On Friday, December 31, 2021, Catherine Jeanette (Jean), loving mother of Audrey Cisneros (nee Downing) and Denis Downing, passed away at the age of 84. Jean was born in Cork, Co. Cork, Ireland to Sheila and Joseph Maguire on January 4, 1937. A passionate and talented artist, she graduated from the National College of Art in Dublin. Jean moved to New York City and worked at the United Nations.
She would travel back and forth from New York City to Ireland on the Cunard Line. On one return trip from Ireland, she met George D. Downing of New York City, whom she married in 1966. Jean and George later moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where Jean, in the early years, juggled motherhood and continued her lifelong passion for sculpture and painting. She loved many art forms and often sang and danced to the Wolfe Tones with her friends from the VFW Post 3500.
Ireland was always in Jean’s thoughts and heart. Her 20 year-long work with the St. Louis Blues helped fund her frequent travels home to Dublin, often accompanied with her children, Audrey and Denis.
Jean moved to Lenexa, KS, in later years, to be closer to Audrey who lovingly supported and cared for her. During these years, Jean enjoyed attending Irish heritage activities in Kansas and Missouri, including Weston, Missouri’s Irish Fest. She also loved attending performances at the Starlight Theater. Fittingly, Jean passed away during her favorite time of the year, alongside her daughter, listening to Bing Crosby, Irish music and watching her favorite classic musicals.
Jean is lovingly remembered in Connecticut by Denis and his wife Elizabeth; in Kansas by Audrey and her husband Brad; in Dublin, Ireland by her brother; Gerard Maguire and wife Kay; and in Arkansas by George Downing and Frances Egan. Her memory is firmly rooted in the hearts of her grandchildren, Kaycee and Patrick (Dillon) Crane, and Connor and Caitlin Downing. Whether known by Jean, Jeannie, mom, or Grandma, you are in all our hearts now and forever.
Jean will head home to Ireland, one last time, to be joined again with her beloved parents. On this your heavenly birthday we wish you safe travel home.
Friend ,Olathe ,Kansas
Audrey and family......... So very sorry for your loss. May all your beautiful memories comfort at this most difficult time. You are in in our thoughts and prayers.
family friend ,Ballwin ,Missouri
This is a beautiful tribute to your Mom! You are in my thoughts and prayers as you remember and honor her. She truly left a legacy of love in her children and grandchildren.
Warmest wishes during these difficult days~
Friend ,St. Louis ,Missouri
Audrey and Denis, your mom's memory will be forever stamped in my mind Everytime I think of my childhood. She was a wonderful lady so full of life. Hugs to all of you!
Colleague ,Portage ,Michigan
Dear Audrey and your family, we offer our condolences during this difficult time. We enjoyed reading about your mother's life from Ireland to the US...she was a special lady that stayed true to her roots and embraced another culture as well.
Thanks for sharing....