Connie Kay Downing was born Constance Kay Plummer and she made a mean sugar cookie. Just the right amount of lemon zest in the cookie and just the right amount of powdered sugar in the icing. Crispy edges and ever so soft in the middle without losing their structural integrity. The dough needs to be frozen the night before and de-thawed just before baking. It’s a labor of love… and that’s what Connie was about. She loved her children Dalton Grant and Kathy Grant with all her heart. Chauffeuring from cheerleading to basketball to soccer and smiling the whole time… a labor of love. Taking trips with the whole family out to her mother, Ruth, and her father, Leonard’s, Lake Quivira home to celebrate every Thanksgiving with the rest of the extended family. Always bringing the stuffing, another labor of love. The Lake Quivira house always packed to the gills on the holidays with her sisters Sarah Plummer Erekson and Jerelyn Scott, along with their families.
She was born in Kansas City, MO on September 12th 1940. She shone like the sun ever since, and much like the sun, she always wanted to take care of people so… she became a nurse. Delivering babies, saving trauma victims and helping others… a labor of love. Nursing stayed in her blood after her emergency room days and she was later the school nurse for Shawnee Mission North High School for years. In the early 70s she married Don Downing and added his 4 sons Tom Downing, Tim Downing, Mike Downing and Steve Downing to the family. A real live Brady Bunch. She was a Jayhawk all day long and Don was a Wildcat but it seemed to work out none the same. She was a master gardener (it was in her chromosomes from her mother, Ruth) and she passed those chromosomes onto her daughter, Kathy. The garden took patience, care, tenderness and attention… a labor of love. Connie was the master gardener at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church and was a very active member of the congregation for decades. She took care of the people around her like she took care of a garden, and her garden was immaculate. She always put others first. She was a care giver in every way. She gave. Her mark in this world is one of the noblest, service. Of service to others.
Even as she was feeling “puny”, as she would say, toward the end of her life she held on so she could meet her only grand daughter, Harlow Grant, and have a few good days with her, watching Harlow attempt to swallow the electric cords of her hospital bed and crawl over her grandma like a mountain to be conquered. They met and they loved each other instantly. Constance Kay Downing left this world on July 23rd 2022. Everyone loved Connie like she loved Hallmark Christmas movies… they couldn’t get enough.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date at St. Michael’s Episcopal. Please check back for updated service information.
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