BETTY JANE DOWNIE (nee Bekeny). Beloved wife of 58 years to William Downie; mother of Susan Downie Wheeler of Charlottesville, Virginia and Karen Downie Dickson (husband John) of Willoughby, Ohio; grandmother of Chloe Elysabeth Wheeler and Katherine Grace Wheeler of Charlottesville, Virginia; twin-sister of Adele Jean Troup of Washington Depot, CT and brother John D. Bekeny of Washington, DC.
Betty graduated from Shaker Heights High School and Miami University of Ohio where she became an active member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She also attended summer sessions at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and worked one summer at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. After graduating from Miami, Betty taught children from elementary school age through high school in the Orange, Mayfield and Shaker Heights school systems, both full time and later as a substitute. Betty also enjoyed a second career in real estate and also worked in interior design at the Ohio Design Centre. She volunteered with the Girl Scouts, her daughters’ schools, University Hospital, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society. She was a former member of a Cleveland garden club, the Women’s Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and The Country Club (Pepper Pike).
Betty often joined her husband in activities and field sports including beagling with the Whitford (OH) Beagles, Farmington (VA) Beagles, Chagrin Valley Beagles as well as the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club. Betty and husband Bill enjoyed several ski trips together to Colorado and Canada and more recently took a memorable trip to Northern Scotland and the Orkney Islands. Betty enjoyed trips to Virginia to visit her grandchildren and loved the great gardens, mountains, and historic homes of the Commonwealth; she had happy memories of holidays celebrated at the Greencroft Club in Ivy, Virginia. She took a special 80th birthday trip with her daughters to the Biltmore Estate and the surrounding area in Asheville, NC. In later years she traveled every summer to northern Michigan for getaways with high school girlfriends. Betty was a life-long Clevelander who revealed her creative talents in writing, art, floral design and gardening. She was a beautiful and gentle soul who will be dearly missed by many.
A memorial service in celebration of Betty’s life will be held at Plymouth Church. The service will be at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at Plymouth Church of Shaker Heights at 2860 Coventry Road, Shaker Heights, Ohio 44120. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions in memory of Betty to the charity of your choice.
Both of our funeral home locations offer complete services for traditional funerals, funerals followed by cremation, graveside services, shipping arrangements and direct cremations with memorial services.
All of our funeral home locations offer complete services for traditional funerals, funerals followed by cremation, graveside services, shipping arrangements and direct cremations with memorial services.
95 South Franklin Street
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022
Our prominence in the Protestant community and involvement in the Masonic and Eastern Star orders gives us the ability to serve the Greater Cleveland area with attention to detail and personal service.