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Obituary for Charles Frances Lee Downey Charles Frances Lee Downey
Retired CSX Engineer Formerly Owned Alleghany Ready Mix, C. F. Downey Construction Co.

Charles Frances Lee Downey, age 85, of 4614 Nicelytown Road, Clifton Forge, Virginia passed away on Sunday, November 10, 2019 at his residence.

Charles was born February 7, 1934 in Alleghany County, Virginia to Robert Watson Downey and Mary Curtis Downey.

He served in the United States Army from 1957 to 1959 and the United States Army Reserves from 1959 to 1962.

He was a retired engineer for CSX Transportation and was the previous Owner/Operator of Alleghany Ready Mix and C. F. Downey Construction.

He was a longtime active member of Lone Star Advent Christian Church, where he served as Trustee. He also served as Trustee of the Central Advent Christian Cemetery.

He enjoyed all construction and building projects. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt and ride horses. He also enjoyed collecting guns and knives.

Charles was a self-taught, wealth-of-knowledge kind of man. He liked to stay busy working outside and was always willing to lend a helping hand in the community. He was a friend and helper to all that knew him and he had an old school, no nonsense, work hard, kind of attitude. "Mister" was loved by many.

Charles, Daddy, PopPaw, you will truly be missed by all, but we rejoice in knowing that we will be joined together again in heaven someday.

In addition to his parents, Charles was preceded in death by a daughter, Julie Downey Gifford; a sister, Mildred Downey; and two brothers, Robert Watson Downey, Jr. and Wayne Downey.

He is survived by his wife, Sybil Reed Downey of Clifton Forge; three daughters, Patricia Bennett Wilhelm of Clifton Forge, Sherry Nicely and husband, Michael of Clifton Forge, and Melinda Downey Stapleton and husband, Rick of Suffolk; four sons, Stephen Bennett and wife, Debbie of Clifton Forge, Steve Downey of Lenoir, NC, David Downey and wife, Iryna of Pearisburg, and Doug Bennett and wife, Martha of Clifton Forge; a son-in-law, Darrell Gifford of Amherst; two sisters, Sylvia Averill of Low Moor and Judy Tidwell and husband, Marshall of Lenoir, NC; a brother, Earl Joseph "Mickey" Downey of Clifton Forge; thirteen grandchildren; thirteen great grandchildren; a number of nieces and nephews; and special family friends, Vanda and Ravi Kanakamedala, and their children, Nitin and Nikhil.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, November 15, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. in Lone Star Advent Christian Church, Clifton Forge, with Reverend Doug Moore officiating. Interment will follow in Central Advent Christian Cemetery, Clifton Forge. Pallbearers will be Tom O'Meara, Cecil McCoy, Ernie Nicely, Randy Nicely, Scottie Averill, and Wayne Nicely. P. C. Curtis will serve as an honorary pallbearer. The family will receive friends on Thursday evening from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Nicely Funeral Home, Clifton Forge.

The family suggests memorial tributes take the form of contributions to Lone Star Advent Christian Church, Clifton Forge, VA 24422.

Nicely Funeral Home, Clifton Forge, is handling arrangements.

To send condolences to the family online, please visit