With heavy hearts Leah and Shannon announce the passing of their Father, Friend and Mentor on January 2, 2016 at the Sault Area Hospital.
Art will continue to watch over his family. Daughters Leah (Garry) and Shannon (George). Grandchildren Andy, Darrid (Kelsie),Troy, Isobel, Allyson, Evan and Breann. Great granddaughters Laci and Lila. Special friend and brother of Diana Chapman (John), Roslyn Carpenter (Charlie) and Peter Downing (Stephanie). His many cousins, nieces and nephews, who benefited from his caring nature, will miss him dearly. Nephew of late John Penny (Eva), late Miles Penny (Margaret), Kathleen Hall (late Jack). Survived by relatives in England. Confidant and great friend to Tom McCaig.
Art was born at Lady Minto Hospital, September 9th 1946 in Cochrane Ontario to the late Arthur and Betty Downing (Penny). Raised in a home his parents built on Queen St. East, Sault Ste. Marie, ON he attended Anna McCrea Public School and Sir James Dunn where he played football for the Sir James Dunn Eagles.
In 1953 his family acquired property on the Q&R Rd. St. Joseph Island, ON. AC Downing & Sons Tree Farms was the first established agricultural business selling Christmas trees. August 25th, 1964 he began working as a papermaker at Abitibi – retiring from St. Mary’s Paper as Boss Machine Tender on July 1st, 2002.
Passionate about landscaping, Art worked and studied with a well known landscaper, Rupert Waas. As a driven individual he pursued his own endeavors. Inspired by a painting of a Dutch flower market, Art built a Windmill for his home and business attraction, in Bar River.
Downing’s Greenhouses and Landscaping was born in 1973. During the 70’s he expanded his talents and amazed us with the imprint he left. He blanketed the Golden Mile – (Great Northern Road), planted boulevards and flowered the Trans Canada Highway. In 1996 Art successfully relocated and expanded to his current location at Trunk Road, Sault Ste. Marie, ON.
He was well known for his generosity, kindness, donations and support for local businesses within the district of Algoma and beyond. Above all, Art loved to work! His special family in Cartagena Columbia adored him; he not only enriched their lives but his own as well.
Family and friends are invited to visit at Northwood Funeral Home Cremation and Reception Centre (942 Great Northern Road 705-945-7758) Wednesday, January 6th /2016 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Funeral service in the Chapel on Thursday, January 7th/2016 at 11:00 a.m. with Father Bill Stadnyk officiating.
Cremation and inurnment at a later date.
A very special thanks to the Doctors, Nurses and Staff at SAH for their compassion and professionalism. We appreciate your assistance in helping us complete Dad’s Journey!