George L. Downing


George L. Downing

March 14, 1934 – June 7, 2019

George L. Downing was born March 14, 1934, in Seward to Willard Ross and Adah Pearle (Soss) Downing and passed away June 7, 2019, in Seward at the age of 85 years, 2 months and 24 days.

George grew up in Seward, where he attended Seward High School and graduated with the class of 1952. George enlisted into the United States Navy on Nov. 24, 1952. He served on the U.S.S. Kenneth Whiting during the Korean War. He received the National Defense Service Medal and China Service Medal. George was honorably discharged on Sept. 17, 1956. Upon his return to Seward, he began working at Johnson’s Locker, which he later purchased. On April 28, 1962, George was united in marriage to Betty Lou Brackhan at Immanuel Lutheran Church north of Utica. To this union five children were born. George served as the manager of the Seward VFW Club later in life. He enjoyed attending his children’s activities and later his grandchildren’s activities, as well. George participated in the color guard and enjoyed marching in local parades. He loved bowling, dancing and going to the casino and was an avid supporter of 4-H and FFA.

George was a past commander and lifetime member of the Seward VFW Post 4755, a past member of the Seward American Legion Post 33 and a member of the Garland American Legion Post 369. He was a member and past state president of the Nebraska Association of Meat Processors, a past member of the Seward Jaycees, a past member of the Seward Board of Education, a past member of the Seward Public Power District Board of Directors and a member of the Seward United Methodist Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife of 48 years, Betty; and five brothers, Robert, Herb, Charlie, Gene and Don.

George is survived by his five children, Rick and wife Sue Downing of Lincoln and their children, Benjamin Downing, Hanna (Grant) Ostrander and their son Ezekiel, Shelby Riedman, Grace Riedman and Allison Riedman; Anita Downing-Hueftle and husband Neil of Cozad and their children, Anson (Joleen) Hueftle, Aaron (Shae) Hueftle and their daughter Charlotte, and Isaac Hueftle and fiancé Lindsay Warning; Brenda Downing-Farber and husband Jerry of Ashland and their children, Tristin, Kayla and Joshua; Linda Downing-Mann and husband Garrett of Burwell and their children, Blake, Carter, Avery and Laurel Mann; and Joann Downing-King of Seward and her son, Alex King; three sisters-in-law, Ruth Downing of Seward, Roena Downing of Fort Collins, Colorado, and Shirley Downing of Lincoln; seven nieces; special friends, Chad King, the Cid and Chris Beckler families and helpful friend, Cheryl Zumpfe, all of Seward.

Visitation will be from 1 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, with the family receiving friends from 6 to 8 p.m. at Zabka-Perdue Funeral Home in Seward. A funeral service will be at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 13, at Seward United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Robert Perry officiating. A graveside service and interment will be in Seward Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the George Downing family for future designation. Condolences may be sent to the family at


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