Shirley Irene Downs

March 04, 1929 ‒ December 24, 2019

Marion, Ohio

Shirley Irene Downs, age 90, of Marion, died unexpectedly on Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24, 2019, at Marion General Hospital.

On March 4, 1929, Shirley was born in Cambridge, Ohio, one of six children of the late Robert and Ethel (Schafer) Ellwood.  As a family they moved to Marion, Ohio, where she graduated from Marion Harding High School.

A dear friend of Shirley’s, Bonnie Downs, introduced her to Bonnie’s husband’s twin brother, Jesse R. Downs.  From there the rest was history.  They were married on April 5, 1947, and shared fifty eight loving years of marriage together.  He preceded her in death on November 8, 2005.

After over thirty years, Shirley retired from the General Telephone Company in Marion, where she worked in the accounting and security departments.  She also was a member of the Independent Telephone Pioneer Association.

Shirley had attended the Shiloh Community Church and was a member of the Marion Moose Lodge.

Always up for an adventure, Shirley loved going camping, hitting the casinos, and taking road trips with her daughter and granddaughter.  She also was an avid BINGO player and she loved playing Euchre.

After seventy years, Shirley reconnected with an old high school friend, Bob Lee.  It was a sweet love story, and they truly cherished their year together.  She never recovered from his passing this past June.

Shirley will be remembered for her kind heart and ornery personality.

She will be missed by her son, Michael (John Wilke) Downs of Chicago, IL; daughter, Deborah Carr of Marion; foster son, Patrick Crager of Green Camp; two granddaughters: Brandy (Amanda Martin) Adams of Delaware, and Kayla Crager of Columbus; a brother, Robert (Janet) Ellwood of Florida; numerous nieces, nephews and dear friends.

Including her husband and parents, Shirley was preceded in death by one brother, Kenneth Ellwood; three sisters: Betty Wilkinson, Opal Murray, and Donna Welch; her favorite sister-in-law, Bonnie Downs; and by her special companion, Bob Lee.

Services honoring Shirley’s life will be held at 10 am on Friday, January 17, 2020, at her graveside in Caledonia Cemetery.  Following the services at the cemetery, family and friends are invited to a luncheon in her memory at the American Legion Post 162, 531 Bellefontaine Ave, Marion.

On behalf of her family, they would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Interim Home Health and her nurse practitioner, Dawn Sperling, for their caring services over the years.

Snyder Funeral Homes of Marion are honored to serve Shirley’s family and your condolences may be expressed to them by visiting

  • So sorry to hear about your momna.
    Deepest sympathies to you and your family. She was a great lady.

  • Sweet of you to remember Mom. It really means a lot to Kim and I . They loved each other so much and were friends since they were in high school. Going to miss talking to her each week.

  • Debby
    So sorry you are in my prayers. Your mother was the sweetest lady I know. Just in the short period of time that I knew her. I could sit and talk with her forever. She will be dearly missed 👼

  • My deepest heartfelt condolences to Debbie, Brandy and Amanda! I feel truly blessed to have gotten to know Granny these past two summers. I enjoyed talking to her, she was an inspiration in how to keep enjoying life even as one ages! I loved her humor.

    I know these days are very difficult, but she will always be with you . Heaven gained a beautiful angel this week.

    I will keep your family in my prayers and hugs to all of you.

  • One of the greatest women I had the pleasure of knowing! You will be greatly missed! Rest easy mow Granny!

  • Granny was one of the sweetest, kindest, wonderful, and most beautiful women I knew. I will never forget the vacations to Myrtle Beach, out to eat, camping and just hanging out with Brandy, Deb and Rhoda just all being together. You all made me feel like I belonged, no matter where and when it was. Even as I was a ” Tag along”. I will never forget even the hospitality, and welcoming in her house.. RIP Granny. I will never forget you, and always loved you, even the last few years had been hectic in my life, I still thought of you often. Deb, and Brandy, thank you for being my friend and including me in your lives. Love you all.

  • Keep your memories close to your heart and you’ll always smile remembering her. It’s very hard losing your mother. We are keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Aleah says she is sorry Granny is gone, and she loves you Debby. ❤

  • Rest in peace Shirley. I will always remember you as one of the Daffodil Dr. moms. Growing up, all of the moms were special, and so many of them are angels now. Thinking of you all and keeping you in my prayers.

  • Debbie,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your mom. losing your mother is very hard.She was so good to my girls. Kaysen and Lisa loved her so much and will miss her terribly. I have you in my prayers. Much love to you.

  • Oh – beautiful Lady you will be missed. That smile, your laughter and your unconditional love and kindness for which you have touched so many.
    Go rest high upon that mountain, for your work here on earth is done. Go look for the Father and the Son.
    We love you Grandma Shirley.
    Sending healing prayers and comforting hugs.

  • So sorry to hear of the passing of Aunt Shirley.Good memeories of her when i was a little girl.What a remember going to her & uncle Jess”s house ,they had that Silver Christmas tree.Prayers are with Debbie & the rest of family.Brenda Petty