Cover photo for Robert Downen's Obituary
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1927 Robert 2021

Robert Downen

May 20, 1927 — June 19, 2021

Robert P. Downen, age 94, well-known businessman and lifelong Gallatin County resident passed on this life surrounded by his family at his home in Shawneetown, June 19, 2021.  Bob as most knew him was born on May 20, 1927, to the late Emmitt and Delilah (Wilson) Downen in Inman, Illinois.

Bob was married to the love of his life Betty (Dietz) Downen on April 14, 1949, and she preceded him in death on August 13, 2019.

Bob was the last World War II veteran in Gallatin County.  His father Emmitt was the last World War I veteran of the county. Bob has served as Mayor of Shawneetown for 3 consecutive terms in the 1960s, Past Commander of the Shawneetown American Legion, Post 585.  He was a Past master of the New Haven Masonic Lodge 230.  Bob had an incredible work ethic, always busy and always managing the family business,  Downen Enterprises.  He was a people person and always had a smile for you.  He was a faithful member of the Presbyterian Church in Shawneetown, Lifelong member of the Ridgway & Equality Masonic Lodge.  He loved life but really loved his family.  He was a good father, husband, grandfather, brother, and friend who will be missed.

Bob is survived by, sons, Bobby) Downen, John David (Lori) Downen, Steve (Kristy) Downen, and Matt (Julie) Downen. Grandchildren, Courtney Downen, Jordan Ahrens, Hank, Kassidy, Lucas and Wyatt Downen, Hayley, Rogers, Cale Downen, Maggie Downen, and Audie Goebel.  Great Grandchildren,  Henry, Megan, Gracie, Jake, Ava, Kaden, Drew, Liam, Walker, Barrett,   Graham, and Kolt and 1 great great grandchild, Joseph  Bob is also survived by his brother Don (Amy) Downen. Sister in laws, Sissy and Judy Downen.  He was preceded in death by his grandson Chris Downen, Brothers, Bill, Ed, Tom, Terry, and Andy Downen, sisters, Anna Lee and Carolyn Downen.  Bob was also survived by his caretaker for over 20 years Ruth Bell.

Visitation for Bob will be Tuesday, June 22, 2021, at the Cox & Son Funeral Home in Ridgway from 9:00 AM to 11:00 APM.  Masonic Rites will be conducted at 11:00 AM and his funeral service will immediately follow.  Rev. Roger Lyons and Rev. Wade Halva will officiate.  Interment will follow at the Westwood Cemetery in Shawneetown with Military rites.

The Family would like to thank Ruth Bell, Rose Page, and Hospice of Southern Illinois for the excellent care given to their Dad.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Hospice of Southern Illinois, envelopes will be available at the funeral home.  You may also leave a note of comfort to the family at

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

9:00 - 11:00 am

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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am

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