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1491 Main Street
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Dubuque, IA 52001
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Memories & Candles

“Just heard of your mother's promotion to glory. She was a generous and caring woman a blessing to many. Ruth and Bill were treasured friends to my...Read More »
1 of 4 | Posted by: Becky Tomkins Elliott - IRMA, WI

“Bill, Steve, Debbie, Paul, Renee and families, Our deepest sympathies on the loss of Ruth. She will be fondly remembered as a wonderful neighbor and...Read More »
2 of 4 | Posted by: Steve and Tina Hefel - Lodi, WI

“Ruth and Bill were best friends with my parents Anne and Earl Genthe. They use to hang oout with them at my parents house I remember walking into the...Read More »
3 of 4 | Posted by: Nancy Meyer(Genthe) - Dubuque, IA

“I will always cherish the times spent playing euchre and also the fun we all had dressing up as clowns. Rest in peace Ruth.Love,Becky ”
4 of 4 | Posted by: Becky Hoist - Dubuque, IA


Bible Emblem

Ruth E. Downs, age 90, of Sherrill, was called home peacefully at 9:07 p.m., on Thursday, November 23, 2017, at UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital, surrounded by her loving family. To honor Ruth's life, funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, December 2, 2017, at the Dubuque Community Church, 3490 Keystone Drive, with Pastors Steve Downs and Dennis Schmitt officiating. To celebrate Ruth's life, family and friends may visit from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., on Friday, December 1, 2017, at Dubuque Community Church, 3490 Keystone Drive. Burial will be in St. Francis Cemetery, Balltown, Iowa.

Ruth was born on June 16, 1927, in Manistique, Michigan, daughter of Charles and Rose (Sautter) Hamiel.

Ruth moved to Montour, Iowa at the age of 11, after her mother was sadly called home much too early. Her Aunt Luella Buchanan, lovingly welcomed her in and adopted Ruth as her own. Ruth would meet her soul-mate, Bill Downs, while still in school. The pre-destined couple would date for a few years and eventually be united in marriage in May 30, 1948, at the Methodist Church in Montour. Ruth went on to business college and invested a few years of her time and talents with the Lennox Company until she and Bill began running the drug store in town. The couple eventually discovered the true meaning of "God's country" after moving to Dubuque in 1958, and finally established their permanent roots on the family farm in the Sherrill area in 1965. When Ruth wasn't taking care of her family, she would find countless moments of joy in traveling the country, making regular trips to Branson, a friendly, yet competitive game of Euchre with friends, creating wonderful meals in her kitchen, or even spending the afternoon tending to her sometimes overly bountiful garden. But, the real time that Ruth treasured most was the time she would spend with her family at both home and church. Faith, family and fun were more than simply words to Ruth; they were a lifestyle and a devotion which she truly adored. Ruth's sudden absence from our physical earthly realm definitely causes our hearts to ache at their core; but it's our faith, trust in our Savior, and God's grace, which provide real comfort during this difficult time. We will miss you Ruth, but we are forever grateful for the 90 years the Lord saw fit to share you with us and we will wait in patient peace until we are all reunited once again.

Those left to cherish Ruth's memory include

her loving husband of 69 years,
Bill Downs, Sherrill, IA;

her children,
Steve (Debbie) Downs, Spokane, Washington
and Paul (Renee) Downs, Dubuque;

her 12 grandchildren,
Jack (Lorri) Downs, Sarajane (James) Stewart, David (Ashley) Downs, Daniel (Miranda) Downs, Tom Downs, Harmony Downs, Bonnie Downs, Joy Downs, William Downs, Grace Downs, Faith Downs, and Andrew Downs;

her 7 great-grandchildren,
Ella Downs, Ava Downs, Olivia Downs, Elias Stewart, Willow Stewart, Abigail Downs and Emily Downs;

and her sister,
Lillian Pantazopolous.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; a granddaughter, Melody Downs; and 6 brothers and sisters.

Ruth's family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at Finley Hospital for the professional and tender care they provided to Ruth, and her family.