William "Bill" Bruce Downey

William "Bill" Bruce Downey, age 87, of Hamilton, MO, passed away at his home in Hamilton on Jan. 23, 2021. Bill lived in Lawrence, KS, and Gallatin a short time, but lived in Hamilton most of his life.

Bill was born on June 25, 1933, in Gallatin, to Chester William and Mildred (Whorton) Downey. Bill attended school in Gallatin and said he flunked the 4th grade there so that he could move to Hamilton and marry his honey. He was a 1952 graduate of the Penney High School in Hamilton. 

Bill then worked at the Hercules Powder Plant in Lawrence, KS, and then entered the military in 1953, serving his country in the Army during the Korean Conflict until 1955. After his military service, he attended barber school in Kansas City, and worked at the barber shop in Hamilton. He was co-owner of the Potts & Downey Barber Shop in Hamilton and cut hair there for over 51 years. He and his wife, Carolyn, also owned the Man's Land Clothing Store in Hamilton from 1973-1992. 

Bill married Carolyn Loveless on Jan. 4, 1953, in Hamilton, and they just celebrated 68 years of marriage. Carolyn taught Bill to dance and they loved to dance and would even volunteer to chaperone high school dances just so that they could be there to dance. 

Bill was a member and past commander of the Hamilton American Legion Post #285, a member of the Hamilton Masonic Lodge, Hamilton R-II School Board, Hamilton Lion's Club, past President of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, and a long-time Hamilton football official and chain-gang crew member.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Ruth Bills and Betty Jean Downey; brother, Jimmy Dale Downey; and a stillborn child.

Survivors who will mourn his passing are his wife, Carolyn, of the home; daughters, Debra (Mike) Simerly of King City, Judy (Steve) Trimm of Hamilton, and Jennifer Wiegers of Kansas City; grandchildren, Amanda (Shane) Pawling, Andrew (Diana) Gaddis, Amber (Vernon) Burger, Rodney (Rebecca) Houghton, Curtis (Misty) Houghton, Shelby Houghton, Ciara Wiegers and Riley Wiegers; 16 great-grandchildren; and brother, Jarol Downey of Kansas City, KS.

A celebration of life service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28, at Bram Funeral Home in Hamilton. A visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28, at the funeral home. Friends may call at Bram Funeral Home on Wednesday, Jan. 27, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Thursday morning beginning at 9:00 a.m. Interment will be at Highland Cemetery in Hamilton. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hamilton American Legion Post #285. 

The Caldwell County News

101 South Davis
P.O. Box 218
Hamilton, MO 64644
Phone: 816-583-2116

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