Barbara Kay Downs was born in Pittsburg, Kansas on Mar. 16, 1948, the daughter of Audrey May (LaForte) and Earl Parsons, Sr. She passed away unexpectedly at her home in West Mineral, Kansas at the age of 74.
A lifelong resident of southeast Kansas, she attended elementary and middle school in West Mineral and Southeast High School in Cherokee, Kansas.
On Nov. 22, 1982, she married James “Jim” Downs, Sr in Miami, Oklahoma.
Barbara had numerous occupations throughout the years. She was an over-the-road truck driver and team drove with her husband, Jim for many years. Later, she drove a school bus for the USD 247 district and most recently, she worked at Southeast Kansas Recycling in Pittsburg. She was seldom idle, and enjoyed gardening, yard work, and cooking for her family and friends.
Barbara was a proud member of the Order of the Eastern Star for 55+ years as well as a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Ladies Auxiliary for many years. She attended the Methodist Church of West Mineral, Kansas. If you had the pleasure of knowing Barbara, you undoubtedly know that she was a kind woman who loved her family dearly. If you ran into Barbara you likely heard many stories about her grandchildren and were shown pictures of them on her phone.
Barbara is survived by her eldest son from her prior marriage, Mark Hopkins Sr and daughter-in-law Melissa of Columbus, Kansas; her two children with Jim, Dr. Jaye Bea (Downs) Hawkins and son-in-law, Bryan of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Casey Downs of West Mineral and daughter-in-law Yongdan Li Downs of Irvine, California; siblings Earl Jr, Bill and Terry Parsons and Carol DeVore and Kimberly Archie.
Preceding her in death is her husband of 35 years, Jim Downs who passed on Dec. 21, 2017, her parents, Audrey and Earl Parsons, siblings Connie, Jackie, Gary, Rickey, Ronnie and Randy Parsons and June Potocnik.
A memorial service will take place on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022 at 11 a.m. at The Methodist Church of West Mineral, 402 Janette Street West Mineral, KS 66782 with Reverend Ron Johnson officiating. Visitation will be from 10 a.m to 11 a.m Saturday at the church. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to or delivered to The Methodist Church in West Mineral.