Wilbur E. Downing
Wilbur E. Downing, 91, passed away peacefully Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Sanford, Maine, while visiting relatives for the holidays.
Graveside funeral services with full military honors to celebrate the life of Mr. Downing will be held at 12 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, conducted by the Rev. Marilyn Wooten, at the Lakeland Memorial Park’s Mausoleum Chapel, in Monroe.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Mr. Downing will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, at the Pinehurst United Methodist Church, in Pinehurst.
Mr. Downing was born August 24, 1921, in Wells, Maine, a son of the late Edgar L. Downing and the late Hazel Hobson Downing Wolf. Mr. Downing spent his early years there before joining the Army Air Corps during World War II.
He served in the Panama Canal Zone as a fighter pilot. It was there that he met his future wife, Grace Coan, of Monroe, while she was working for the civil service.
Mr. Downing was a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, with a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering. He later retired from Bird Machinery Company in Walpole, Mass. He and Grace moved to Southern Pines in 1983.
Mr. Downing was preceded in death by his wife, Grace Coan Downing, on Nov. 19, 2008. He was also preceded in death by two brothers, Merrill Hobson and William West. He is survived by a number of caring nieces and nephews, and many friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Western Carolina Chapter, 3800 Shamrock Drive, Charlotte, NC 28215-3220. Online condolences may be offered at www.mcewenmonroechapel.com.
McEwen Funeral Home of Monroe is serving the family.