Gary Dean  Downey
Gary Dean Downey
Gary Dean Downey

February 10, 1948 - January 12, 2021
Born in Grinnell, Iowa
Resided in Urbandale, Iowa
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Gary Dean Downey, 72, passed away on Tuesday, January 12, 2021, at UnityPoint Health Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, IA. A memorial visitation will be held from 4-6 p.m., Saturday, January 16, 2021, at Iles Westover Chapel. Masks and social distancing will be required. At a later date that is yet to be announced a private inurnment will be held at Beaver Catholic Cemetery near Granger, IA followed by a celebration of life gathering.

Gary was born to Dean and Louise (Skidmore) Downey in Grinnell, IA on February 10, 1948. He was the eldest of two children. Gary graduated from East High School in 1966. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy and actively served his country from 1967 - 1971. He was married to Jane Larson on May 5, 1973, until her passing in 1999, he then married Donna Kay on November 3, 2000. Gary was a Food Service Broker for Heddinger Brokerage, Inc. before retiring in 2014. He was a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Central Iowa and the Madrid VFW Post #5060.

Gary had an undeniable love for his family and friends. For those he adored Gary enjoyed grilling and cooking delicious food, he also very much fancied crafting various flavored Moscow Mules. He was quite fond of playing cards daily with Donna and on the weekends with friends. Gary had a passion for cars, his labor of love in retirement was detailing cars for his family and friends. He took such pride in the detailing products he used from Griot's Garage and endlessly talked about Bug Barricade. The highlight of every summer for the past 35+ years was the time he spent in Okoboji, IA. He loved the frosted schooners at Smiles with Miles, relaxing by the lake, and taking boat rides. He was also amused by pulling his children and grandchildren while they skied and made it his mission to dump any brave tubers who dared to ride behind.

Gary is survived by his wife, Donna Downey, three daughters, Michelle (John) Kline of Urbandale, IA, Jocelyn (Travis) Wunschel and Darci (Ben) Moran, both of Granger, IA; son, Travis Downey of Urbandale, IA; sister, Gwen (Jim) Bennett of Madrid, IA, and his grandchildren; Hannah (Brent) Carlson, Rayann Schaffer, James Guzzi, Eva Schaffer, Katie Kline, Jack Kline, Harper Moran, and Ari Wunschel.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents, first wife Jane, in-law's Eldon (Bud) and Leone Larson, and best friends Lee and Deb Shaw.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Madrid VFW Post #5060. Online condolences will be welcomed at






Memorial Gathering
Iles Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Saturday, January 16, 2021
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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Madrid VFW Post #5060
229 S State St #1319
Madrid, Iowa United States 50156