(June 23, 1925 - Aug. 31, 2011)
Clayton Wallace Downer, 86, died Wednesday Aug. 31, 2011, at home surrounded by his loving wife and family.
He was born in Bozeman, Mont., on June 23, 1925 to Huntington Downer and Hulda Jane (Colvin) Downer. He was the youngest of four children. When Clayton was only 6 months old, the family moved to Deaver, and started their chicken hatchery business as well as raising cattle. His father was also in road construction and felt moving to Deaver would be a good place to settle down and raise the family.
Clayton attended school in Deaver through the 11th grade. During that time WWII was beginning, the governor of Wyoming deferred Clayton and he was ordered to stay home and help the family while his older brother Hunt was sent to join the military.
In 1946-47 Clayton’s brother returned home and started the original homestead at the base of Heart Mountain, Unit 47. Clayton and Hunt broke the land out of sagebrush while continuing to work on their parents’ farm in Deaver.
In 1946 he met his wife-to-be, Pearl Blackburn. They were married Nov. 20, 1948 in Lovell. They lived with his parents on the farm in Deaver for about four months before moving to Heart Mountain to help his brother with his farm. They lived in a barracks with no electricity, running water, or telephone until 1956 when they moved to their present home. In 1958 they purchased more land to farm on Heart Mountain and began the Downer Farms.
They had six children, James Wallace (deceased in 1975), Eddie Clayton, Marjorie, and Margaret. In 1969 they adopted Timothy Wallace, and in 1970, Tami Jean.
In November 2008 they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with the renewal of their vows at the Cody Bible Church with many friends and family present. Clayton loved the Lord and accepted him into his life many years ago and has been very blessed throughout his life.
Clayton was preceded in death by his parents, Huntington and Hulda Downer, brother, Hunt Downer, sister, Marjorie Edgar, and son, James Wallace Downer.
He is survived by his loving wife of almost 63 years, Pearl B. Downer; sister Helen Starbird of Anchorage, Alaska; sons Eddie Downer and Tim (Kara) Downer both of Powell; daughters Marge (Gary) Wester of Parker, Colo., Margaret (Wilber) Miller of Portland, Ore., and Tami Brost of Powell; 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, at the Cody Bible Church, the viewing will start at 9 a.m. Graveside services will follow at the Riverside Cemetery in Cody. An online guestbook is available at www.ballardfh.com.