Cover photo for Lester Downey's Obituary
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1930 Lester 2023

Lester Downey

November 11, 1930 — November 22, 2023

Lester Olin Downey was born November 11, 1930, and passed away at 93 years and 11 days on November 22, 2023. He was born in Texico, NM, as the third child to Everett and Lilian "Gertrude" (Yoder) Downey. It was often said if he had been born on the other side of the railroad tracks, he would have been born a Texan. He was raised on a ranch near St. Vrain, NM. He attended school in Melrose, NM. From the age of 13 to 19 he drove a small school bus on the rural roads there, at that time the state changed the age for bus driving to 21 so he became too young to drive. He also delivered ice to resident's home for their "ice boxes". He served the US Army from 1951 to 1953 and obtained the grade to Sargent. Upon his return from the service, he sold cars in Alamosa. Co. where he met and married his first wife of 22 years, Audrey "Jean" Ryan. At one time he owned a filling gas station in Clovis, NM. He ended up in Aztec, NM. where he was a Postal Clerk, Assistant Postmaster and finally Postmaster for 37 years. During that time, he established a produce farm, Downey fruit stand north of Aztec, which he ran for over 40 years. In 1978 he married Beverly Staeffler Groen and acquired another "Son".

During his life Lester was a member of the Elks and Kiwanis, at one time he also served as treasurer at the Bible Baptist Church, spent 9 years on the Center Point VFD, many years on the Aztec Ditch board and was founding board member of the North Star Water Users. At his death he was a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Farmington, NM. His greatest joy in life by far was his family, followed by friends, fishing, eating, camping, the houseboat on the lake, and watching old Western television shows. Did I mention eating?

Lester is survived by his wife of 45 years, Beverly of the family home in Farmington, NM, daughter Linda Grosso (Bill) of Bixby OK, sons Steven "Mark" (Sherri) of Mancos, CO, Jason Groen (Shannon) of Durango, Co. He also counted as his, some by blood and some acquired along the way, and was dearly loved by 17 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and one great great-granddaughter (Scott (Kim), Ronda (Brian) Liam, Ezra, Brian (Kristy) Hunter (Katie) Ella, Brycen, Rylee, Sydney, Charlotte (Pawel) Ari, Nya, Leann, (Jimmy) Charlotte, Lincoln, Ryan Jayden, Tanner, Nicole (Ryan) Claudio, Evan, Madison (Bryan) Asher, Michael, (Angelina), Destiny (Josh) Doriann, Vespyr, Tenacia, Aspen (Bryson) Logan, Foster, River, Tegan, (Phil), Noah, Claira, Lydia, Paytn (Aiden), Dacyn (Israel), Chadin (Ariah), Joey). His siter, Jo Hughs (Lynn) and a multitude of nieces and nephews.

Heaven gained a sweet soul with the patience of a saint. He was certainly well loved by his family and all who knew him. This man's favorite word and usually what he added to any situation was "huh". The understanding of what he said was all in the tone in which he expressed it!

He was preceded in death by his parents, 4 brothers, Alvin, Russell, Harry, and Clifford, sisters-in-law Nadine, Bettye, Dean his first wife Jean, his son Wesley, and his granddaughter Laura.

We would like to thank those who so kindly cared for him these last months of his life, Basin Home Health, PALS, Guardian Angels, Welbrook Rehabilitation Hospital. Also, LaVee from PALS and Mary the nurse from Guardian Angels. But most of all our absolutely unbeatable physician, Doctor Holly Abernathy, Farmington, NM, and Cranes Roost in Aztec in Aztec, NM. Their "above and beyond" guidance and support sustained me while navigating some very hard days and difficult decisions.

We are planning a memorial service in the spring of 2024.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lester Downey, please visit our flower store.


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