Mother: Blanche Smithson Downey
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Try To Remember...

Blanche Smithson Downey (1905-1990)---effectively orphaned at 15, she was taken-in by a farm family in southern IL--- 'The Hounsleys'--- who were later known to our family simply as 'Aunt Molly and Uncle Tom'--- then, having left the farm for the Blackburn College Academy in Carlinville in her late teens,  she met and would later marry Eugene Harold Downey from Chicago--- and still later (1934) they would have their only child--- me, Harold Bruce Downey.  My mother was an expert seamstress, had a beautiful but untrained soprano voice, a life-long interest in interior decorating, was thrifty, practical, extremely hard working, always 'controlling' and very competitive, and instilled in me a sense of always striving to do my best at whatever I was to undertake--- and so I have.
...written by her son, H. Bruce Downey in 2003 

Blanche Smithson at 16

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NOTE: A word about the first four slides as they move from left to right above.  The first is the ealiest known picture of my mother, Blanche Smithson, when she was about 2-years old (1907). The second is of my mother when she was just 16 years old (that would be 1921).  The third is of her just four years later (1925) when she would have been 20 years old. The fourth is of my mother at the age of 25 (1930)....
The very  last picture is of my mother and father, Eugene Harold Downey, in front of their Sun City Center, FL home in August, 1968.  
My father was smitten by my mother's beauty when they first met while both were attending the Blackburn College Academy--- a live-in high school/prep school affiliated with Blackburn College in Carlinville, IL.  My father went on to graduate from Hyde Park High School in Chicago, and later, by going to college as a full time day student while continuing to hold a full time job at AT&T, working from 4 to midnight, he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering from Lewis Institute of Chicago in just five years time.  Until the Great Depression, which began with the fall of the stock market in October, 1929, my mother worked in the Palmolive Building on the near north side of Chicago, right at Lake Michigan.  But with the Great Deprssion of the 1930's setting in, she lost her job.  She would never work again.
...written by her son, H. Bruce Downey  

"Amazing Grace" as performed by H. Bruce Downey, son of Eugene Harold Downey and Blanche Smithson Downey ------------>

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Blanche Smithson Downey (1905-1990)