Nadine Runyan Downey flew high over the garden wall when she left this life and joined her Lord Jesus Christ October 14, 2022. A celebration service of her life will be held on Monday, October 24th at 1:00 pm at the First Methodist Church, with burial following at Browning Cemetery in the McAlister area. Reverend Jeb Archey will be officiating.
Nadine was born on December 30, 1936, to Roscoe and May Runyan of McAlister, New Mexico. She was a Daddy’s girl and loved the outdoors. She attended school in both McAlister and House. While in high school she excelled in athletics. According to the February 1953 edition of the House High School publication “The Round Up”, she was on the first unofficial state championship team for girls in New Mexico. Although not official, all the basketball teams in the state at that time were entered into this invitational tournament. Her love for all kinds of sports never left Nadine as she spent many years playing and watching sports but especially those that her family participated in. She truly was their most loyal and fierce number one fan.
She married her kindred spirit, Harry Downey on August 15. 1954. Together they worked side-by-side to fulfill their dream of a successful farm and ranch. She was driven by her love for the land. Her many jobs varied to include plowing, driving a wheat truck, herding cattle, cooking, cleaning, remodeling old farmhouses, and even gardening, despite cows destroying her plants at times. But her greatest success and love was being the mother of four, very close in age, energetic children. She and Harry sat side-by-side at every event they were involved in. Nadine was the master of inventing ways to entertain the kids. With limited resources and living many miles away from any store-bought kind of entertainment she used her wildly creative imagination to paint memories for her kids, her family, and the many, many friends that crossed her path and became family! She used her spunk and energy to help in the community whether it be at the school, the church, or in a variety of clubs. She never wanted the spotlight on her, but you knew you could count on her for what was needed.
In later years, Nadine and Harry loved spending time square dancing, traveling, going on fishing trips but mostly a good story with good friends! She was always active in church and even volunteered in the after-school program with her current church very recently. Nadine also enjoyed reading, doing crafts of all kinds, and was a crackerjack bridge player and a slap jack champ! Many remember her for her storytelling, quick wit, and her infectious laughter.
Nadine is survived by her four children: Kathy Jennings (Ben), Christy Downey, Craig Downey (Karen), and Karen Roper. She was a faithful supporter of 12 grandchildren and 36 great grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother Norman Runyan (Valerie) and numerous other family and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harry Downey; a granddaughter, Liberty Downey; her parents, Roscoe and May Runyan; three brothers, Maurice, Bruce, and Keith Runyan; and one sister, Yvonne Phillabaum.
Pallbearers will be her eleven surviving grandchildren, Angela Jennings Miller, Calvin Downey, Melody Jennings Vice, Charity Downey Sena, Preston Downey, Crystal Roper Marshall, Bethanie Defor Baker, Autumn Roper Campbell, Jordan Jennings, Summer Roper Pittman, and Shad Defor.
She wanted everyone to remember 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Our much-loved Mom and Mamaw spent many hours pushing her grandkids on a swing. Pushing them higher and higher, over the garden wall! It’s her turn now to fly high over that garden wall! With our imaginations that she gave us we will dream of meeting her again in that glorious place!