Windy Downing Stone; one grandson, Todd Downing; four great-grandchildren; nine step-grandchildren; and 14 step-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, spouses and a sister, Reba (Jewel) Kuelbs; and brother, Walton Monroe Downing.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, 2015, at the Elias, Kallal & Schaaf Funeral Home in Alton. Services will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at the Elias, Kallal & Schaaf Funeral Home in Alton.
Burial will follow at the Upper Alton Cemetery in Alton.
Memorials may be directed to Parents and Teachers organization for exceptional children (Special Olympics) of Belleville.
Online condolences and guestbook may be found at www.eliaskallalandschaaf.com.