George Downing

SEWARD — George L. Downing passed away on Friday, June 7, 2019, in Seward at the age of 85 years, 2 months and 24 days.

Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Seward United Methodist Church, with Pastor Robert Perry officiating. Graveside service and interment will be at Seward Cemetery, with full military honors.

Visitation will be from 1 to 8:30 p.m., with the family receiving friends from 6 to 8, on Wednesday at Zabka-Perdue Funeral Home in Seward. Memorials are suggested to the George Downing family for future designations.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Zabka-Perdue Funeral Home. Condolences may be left at

George L. Downing was born on March 14, 1934, in Seward to Willard Ross and Adah Pearle (Soss) Downing. George grew up in Seward, where he attended Seward High School and graduated with the Class of 1952. George enlisted into the United States Navy on Nov. 24, 1952. He served on the USS Kenneth Whiting during the Korean War. He received the National Defense Service Medal and China Service Medal. George was honorably discharged on Sept. 17, 1956.

Upon his return to Seward, he began working at Johnson’s Locker, which he later purchased. On April 28, 1962, George was united in marriage to Betty Lou Brackhan at Immanuel Lutheran Church, north of Utica. To this union five children were born. George served as the manager of the Seward VFW Club later in life.

He enjoyed attending his children’s activities and later his grandchildren’s activities as well. George participated in the color guard and enjoyed marching in local parades. He loved bowling, dancing, going to the casino and was an avid supporter of 4-H and FFA.

George was a past Commander and lifetime member of the Seward VFW Post 4755, past member of the Seward American Legion Post 33 and a member of the Garland American Legion Post 369 at the time of his death. He was a member and past State President of the Nebraska Association of Meat Processors, past member of the Seward Jaycees, past member of the Seward Board of Education, past member of the Seward Public Power District Board of Directors and a member of the Seward United Methodist Church.

George is survived by his five children, Rick and wife, Sue, Downing of Lincoln and their children, Benjamin Downing, Hanna (Grant) Ostrander and their son, Ezekiel, Shelby Riedman, Grace Riedman and Allison Riedman, Anita Downing-Hueftle and husband, Neil, of Cozad and their children, Anson (Joleen) Hueftle, Aaron (Shae) Hueftle and their daughter, Charlotte, Isaac Hueftle and fiancé Lindsay Warning, Brenda Downing-Farber and husband, Jerry, of Ashland and their children, Tristin, Kayla and Joshua, Linda Downing-Mann and husband, Garrett, of Burwell and their children, Blake, Carter, Avery and Laurel Mann, and Joann Downing-King of Seward and her son, Alex King; three sisters-in-law, Ruth Downing of Seward, Roena Downing of Fort Collins, Colo., and Shirley Downing of Lincoln; seven nieces; and special friends, Chad King, Cid and Chris Beckler families and Cheryl Zumpfe, all of Seward.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife of 48 years, Betty; and five brothers, Robert, Herb, Charlie, Gene and Don.

To this obituary we add our thoughts, prayers and memories of a life shared with George.

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