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Categorized | Obituary


Orlie William “Bing” Downer, age 86, of Howard City, passed away Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at his home under the loving care of his family and Heartland Hospice. He was born on May 9, 1935 in Rockford. Orlie served in the Michigan National Guard and worked for Wolverine Worldwide as a warehouse manager, retiring after 32 years of service. As a young man, he was an avid horseman, excelling as a barrel racer and in horse racing. He enjoyed trading and restoring cars and being with his family and friends. On August 25, 1995, in Howard City, he married Joyce Anne Gorby, and they enjoyed a happy 26 years together. He was preceded in death by his parents; Maisy O. (Bush) and Lyle A. Downer; siblings, Donald Downer, and Marjorie Downer Phelps; two nephews, Roger Downer and David Downer; and a step-son, John Brigham. Surviving are his wife, Joyce Anne Downer of Howard City; his children, Kenneth G. & Jamie (Perry) Downer of Kent City, Julia D. Henley & Jack Knowles of Blue River, Wisconsin, Donald J. & Barbara Downer of Comstock Park, Karen & Eric Garvin of Belmont; step-daughters, Julie Brigham of Trufant, and Cindy & Shane Jenkins of El Mirage, Arizona; and two nephews, Doug Downer and Jim Downer, both of Traverse City. Orlie and Joyce also shared in the joy of twelve grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and a beloved cat. Honoring his wishes, private family services will be held with burial in Rockford Cemetery. Instead of flowers, contributions in memory of Orlie may be directed to Heartland Hospice.To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Orlie’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit: www.MichiganCremation.com.

Arrangements were entrusted to Christiansen’s Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Greenville, (616) 754-5638.

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