James Ernest Downs was called home on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, after a very full and valiant life.
Jim was born on Jan. 8, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois, to Steve and Wilma Downs. From his early years, Jim was an energetic, curious and vivacious little boy — never stopping until he was ready to stop. Jim lived in many areas back East until his parents chose Tucson, Arizona, to raise their sons. It was here that Jim met the girl that he told his mom the day he met her, he was going to marry. Almost four years later, he did just that on Oct. 20, 1961.
Jim was the definition of a hard worker, in various jobs, for his entire life. But cars and engines seemed to be his passion. Working on them from the engine to the body — he not only made them run like they had never had run before, but he loved to drive. Jim built and raced his own stock cars in circle track races.
Jim joined the U.S. Air Force in September 1967, working in various positions in military bases from Colorado to Arizona for 23 years, ending his military career in 1985.
Jim and his family and extended family then moved to St. George, Utah, where he started a new chapter in his life working on RVs, eventually starting his own RV repair and service company, Jim’s RV Service, with his family in 1990. Loyal customers came from all over the United States, Canada and even “across the pond”, as he would say, to get their motor homes and trailers worked on by Jim and his crew.
Jim’s RV Service had just moved into its new building in Santa Clara, when his health suddenly and quickly, began to decline.
For the next three years, his wife of 62 years, was his sole caregiver, until he was just too tired to continue. Jim peacefully left this life to press on to the next phase of his adventure.
Jim is survived by his wife Karen, daughter Cathie (Willie), son Jason (Sue), daughter Susan (Kim) and son James Ernest Downs II. He is also survived by 15 grandchildren and 2 1/2 great-grandchildren, the third, he is holding right now.
He is also survived by his brother Tommy (Monica). He is preceded in death by his parents, his two half brothers, Charles and George (Donna), his many in-laws including Vance (Joy) Nelson.
Jim requested no services. But his many family members, friends and customers will always and forever remember him.
“In a hundred years, no one will know the difference.” Oh, yes Dad … we all know the difference you have forever made in our lives.
Arrangements are under the direction of Hughes Mortuary.