Franklin Phillip (Phil) Downs, beloved husband, father and grandfather went to be with the Lord on Monday, July 29, 2013, in his home, surrounded by family. A celebration service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, at First Baptist Church. Pastor Troy Grant of Berrendo Baptist Church of Roswell and Garry Schwalk of First Baptist Church of Carlsbad will officiate. A graveside service will follow with Joe Tillery officiating.
Phil was born in Roswell on May 13, 1941, to Clifford Franklin Downs and Nina Belle (Van Winkle) Downs, who preceded him in death. His stepmother, Dorothy Marie (Downs) Warren, and stepfather, Calvin Warren, also preceded him in death.
Phil is survived by his wife and long-time sweetheart of 51 years, Elnor Mae Downs; his daughter, Tamara Lynn Trice (husband, Jeffrey); son Derek Phillip Downs (wife, Cathy); and five perfect grandchildren: Keegan Phillip Downs, Rebekah Noel Trice, Makenna Cathryn Downs, Grayson Lawrence Downs and Asher Witt Downs. He is also survived by his sister, Linda Nell Hulse (husband, Geoff) and brother, David Wayne Downs (wife, Patty), and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Phil spent his childhood and teenage years in Artesia. He graduated from Artesia High School in May 1960. While in high school, Phil worked as a sacker at H. & J. Food Basket, where he eventually became an assistant manager. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1959-1967. In 1965, Phil and Elnor moved to El Paso, Texas, where he worked many years for Sherwin-Williams, but he loved New Mexico and wanted to get back. He accepted a position with Goodyear Tire Company in Clovis, but left a few years later when he was to be transferred back to El Paso. Phil then moved his family to Roswell and began his 25-year career as senior account agent with Allstate Insurance Company, where he worked with his close friend, Lee Rucker.
Phil was ordained as a deacon and served for many years in the Sunday School Ministry at First Baptist Church of Roswell. At the time of his death, he was serving as deacon and all-around volunteer at Berrendo Baptist Church of Roswell. Phil was very active in the Gideon Ministry of Roswell and the surrounding area. Phil also enjoyed singing and occasionally served in the role of interim worship leader at Bethel Baptist Church and Calvary Baptist Church. Phil loved his Lord, his family and anyone in need.
Phil touched many lives. He was deeply loved and will be truly missed.
The family would like to thank Gentiva Hospice for their excellent care in helping with Phil’s peaceful passing at home.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to any of the following:
The Gideon Ministry of Roswell, P.O. Box 777, Roswell, NM 88202
Pecos Valley Baptist Association Disaster Relief Team, P.O. Box 267, Artesia, NM 88211
Gentiva Hospice, 400 N. Pennsylvania Suite 500, Roswell, NM 88201
Berrendo Baptist Helping Hands, 401 W. Berrendo Rd., Roswell, NM 88201
Pallbearers will be friends from the Gideon Camp of Roswell: Doug Burger, Jimmy Craig, Adam Dutchover, Bill Glenn, Pete Hebert, and John Ortega. Honorary pallbearers will be the deacons of Berrendo Baptist Church: Kenneth Esslinger and Mike Hardwick.
Condolences can be made online at lagronefuneralchapels.com.
Arrangements are under the personal direction of the professionals at LaGrone Funeral Chapel.