Eugene D. "Gene" Downing


Last updated 2/14/2018 at 10:10am

Eugene D. "Gene" Downing, age 83, passed away on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, after a short illness. His home was Electric City, Washington. Gene was born June 6, 1934, in Absarokee, Montana, to Donald and Helen Downing, the eldest of three children. He attended Creston High School, graduating in 1952. He excelled in high school sports, with baseball and basketball being his favorites. Gene went on to play baseball for Eastern Washington College. During high school and after graduation, he worked intermittently at the Lincoln Saw Mill outside of Creston, Washington. After enrolling in Eastern Washington College, Gene married Carol Korpi on July 1, 1956, in Grand Coulee, Washington. Shortly after marrying, Gene enlisted in the Army following the Korean Conflict. Upon returning from military service in the Pacific, he continued his college career, graduating in 1962 with a degree in Education. He went on to teach physical education, mathematics, driver's education and coach various sports in Granger, Washington; Inchelium, Washington; and Coulee Dam, Washington. Gene retired from education in 1989. Gene was an avid sports fan his entire life, and he rarely missed a Seattle Seahawks, Mariners, or Gonzaga basketball game. Fishing was also one of his greatest passions.

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

Gene is survived by his wife of 61 years, Carol, at the home; two children, Debra Zeiler (Bob) of Odessa, Washington, and David Downing of Spokane, Washington. Gene is also survived by two grandchildren: Larissa Zeiler and Matthew Zeiler, both of Odessa, and numerous nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Berda Ann Hansen; a brother, Roland Downing; and one nephew.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, at 1 p.m. at Strate Funeral Home in Grand Coulee (329 E. Grand Coulee Ave.). A Military Honor and burial service will follow at Spring Canyon Cemetery.

The family suggests memorials be made to the Shriner's Hospital for Children, 911 W. 5th Ave, Spokane, WA 99204.

Please sign his online register book at Strate Funeral Home of Grand Coulee is caring for the family.


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