Lighthouse 02

Jean Ann (Henkel) Downie

May 26, 1945 ~ January 6, 2021 (age 75)


Jean Ann Downie, 75 of Saucier, passed away Wednesday at Singing River Hospital in Gulfport. This lady was something else and the short space we have will not do her complete justice. She was born May 26, 1945 in the Bronx, NY. Jean was born to Frances Blake Borowski Fox and later left at The N.Y. Foundling home, where she was eventually adopted by Henry Joseph and Edna (Sheridan) Henkel. She grew up there in the Bronx in a loving, Catholic home and came to enjoy cooking and crafts. After high school, Jean married her first husband, Thomas Kenealy, Sr. and the couple moved around NY a bit before settling in Yonkers. There she was a stay-at-home mother to her three children, Jean, henry and Tommy. Her first marriage ended in divorce and Jean met what turned out to be the absolute love of her life, Bill Downie. They married and lived in NY for a short while before winding up in Punta Gorda, FL. Together they built a vacation home in Marysville, TN, which they truly enjoyed for several years. Jean is also a published author, writing her autobiography of sorts, "By Order of Adoption", detailing her search and eventual location of her biological family. She did it all herself and eventually met some of them, keeping in touch over the years. After Bill passed away, Jean "retired" to the Saucier area in South MS to be closer to family and grandkids. She was a selfless, kind-hearted woman who loved conversing with anyone...and boy could she converse! Jean could literally, and has many times, spend hours talking and telling stories, aided by a memory like no other. A loving, amazing lady with a huge heart, Jean was a Christian by faith and called McHenry First Baptist Church home. She loved the people and attending services there as often as she possibly could. When she couldn't physically be there, Jean always joined the streaming service. She is remembered as a loving and devoted mother and grandmother, and a true friend that would do anything for you. She will no doubt be sorely missed by all who knew and loved her. She was preceded by her parents, Henry Joseph & Edna Henkel, and her loving husband that spoiled her rotten, Bill Downie. Left to cherish her memories are: her three kids: daughter Jean (Butch) LaMere of Perkinston, MS, and sons Henry (Emily) Kenealy and Tommy Kenealy, both of NY. Jean leaves a legacy of seven grandchildren, five great-grands with several biological family members, with many friends and neighbors through the years, all scattered from New York to South Florida, and parts in between. Her final wishes were to be cremated and tossed aside, which we are not allowing! A memorial service will be held at a later date, at McHenry First Baptist Church. Jean had an affinity for lighthouses. In the future, her ashes will be spread in the blue water of the Gulf of Mexico. Trinity Funeral Services is honored to serve the Downie family, and will truly miss our friend Jean. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers over the coming days.

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