Obituary – Downs, Gerald David

Gerald David Downs

Class of 1978

1978 Maroon SpotlightGerald Downs
Gerald Downs

Choir 74-78; Track 76-77; Cross-County 76-77; Bye Bye Birdie 77-78; All School Revue 74-77.

Gerald David Downs

November 24, 1959 – November 30, 2012

Gerald David Downs, 53, of Kansas City, MO, passed away at St. Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City on Friday, November 30, 2012.

Gerry was born November 24, 1959 to Julius and Cordia Downs in Los Angeles, CA. Gerald was raised in Perry, OK and graduated from Buxton University in London, England. He received certification as a substance abuse therapist through the Missouri Substance Abuse Counselors Certification Board and the International Credentialing Committee.

Gerald’s career included dancing alongside Yul Brynner in Brynner’s last national tour of ‘The King and I’ and many other musical theater performances. Gerald’s later career included working for many service organizations, including Kansas City’s Good Samaritan Project, YWCA of KCKS, Wyandotte County AIDS Project, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, Heartland Regional Alcohol and Drug Assessment Center, and ReDiscover.

Gerald was a tireless advocate for mental health and substance abuse recovery, persons with HIV/AIDS, the homeless, at-risk juveniles and women. He was a life-long member of the Democratic Party and was a staunch proponent for same-sex marriage equality. Gerry enjoyed classic movies, the music of Cher and Tina Turner, physical fitness and nutrition, visual arts, and was a member of Kansas City’s Heartland Men’s Chorus.

He is survived by husband Todd Kendall Gregory-Downs of Kansas City; siblings Julius Downs of Los Angeles, Linda Downs-Smith, Caroline Sayles, and Cordia Martin of Tulsa, Oklahoma; and niece Danelle Smith of Tampa, FL and nephew John Burney Smith of Tulsa, OK, who were like his own children; and a host of many other beloved nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Gerald’s life will be honored at First Lutheran Church; 6400 State Line Avenue, Mission Hills, KS 66208 at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 29, 2012. A brief reception will follow the services at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations in the name of Gerald Downs be sent to Unleashed Pet Rescue and Adoption, 5918 Broadmoor, Mission, KS 66202.