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Marsha Ann Downing

Marsha Ann (Dunavan) Downing, born November 4, 1945, to Clayton A. Dunavan and Olive (Schmidt) Dunavan at the Atchison General Hospital in Atchison, Kan., died January 5, 2023, at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Marsha Ann (Dunavan) Downing

Mrs. Downing attended Atchison schools and graduated from Atchison High School in May 1964. During high school and college, she worked summers and weekends as a waitress at the Wagon Wheel restaurant. She attended St. Mark’s Lutheran Church where she was baptized, confirmed, and later married to her husband, Larry Ray Downing, Dec. 21, 1971.

She was a member of the Girl Scouts in Atchison. Under Walter Yost’s direction, Marsha designed and painted the mural that graced the entry hall at Central Grade School. Marsha attended Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo., graduating with a bachelor of arts in education.

She taught art in the Grandview, Mo., school system for 32 years, until her retirement in 2003. She was an active member of the Missouri Teachers Association and The Missouri Retired Teachers Association. She was trustee of the Larry R. Downing Memorial Scholarship Fund and large benefactor to a number of children’s service organizations. She and her husband generously supported three schools on Arizona reservations. Marsha was an avid collector of Southwestern prints, paintings and sculpture which hang in her homes. Larry died in 2004 and Marsha continued to split her time between her homes in Raymore and her vacation home. With health care crises the past several years, she stayed with her younger sister Miriam in Atchison.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Larry Ray Downing; her parents and 32 aunts and uncles and many cousins. Survivors include a brother, Max (Myron) Dunavan and wife Patricia of Topeka, sister, Miriam Ava Dunavan of Atchison, nephews Marcus Dunavan and wife Wendi of Overland Park and Matthew Dunavan and wife Abby of Topeka, as well as a great nephew and niece.

The family will receive friends beginning at 9:30 a.m., Saturday morning, January 14, and the funeral will begin at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Craig Lantz officiating at the Becker-Dyer-Stanton Funeral Home, 800 Kansas Ave, Atchison, KS.

Burial beside her husband will follow at the Armstrong cemetery at Rushville, Mo. St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Women are hosting a luncheon for participants following the burial. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Larry R. Downing Memorial Educational Scholarship Fund, Mt. Vernon Cemetery, Armstrong Cemetery or the American Cancer Society and may be sent in care of the funeral home. Condolences to the family may be left online at


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