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James Downing


Posted By: Deb barker (email)
Date: 10/16/2005 at 20:27:56

The Story of Iowa, Petersen,
Vol III, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., Inc., 1952; Pgs 99-100
JAMES ORVILLE DOWNING, D.D.S.- Now serving the people of Cedar Rapids and Linn County, Dr James Orville Downing, traces his record back to World War II, in which he added to his skill in the hard school of experience. In the war he was an office in the Navy and today he is active in veteran's affairs in Cedar Rapids He also occupies a leading position among dental surgeons of that city and, active in civic work, is known for his sponsorship of Boy Scout programs.
Dr Downing was born in Eldon, Wapello County, on September 20, 1912. His parents are Ross L and Nina Noel Downing, now residing in Marshaltown. His father, born in Van Buren, on May 18, 1872, is a retail hardware merchant prominent in the Democratic politics of Van Buren County and former holder of various public offices there. Active in the Methodist church at Marshaltown, Ross Downing is former superintendent of his church's Sunday School. Nina (Noel) Downing was born in Davis County on October 22, 1878, the daughter of Phillip and Cynthia (Parker) Noel. Her father, a native of Ohio, died in Bloomfield, Iowa, where he had been a farmer many years; her mother, also born in Ohio, died in Van Buren County, Iowa. Ross Downing's parents were John and Nancy (Hilard) Downing; the former a native of Ohio who died in Van Buren County, the latter a native of Pennsylvania who died in Aurora, Illinois.
Dr Downing was graduated from High school at Cantril, in 1930. He then attended Parsons College at Fairfield, for 2 years. For another 2 years, he was at Iowa State College of Agricultural and Mechanic arts, at Ames, and for a year thereafter studied at the State University of Iowa, Iowa City. In 1945 he was graduated from the School of Dentistry at Saint Louis University, with the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery.
In the next 18 months he was with the United States Navy, from which he emerged in 1946 with the rank of lieutenant. In the fall of the same year, Dr Downing established himself in practice in Cedar Rapids. In recognition of his position in the profession, Dr Downing has been elected to the board of directors of the Cedar Rapids Dental Society. He is also a member of the University District Dental Society and the American Dental Association.
He is a member of the advisory board of the Linn County Council, Boy Scouts of America, and is active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars at Cedar Rapids. Other organizations to which Dr Downing belongs are the Mizpah Lodge No. 639, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club, the Elmcrest Golf and Country Club, and Psi Omega, the dental fraternity. He is a member of St Paul's Methodist Church. His favorite recreations are fishing, hunting and golf.
On December 21, 1942, Dr Downing married Mrs Thelma (Easter) Lappen, widow of Horace Lappen and daughter of Frank and Minnie Easter of Decatur, Illinois. Her father is in the oil business in Washington, Illinois. Mrs Downing, a graduate of the Archie (Missouri) High school, Stephens College at Columbia, Missouri, and of the Central State teachers College of Missouri, also attended the University of Kansas at Lawrence. She received her degree of Master of Science in Home Economics at the Iowa State College at Ames. She taught at the Indiana State Teachers College, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and at the State University of Iowa, Iowa City. Mrs Downing has served as national president of Alpha Xi Delta sorority and is well known in Kappa Omicron Phi, the national honorary home economics sorority. She is now president of the Cedar Rapids dental Society Auxiliary. She is also active at St Paul's Methodist Church, where she teaches a Sunday school class. By her former marriage Mrs Downing has a daughter, Dolores Phyllis, who was born on January 14, 1961, and who in 1948 was a student at the Franklin High School in Cedar Rapids. Adopted by Dr Downing, the young woman has taken his name.


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