Merlyn H. Downing
Merlyn H. Downing, age 85, of Tecumseh, died on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013 at the Hospice of Lenawee, Hospice Home. He was born October 15, 1927, in Britton, Mich., to Harry and Vera (Grant) Downing. After his mother’s death, he was raised by his aunt and uncle, Leland and Fannie Downing. On August 11, 1950, he married Myrna Beevers and she survives.
Merlyn started his banking career in 1946 at United Savings Bank of Tecumseh in the bookkeeping department. Merlyn was made an officer of the bank in 1952, cashier in 1958, executive vice-president in 1972, president in 1977, and chairman of the board and chief executive officer in 1986. He was appointed to the board of directors in 1960, and retired from the bank in 1992, at which time he was appointed as director emeritus.
Merlyn was active in the local area throughout his life including being a founding director and treasurer of Hospice of Lenawee County. In 1959, Merlyn helped found the Tecumseh Community Foundation and served in various capacities for over 40 years.
He served in several roles for Herrick Medical Center, including fundraising for hospital renovations for the west wing, the outpatient/emergency center, and the Women’s Health Center. He was an active member of the Lenawee County Chamber of Commerce and the Tecumseh Chamber of Commerce. Merlyn was fundraising chair for the Hart Memorial Pool Fund, which enabled Tecumseh to build a first-class aquatic center.
In 1998, the bank dedicated their training center to him by naming it the Merlyn H. Downing Center. Merlyn received the ProMedica Award in 2009. Merlyn was a member of Tecumseh United Methodist Church since 1958. Merlyn served in various fundraising and administrative positions throughout his life in the church.
Merlyn received the distinguished Maple Leaf Award in 1991 from Lenawee County recognizing his significant contributions to the area. Merlyn and his wife Myrna received the Musgrove Evans Award in honor of their outstanding service to the city of Tecumseh. Merlyn was also honored as the first Grand Marshal in Britton’s homecoming parade in 2010.
In addition to his wife, Myrna, he is survived by two sons, Kent (Regina) Downing of Perrysburg, Ohio and Jeffrey Downing of Tecumseh; a daughter, Tammy (Barry) Dana-Bashian of Rowlett, Texas; five grandchildren, Kellie (Joe) McInchak, Abbey Downing, Whitney Downing, Mitchell Dana-Bashian, and Clayton Dana-Bashian; and four great-grandchildren, Andrew and Leo McInchak, Sage Serafini and Cassius Lewis. Merlyn was preceded in death by his parents, his aunt and uncle who raised him, and three sisters, Jean, Lois and Madalyn.
Funeral Services for Merlyn will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 at the Tecumseh United Methodist Church with Rev. Mark Miller officiating. Burial will be in Brookside Cemetery. Visitation will be held Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Tecumseh Anderson Funeral Home and on Friday from 10-10:45 a.m. at Tecumseh United Methodist Church.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.andersonfuneralservices.com. Memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice of Lenawee, Hospice Home or the Tecumseh United Methodist Church. Envelopes are available at the Tecumseh Anderson Funeral Home.