Jan 102013

Rosemary Jean (Austin) Downing of Lincoln City, OR, died on December 31st, 2012.

Rosemary was born March 1st, 1934, in Salem, to Staryl C Austin, Sr and Mabel McMorris Austin. Following a short hospitalization commencing on Christmas Eve, Rosemary died peacefully on New Year’s Eve.

Rosemary Downing moved to the Lincoln City area with her family in 1962. She worked for a short period of time at the old Pixie Kitchen restaurant prior to her long tenure at Lil Sambo’s Pancake House. Rosemary was at Sambo’s for nearly 30 years. She managed a great group of people and an even greater bunch of rowdy teenagers. She always believed that every kid deserved a chance. Lots of young people owe their work ethic to her belief in them, including her own children. Once you were one of hers, you were part of the family. She always said, there might be stray cats, but no stray kids.

Rosemary was an avid Taft High School Tiger booster for many years. She always went to games and wrestling matches armed with Gatorade and tons of encouragement. She also worked with the Miss Lincoln County Pageant for several years. She was a fabulous cook and hosted many a Super Bowl Party with the Red Devils and her long time companion, Bob Turnbull. Their parties were the hottest ticket in town!

After leaving Sambo’s, she became the Club Manager at the local Elks Lodge. During her time with them, she instituted a monthly Jam Session that became very popular. She had many friends who were musicians from all over the state. All were delighted to come and perform just for the joy of music. There was never a dull moment with a group that might include a 40’s Stand Up Bass player, a couple of local singers, and always, Rock & Roll.

When she left the Elks Lodge, she tried to retire, but was bored! Rosemary loved being around people and wanted to continue “just for a little while”. She went to work for her longtime friend, Jack Robben. She had a great deal of fun learning how to buy and sell cars on the Internet. She worked up until the day before she was hospitalized with her final illness.

Rosemary was on the start-up committee for Elder Abode. She recognized the great need for such a program, especially in an area with many retirees.

She and Bob were huge Portland Trailblazers fans and attended every game they could. They were also involved in the mentoring program for basketball players at the University of Oregon and as a result had many friends who later became professional players.

Rosemary loved the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas and Reno. She managed to have fun wherever she went and always livened up the party. She really enjoyed Chinook Winds, especially the people who worked there. Many are lifelong friends. She got to meet a great number of the performers who played there. Somehow she always managed Back Stage passes.

Rosemary will be greatly missed, not just by her own family, but by the extended family she created over her lifetime. The gatherings will be a little less lively without her.

Rosemary is survived by her children, Stephanie Downing Allison (Ron) of Fort Worth, TX, Mike Downing (Donna) of Lincoln City, Marie Downing Wilson (Roger) of Bloomington, MN, John Downing (Aleta) of Dayton, NV, Robert Downing (Berto), Las Vegas, NV; grandchildren Emily Downing Moore (Thaddeus), Eugene, Brian Downing (Alissa) of Cape Coral, FL, Caleb Downing (Amanda Smith) of Aloha, Kate Downing (Nathan Moore) of Eugene, Jennifer Wilson of Bloomington, MN, and Margy Champenoy of Houston, TX; great-grandchildren Graden Robert Downing, Elijah Michael Downing, Aleta Edwina Champenoy, Eden Aileen St Clair Moore, Gideon Atticus Lukas Moore, Lilliane Ella Downing; brothers Staryl C Austin, Jr [Jacqueline], Charles Austin [Sally]; sisters-in law Judy Downing and Bertie Downing.

Preceded in death by her beloved companion of 30 years, Robert Turnbull.

Rosemary’s parents, brother William [Doreen] Austin; and, sister Juanita [Floyd] Barnes all died earlier.

Rosemary’s Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, January 19th, at the Chinook Winds Golf Resort, 3245 Northeast Clubhouse Drive, Lincoln City, OR 97367 from 1:00 to 5:00 PM.

Come, share your stories and celebrate her love of life. A party she wanted, a party she shall have. In lieu of flowers, Rosemary requested donations to the following: Angels Anonymous (click here) or Young Life Lincoln City (click here).

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