Wanda Downing

Wanda F. (Neel) Downing, 65, of Amelia, VA, who recently moved to Waukon, died Saturday, April 24, 2021 at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, WI. Funeral services will be held Friday, April 30 at 11 a.m. at the Martin-Grau Funeral Home in Waukon with Pastor Steve Oden officiating. Burial will be at Oakland Cemetery, Waukon.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of services Friday at Martin-Grau Funeral Home in Waukon. The service will also be live streamed on Martin-Grau’s Facebook page and accessible afterwards at www.martinfunerals.com.

Wanda Faye Downing was born November 27, 1955 in Tazewell, VA, the daughter of Luther and Ora Ellen (Rudd) Neel. Wanda grew up in the mountainous coal country of Tazewell and attended high school, until she needed to stay home to take care of ill family members. Later receiving her GED, Wanda earned her LPN nursing degree from Roanoke Memorial in Roanoke, VA. She was proud of being a nurse and loved the patients she worked with at the nursing homes.

April 3, 1981, Wanda married James A. Downing in Bishop, WV; the couple was baptized together at the Pentecostal Church of God in Roanoke, VA. Wanda and Jim recently moved to Waukon a few weeks ago to be closer to their grandchildren.

A descendant of Davy Crockett, Wanda was a brave, strong, fearless and independent woman. She wasn’t afraid of doing physical labor like cutting down trees or trying her best to get rid of the occasional snake in the yard. At work, she would sit with her patients as they lay dying.

Wanda was devoted to her husband, her two children, seven grandchildren, and dogs. Making things beautiful was important to her and she loved flowers and plants. Wanda enjoyed baking, canning, shopping and giving gifts.

Wanda is survived by her husband, Jim, of Amelia, VA, recently of Waukon; her daughter, Christina Downing of Aylett, VA; her son, James R. (Joanna) Downing of Waukon and their seven children, her beloved grandchildren: Moriah, Miriam, James, Melea, Robert, Micaiah and John; one sister, Dolores Smith of Tazewell, VA; and two brothers, Dallas Neel of Farmville, VA and Jerry (Sandra) Neel of Darlington, SC.

She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings: Yvonne McCoy and Donald, Ronnie and Roger Neel.

Casketbearers are James A. and James R. Downing, Steve Oden and Josh Hutson. Online condolences may be left at www.martinfunerals.com.

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