Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

November 12, 2013

Downing passed away at 77

Community remembers band leader

Athens — Tommy Downing, who died on Monday at age 77, is remembered as someone who loved young people, and was able to inspire them to give their best.

Downing directed high school bands in Mabank, Kemp and Athens, as well as Athens Junior High and Henderson County Community College. Later, he was Chief of Henderson County Juvenile Probation upon his retirement in 1998.

Longtime Athens Band Director John Glover remembers Downing as the person who gave him his first directing job at Athens Independent School District.

“He was high school band director then,” Glover said. “He was a man who truly loved kids and treated them fairly. He was a great friend.”

Alice Woods Smith, now of Artesia, N.M., and who played in Downing’s band at the college, agrees that he was able to connect with young people.

Smith remembers Downing as a firm teacher who also knew how to have fun.

“He was a great guy, and could relate to us,” Smith said. “He treated us like we were his kids, but also as adults. That’s a fine line.”

Athens Assistant Chief of Police Rodney Williams III, worked for Downing when he headed the county juvenile probation department from the office on Larkin Street.

“He was a good man and was well liked,” Williams said. “It’s a loss to the community. He’ll be missed.”

A graveside service is scheduled for 10 a.m., Thursday in Athens Cemetery. A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church with Dr. C. William McNatt officiating.


Text Only
Local News
  • 4-16 beauty.jpeg Bursting with beauty

    A shining star already in her parents eyes,  Geraldine Nieto displayed her ray of beauty Sunday in Tyler to claim top status in the Sunburst Talent/Beauty Contest.
    The 5-year-old Athens resident is the daughter of Jaime and Karla Nieto.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dozens attend council meeting for recovery, transfer station

    Nathan Bullard, owner of Yellow Box Environmental LLC,  was at Gun Barrel City Hall to explain future development plans for property located at 546 Gun Barrel Lane.
    Bullard said he wanted to introduce himself and his company to the neighbors who own property close to his project.  
    Bullard was on hand to inform the public and address any concerns about the company’s plan to build a recovery and transfer station.

    April 16, 2014

  • Commissioners sign proclamation for San Jacinto Day

    The battle of the Alamo may be the best remembered conflict in Texas’ fight for independence, but the battle at San Jacinto closed the deal.
    Representatives of the Sons of the Republic of Texas were on hand at the Henderson County Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday in observance of a proclamation, declaring April 21, San Jacinto Day.

    April 16, 2014

  • Ram to donate $20 per test drive to FFA Organization

    On April 26 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. the Ram Truck brand and Elder Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram will host The Next Crop Project fundraising event at the dealership to benefit the National FFA Organization and local FFA chapter leadership programs in Henderson County.

    April 16, 2014

  • Athens tables large purchase

    The Athens City Council  Monday tabled awarding a bid for a large piece of equipment that removes asphalt from the surface of paved roads to make way for repairs.
    City Director of Utilities Glen Herriage recommended that the council award the bid to RDO Equipment Co. of Irving for a Road Hog cold planer. The RDO bid was for $123,267.06, which is below the budgeted amount of $134,000.

    April 15, 2014

  • 4-15 Joe Curl photo.jpg Former TVCC basketball coach Joe Curl passes

    Joe Curl, the former head coach of the Lady Cardinal basketball program, passed away at the age of 59 on Monday.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Review earns six awards

    The Athens Daily Review was honored with six awards for journalism excellence during the North and East Texas Press Association yearly convention held Thursday-Saturday in Tyler.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mrs. Gibbs obit photo.jpg Mabank civic leader Alene Gibbs, 94, died Friday

    Long time Mabank civic leader Alene Gibbs passed away on Friday, April 11. She was born in Van Zandt County on Jan. 18, 1920. She was 94-years-old.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-14 Steer at auction 3.jpg Here comes the champs!

    Friday was a big night for the Eustace FFA at the Henderson County Livestock Show and for Jordyn Costlow, who presented the Grand Champion.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Saturday was payday at HCLS

    Payday came Saturday for  the youth who placed in the 54th annual Henderson County Livestock Show.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Twitter Updates