DOWNING, Florence Carolle (Mitcham)
88 - always known as Carolle - died peacefully at her home in Tucson on March 20, 2021, after a brief illness. She was born in Vernonia, Oregon, on December 31, 1932, to Robert Fulton Mitcham and Lena Gibson Mitcham, the third of five children. The family moved to Battle Ground, Washington, when she was nine. She graduated from Battle Ground High in 1951 and received a Registered Nurse diploma from Emanuel Hospital School of Nursing in Portland, Oregon, in 1955. She married her high school sweetheart, Charles Alan Downing, while still in nursing school and went on to become Director of Student Health at Emanuel. In 1962 the family moved to Cheney, Washington, where she worked at Eastern Washington State Hospital for two years while her husband finished college. Once he graduated, the family moved back to the Vancouver, Washington, area before moving to Tempe, Arizona, in 1966 for Chuck's job with U-Haul. She worked at Camelback Hospital in Phoenix for some years, and later at Arizona State Hospital, where she was Director of Nursing in the late 70s and early 80s. Later, she moved to Tucson to be near her children and only grandchild. During her years in Tucson she finished a BS in Nursing and an MBA while working at Kino Hospital. After retiring, she volunteered for many years at Tucson Medical Center. A beloved daughter, wife, sister, mother, grandmother, aunt, colleague and friend, she is remembered for her skill as a nurse and her passion for her profession, for her love for her family, for her kindness to all around her, and for her gentle, cheerful, brave, and self-reliant spirit. She was preceded in death in 2000 by her husband of 47 years; by her son, Charlie (Charles Royal), who died in 2004; and by her brothers, Robert and Jay Mitcham. She is keenly missed by her daughter, Renee Downing, and her husband, Edgar Dryden, of Tucson; by her grandson, David Medine and his wife, Agnes Iwasiw, of Melbourne, Australia; by her brother, Gerald Mitcham and his wife, Janese, of Sequim, Washington; by her daughter-in-law, Beth Downing, of Leicester, Massachusetts; by her sister, Mary Sue Majors, and her husband, Joe, of Beaverton, Oregon; by their daughters, Jill Majors Nelson and Sarah Majors and their families; and by many other nieces (and nephews). Her first great-grandchild, Ursula Irena Iwasiw-Medine, was born in Melbourne on March 25th; anticipation of her birth illuminated Carolle's last months. The family would like to express its gratitude to the staff of TMC Home Hospice and Catalina In-Home Services, who provided the expert and loving care that allowed her to pass at home, as she wished - as a nurse, she would have approved of all they did. Due to Covid, her memorial service will be private. The family asks that contributions be made to Habitat for Humanity in lieu of flowers. Arrangements by BRING'S BROADWAY CHAPEL.