Jackie (Jack) Dean Downey, age 90, passed away Thursday, March 18, 2021 at his home in Perkins, Oklahoma. Funeral services will begin at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at the Sunnybrook Christian Church in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Burial will follow in the Perkins (Knipe) Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Strode Funeral Home and Cremation.
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Jack was born September 11, 1930 in Stillwater, Oklahoma to Andrew Stewart and Katie (Allison) Downey. He was a graduate of Coyle High School and attended Oklahoma State University. Jack was a veteran and served his country in the United States Army. He was stationed in Alaska where he built airplane hangars during the Korean Conflict from 1952 to 1954. On November 23, 1955 he married the love of his life Mildred Fern Sweetin on a sunny day in Stillwater.
Jack and Fern settled near Perkins and started raising wheat and pigs. Later, they purchased the Perky Ranch west of Stillwater and increased their herd to more than 500 cows as well as running 500 yearlings per year on wheat pasture. Jack has been recognized for his involvement and leadership on local and state levels. He has contributed thousands of hours to many civic, religious and ag related organizations including Farm Bureau, Oklahoma Cattleman’s Association, Payne County Cattle Producers, Perkins Lions Club, and the Stillwater Elks Lodge. In 2001, Jack and Fern were honored as Cattle Producer Hall of Fame winners. He was also a devoted member of Sunnybrook Christian Church in Stillwater.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Fern Downey; two brothers, Charles Downey and wife Joann, and Joe Wayne Downey and wife Diana; his daughter Tammy Fowler; his son Mark Downey and wife Melissa.
He is also survived by his grandchildren, Brady Bridenstine, his wife Elizabeth and their children Wyatt and Clara; Tucker Downey, his wife Lauren and their daughter Lorelai; Baylee Fowler, Harley Downey, and Bennett Fowler; as well as bonus grandchildren, Cheyenne and Daniel Cano, KayCee Givens and Cale Angle.
He is preceded in death by his parents; his brothers Little Billy, Cecil, Elmer, Jim; and his sisters Ruth, Dorothy, and Grace and sister-in-law Patsy Sweetin.
Serving as pallbearers are Dee Moore, Randy Downey, Jeff Henry, Jason Hale, Guy Griggs, and Gregg Pickens. Honorary pallbearers are Brady Bridenstine, Bennett Fowler, Tucker Downey, Noal Patton, Kent Barnes, Dan Hubbard and Pecos Bridenstine.
The Downey and Sweetin families would like to extend thanks to Mr. Downey’s caregivers, Jordyn Coulson, Carol Rae Deer, and the staff of Traditions Hospice.