Judy Ann Jackson Downing, 81, of Gamaliel, passed away December 7 at The Medical Center of Bowling Green.
She was born June 24, 1938, to the late Basil Glen Jackson and Jessie Pearl Comer Jackson, a member of the Gamaliel United Methodist Church for 68 years where she served in many capacities such as pianist, organist, church secretary, treasurer, and historian.
She was a 1955 graduate of Gamaliel High School and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Education from the University of Mississippi in 1959. She was a retired teacher, having taught in the Monroe County School system with 19.7 years at Gamaliel High School and 8 years at Monroe County High School. She was a member of the Monroe County Retired Teachers Association, recipient of the 1994 Campbellsville University Award of Excellence in Teaching Award for Monroe County High School, Gamaliel High School and Monroe County High School Cheerleader Sponsor from 1974-1994, and past member of the William B. Harlan Memorial Library Board of Directors.
In 1991 she served as Gamaliel City Commissioner and was appointed Mayor of Gamaliel in 1992, becoming the first female mayor in the town’s history. She established the Gamaliel Cemetery Grave Marking Project and the Veteran Grave Flagging; led several beautification projects for Gamaliel, and was the author of Gamaliel Cemetery and Related History (v2), co-author of Gamaliel Cemetery and Related History (v3); compiled Whence Came Gamaliel and Sugar Grove School-Beautiful Home Missionary Baptist Church-Beautiful Home Cemetery. Interviewed numerous U.S. military veterans in an effort to preserve their accounts of service and assisted deserving veterans to receive their military war medals.
She is survived by three children, Lisa Downing Murley (Tim) of Bowling Green, Lori Downing Murphy (Joe) of Gamaliel, and Jack Reed Downing (Lauren) of Bowling Green; five grandchildren, Brady Murley (Lacey), Joe Murley (Cara), and Ty Jackson Downing and fiancé, Addison Towery of Bowling Green; Megan Murphy Roper (Josh) of Gamaliel; Billy Joe Murphy (Chelsey) of Tompkinsville; and seven great-grandchildren, Riley Elizabeth Roper, Reese Caroline Roper, Rhett Jackson Roper, Cash Holland Murphy, Rawlings Kate Murphy, Amelia Cate Murley, and Lyla Jo Murley.
Other than her parents she was preceded in death by her former husband and the father of her children, Joe Reed Downing.
The funeral is at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 10, 2019, at Anderson-Bartley Gamaliel Chapel with burial in Gamaliel Cemetery. Visitation begins at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, December 9, 2019, and will continue on Tuesday morning from 7:30 a.m. until time for the service.
Memorials are suggested to Gamaliel United Methodist Church and Gamaliel Cemetery.
To send flowers to Judy's family, please visit our floral section.
Gamaliel United Methodist Church
Gamaliel KY 42140
Gamaliel KY 42140