Jo M. Downend passed April 5,
2018 at Emerson House following a recent fall.
Jo was born July 2, 1926 at Nampa,
ID to Howard and Lucy Morrow and
for the first few years lived in Mountain Home with her family on a farm
attending school at Ten Mile. While her parents didn't think it was necessary,
she was determined to continue her education, so she joined with other students
to drive to Meridian
High School and graduated
Jo accepted Jesus Christ as
her Savior and Lord, and was baptized before marrying her husband, Kenneth
Downend on January 2, 1948 at the First Presbyterian Church in Boise where they remained active members for
Ken and Jo had been married
for over 70 years at the time of her death.
They moved to their present home April 17, 1955 and three years later,
their daughter Kelli was born. While the original home was quite small, they
had several remodeling projects over the years and purchased additional land so
they could have horses, cattle, dogs, cats, chickens and Jo's two greenhouses
where she grew and sold geraniums and other flowers to both stores and
Both Jo and their daughter
Kelli loved animals, especially working with their horses.
In addition to her home
business', Jo was both a talented accountant and office manager, working at
companies where she gained lifelong relationships; Stawn's Office Supply, Labor
Temple, Legettes, Hertz Rental, Bob Drake Refrigeration and Fireball Travel
When Jo wasn't
working, she always wanted to be busy, and often put her creativity to good use
around the house with woodworking projects, building cabinets, dressers, built
in shelving or coming up with new ideas. She always wanted to try something
new, so on one occasion she bought twelve clocks at an auction that had just been
thrown out in the center of the floor. She started training herself on how to
repair them, found the needed sources, bought parts, and got them all running
Then she announced she was going
to open a clock shop! She found a location, obtained credit from the bank, took
additional courses, hired employees, bought clocks to sell, and opened Downend's
"Clock Shoppe" which was very successful in both sales and
During these years Jo was often
seen wearing ring watches and commenting she had "time on her hands!"
Jo hadn't had much
opportunity to travel before she met Ken, so among their other travels to Canada, Europe, Australia,
and cruising the Panama Canal, they set a goal after being married to visit
every state capitol in the United
In 1993, on the trip to see the final state capital, Jo had a massive
stoke in Jacksonville, FL, being completely paralyzed and unable to
After surgery and three weeks
there, Ken and Kelli were able to bring her back to the Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Hospital.
Through daily rehabilitation and perseverance,
she taught herself to use her left hand to eat, and write and while not
completely mobile, she was quite active, and Ken and Jo continued some of their
favorite travels to the Oregon Coast, Lake Tahoe, and even camping at Bruneau
Several years later Jo
successfully fought both lung and thyroid cancer. She still loved her time out
with friends and their church home has been at Boise Friends
Church for many
While she was not always able to
converse, she loved going to church, seeing her friends there and singing
Over the years she was at home
friends would assist, and in particular our family thanks Jackie Suteu for her
loving dedication to Jo, even after Jo moved to Emerson house for full time
care in 2016 Jackie continued to visit her on a regular basis.
Our family thanks the dedicated staff members
at Emerson House and Encompass Hospice for their loving support to her.
Jo was preceded in death by
her parents, Howard and Lucy Morrow, and her sister Olla Jane Rutan. She is
survived by her husband Ken Downend, her daughter Kelli Downend Campbell,
granddaughter Jessica, great-grandson Brycen Cody, and brother-in-law Gene B.
Jo will be remembered for her love
of clocks, animals, her intelligence, determination, and her warm greeting,
giving you her left hand, a smile, and an enthusiastic "yes"!
Services will be held at Boise Friends
Church, 7751 W. Goddard
Rd, Boise, Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 11:00am followed by a luncheon at the
church to share fellowship and memories.
If desired, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Idaho
Humane Society, the National Stroke Association, or CancerResearch.Org.