Remembering Ron Downing
MONROE, Louisiana (KNOE) – The Twin Cities remember a giant. Businessman and historian Ron Downing died yesterday at the age of 74. He spent his life studying the history of Monroe and West Monroe and restoring old buildings.
“On behalf of the Town of West Monroe, we would simply like to express our condolences as well as our appreciation for your years of service,” said Adrienne LaFrance-Wells, Principal of West Monroe Street.
Clinton Whitney Downing, owner of Revival Design and Consign in Monroe, says her father was like an encyclopedia. He wants his inheritance to be that of giving.
“He was responsible for restoring the steeple of the original courthouse in West Monroe,” Clinton explained. “As well as the lampposts thanks to private funds and then to Hasley cemetery. He was able to create a pavilion for his loved ones in case it rained at different temperatures so that they could still have a service at the cemetery.
Clinton told KNOE that her father was born and raised in northeast Louisiana and knew things about the two cities even before they were incorporated.
“If you told him about someone’s name, he could bring you back about five generations into that family when you just asked him if he knew them,” Clinton explained.
It was Downing’s deep roots that motivated him to help bring the Twin Cities back to their glory days.
“His great-great-grandfather was Monroe’s first judge, and that brother was Monroe’s first mayor,” Clinton said. “Endom. What endom bridge had he dedicated to them in 1986.”
Clinton says keeping her father’s legacy alive will fall on her family’s shoulders.
“So it became a family effort. We want to keep what it started five generations ago and keep it going for the future, ”Clinton told KNOE.
Clinton added that his father had always hoped to see the mayors of Monroe and West Monroe working together for a better community. He was grateful to see Mayors Ellis and Mitchell working on a unified oneroe.
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