St. George Utah – Leon Ellsworth Downing Jr., 83, passed away on Thursday November 1st, 2018. He was born January 26th, 1935 in Washington, D.C. to Leon Ellsworth Downing and Martha Lavern Davis. He married Diane Campbell on October 1st, 1994 in Henderson, Nevada.
Leon (Lee) was an only child and was raised primarily by his grandmother, Virginia, in Washington D.C. until the age of 18 when he enlisted in the United States Air Force. He served in Texas, Ohio, New Mexico, West Virginia, Germany, Korea, and Vietnam. Lee studied and learned to be a jet airplane technician/mechanic while serving in the military, retiring from active duty March 30th, 1973. Lee enjoyed all sports with football being one of his favorites. While in the military, he played on the football team and even played a year of professional football with the Cleveland Browns in 1960.
Lee moved to North Las Vegas after retiring from active duty with the United States Air Force and began working at Nellis Air Force Base as a Jet Engine Technician where he served an additional 22.5 years as a civilian. In 1992, Lee moved from North Las Vegas to Henderson, Nevada where he met his wife Diane. In 2005, Lee and Diane moved to Washington, Utah and lived there for 12 years. In November 2017 Lee and Diane moved to St. George, Utah.
Lee was very involved with cowboy life while living in the Las Vegas Valley, he was passionate about calf-roping and the rodeo. He owned a ranch of his own with a few horses. Lee also enjoyed wildlife, hunting, camping and being in the outdoors. He also loved western movies, country dancing, singing and spending time with family.
Lee is survived by his spouse Diane of St. George, Utah; sons: Phillip, Curtis, Craig (Kathy); daughter: Lori; step sons: Andrew Covington (Tina), Billy Covington (Jennifer); and several grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his son Michael and his grandmother Virginia.
Funeral services will be Thursday, November 8th at 12:00 P.M. at Hughes Mortuary, 1037 East 700 South, St. George, Utah, with a viewing prior to services at 11:00 am to 11:45 am and also on Friday, November 9th at 10:40 A.M. at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 1900 Veterans Memorial Drive, Boulder City, Nevada 89005. Interment will take place at the SNVM Cemetery.
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