Robert L. "Bob" Downing, Jr.

October 14, 1938 ~ October 30, 2019 (age 81)

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Robert L. “Bob” Downing, Jr., 81, loving husband and father of 3, passed away on October 30, 2019 at his home in McCordsville surrounded by his family.  He was born October 14, 1938 in Vincennes, IN to Robert and Adeline (Ell) Downing.  Bob retired from the Indianapolis Star & News after 25 years as a linotype operator.  While working at the Indy Star he also ran his own business, Indiana Telecom Services, which sold accessibility equipment to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.

Bob was very active in the Deaf community.  He served as President and a founding member of the Madison County Deaf Club, was inducted into the Indiana School for the Deaf Hall of Fame for Sports Excellence, named as Indiana School for the Deaf Alumnus of the Year for his community leadership, and served on the Board of Directors for Archibald Memorial Home, a senior living community for the Deaf. He also served on board of Indiana Association of the Deaf.  In June of 2019, Bob was awarded the Distinguished Hoosier Award by Governor Eric Holcomb.  

Bob loved traveling, camping and spending time with his family. 

Bob is survived by his wife of 59 years, Dolletta “Caroline” (McLain) Downing, whom he married April 9, 1960; daughters: Roberta “Bobbie” (Richard) LeMere; her children: Todd (Bettina) LeMere, Timothy LeMere and Irina LeMere; Todd’s children: Vayda and Lennox; Arlene (Scott) Voltz; her children: Bradley (Kayla) Voltz and Kristina (Brian Junk) Voltz; Bradley’s children: Lydia and Vanessa; Mary (Larry) Webb; her children: Korey Alka, Kenzie Alka, Luke Alka and Drew Alka; brother: Riley (Patti) Milburn.  He was preceded in death by his parents and sister: Nancy Evans.

Viewing on Sunday, November 3, 2019 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm at The Bridge Church, 700 Vitality Drive Fortville, IN 46040.  A celebration of Bob’s life will be held on Monday, November 4, 2019 at 11:00 am at The Bridge church with Rob McCord of Outlook Christian Church officiating.  Burial will follow the committal service provided by Father Hankee from St. Thomas Catholic Church at Gravel Lawn Cemetery, Fortville.  Memorial contributions in Bob’s name may be made to Indiana School for the Deaf Alumni Association 1200 E. 42nd Street Indianapolis, IN 46205.   Online condolences may be shared at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert L. "Bob" Downing, Jr., please visit our floral store.


November 3, 2019

2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
The Bridge Church
611 Vitality Drive
Fortville, Indiana 46040

Funeral Service
November 4, 2019

11:00 AM
The Bridge Church
611 Vitality Drive
Fortville, IN 46040


Gravel Lawn Cemetery
9088 West 1025 South
Fortville, IN 46040


Indiana School for the Deaf Alumni Association
1200 E. 42nd Street, Indianapolis IN 46205
Tel: 1-317-550-4800

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