Donna Beth Downer

April 26, 1929 – February 27, 2023


TORRINGTONDonna Beth Downer, 93, died Monday, Feb. 27, 2023, surrounded by loving friends at Community Hospital in Torrington.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, March 3, at the United Methodist Church in Torrington with Pastor Jeff Wayland officiating. The casket will be open at the church one hour prior to services.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a contribution to the EWC Scholarship Fund and/or the Torrington United Methodist Church in Donna Beth’s name.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Colyer Funeral Home and friends may send their condolences to the family at 

Donna Beth was born to Arthur and Ruth Hovey, April 29, 1929. Her early years were spent in Chestnut Valley, northeast of Torrington, where her paternal grandparents homesteaded. When she was around eight years old, her family moved to a home on Van Tassel Road, so that she and her brother Bill could catch the school bus into Torrington. She and her brother were members of the Gleaners Union 4-H Club. Donna Beth graduated from THS in 1947 and went to the University of Wyoming. She and Howard Downer were married in 1949; she graduated in 1951 with a BS in Home Economics. During Howard’s service in the Navy, they lived and explored the California coast, before returning to Casper where Howard taught high school ag classes. Donna Beth worked for Pacific Power and Light, as Polly Pacific, promoting electrical appliances as more and more of Wyoming became electrified. After he earned his master’s degree, the couple moved to Pennsylvania where Howard earned a PhD in Ag Science while Donna Beth got a MS in Home Economics. Jobs then took them to the University of Tennessee; Howard encouraged Donna Beth to pursue her PhD which she earned at Purdue University. From Tennessee, they moved to universities in Reno, Nevada, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where Donna Beth was the Dean of the Home Economics Department. The couple returned to Torrington in 1989, building a home on Van Tassel Road. The University of Wyoming tapped Donna Beth to serve as interim Dean in the College of Home Economics for a couple of years.

She was active in community associations, including, the Order of Eastern Star, Jobs Daughters, PEO, Shriners, Gleaners Union, Banner Health Foundation, and the EWC Foundation. She served on the Goshen County Planning Commission, where she used her knowledge of Goshen County, and its history, to help where she could. Her life was indeed one of service.

In 2014, Donna Beth moved into Evergreen Court, her last home. She was happy at the facility and praised the staff for their wonderful care during this time of her life.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Bill, and her nephew Keith.

She is survived by Bill’s children, Brad (Peggy) Hovey of Riverview, Florida, (son Derek {Melinda}, daughter Annie Uhrich {Kevin}) and Lisa Hovey of Cheyenne, and by Howard’s nieces, Aimee (Dave) Unverzagt of Lingle, (sons Ryan of Eaton, Colorado, and Willy of Lingle) and Elaine “Lani” Kroenlein Gering from Alexandria, Virginia. Great-great nephews include Joey Hovey, Mason Unverzagt, Ralston Unverzagt, Kaysen Uhrich, Morgan Uhrich. Great-great nieces include Sadie Hovey, Tremson Unverzagt.