Service Date: 08/31/2017 at 11:00 AM
Location:St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church
Funeral Mass will be celebrated August 31, 2017 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church with reception to follow.
Gary Argene Downing passed away on Monday, August 21, 2017 at the age of 49. He was born in Dillon, Montana and attended Mead High School in Spokane, where he enjoyed being the quarterback of the football team and throwing the javelin in track. He graduated from Washington State University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing and moved to Los Angeles where he started his sales career with Evergreen Aviation. After traveling the world, he moved to Tigard, Oregon and began a long career at Bankers Life and Casualty Company. In 1997, he transferred to Bankers Life in Tacoma, where he remained until he had to retire in 2013 due to the complications of ALS.
At Bankers Life, Gary was awarded the Rookie Sales Agent of the Year. He quickly moved up into management and served as a top branch manager, receiving the Soaring Eagle award for the 2005 and 2008 Best Performing Office, which has since been renamed the Downing award. He continued to serve the company as a Regional Director, an Executive Council member and the go-to-guy for sales training videos and conferences. In the words of the President of Bankers Life, “…it was never about Gary and his accomplishments. It was always about the rest of us. Gary was a leader and took every opportunity to encourage us to raise our expectations of ourselves; to be better than we were the time before, and to never take anything for granted…Until he no longer could, he was go, go, go. And for a long while, he was truly unstoppable.”
Gary was an avid elk hunter, fisherman, and golfer with a quick wit and infectious laugh. He was known for his innertube rides on Phillips Lake, his skill at grilling steaks and brussel sprouts and his passion for tailgating. Gary’s intuitiveness, amazing sense of humor and loving heart brought people together and touched many lives. He was an incredible person, father, husband and friend.
Gary is survived by his wife, Kristin (Zemek), four daughters, Megan, Jenna, Kaitlyn, and Ally, parents, Ken and Terri Downing, sisters, Jolene Downing (Michelle), Lynn Stapleton (Brian), and brother, Troy Downing. A Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, August 31, 2017 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church at 11am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in Gary’s name to the ALS Association Evergreen Chapter, 19115 68th Ave S, Suite H-105, Kent, WA 98032-2110.
Arrangements by Gaffney Funeral Home