Cover photo for Barbara Burns Downer's Obituary
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Barbara Burns Downer

September 21, 1936 — August 31, 2021

Barbara Burns Downer

LILESVILLE – On Tuesday, August 31, 2021, Mrs. Barbara Burns Downer, 84, a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend to many passed away peacefully.

Barbara was born September 21, 1936 in Anson County, NC and was a daughter of the late Charles Franklin Burns and the late Lucille Chapman Burns.

She was a graduate of Lilesville High School and on November 25, 1956, she married the love of her life and best friend, Hampton Martin Downer.

Barbara had many passions all of which brought such joy to her life. Her true love was her husband, Hamp and they shared a wonderful life together rearing their three daughters. They loved traveling and spending time together at their beach and mountain homes. She was a homemaker and was often busy sewing, quilting and crocheting. She especially enjoyed sharing all of her handmade items with loved ones, friends and participating in craft shows that she participated in for many years.

Her love for her girls, grandchildren and great-grandchildren shaped each one individually. She demonstrated to them each day what strength, courage, patience and unconditional love should be. Her legacy as a mom, grandmother and great-grandmother now lives on through the lives of her family. There was no greater love than the love for her family.

A devoted and long-time member of Lilesville United Methodist Church, she loved her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and trusted in Him to lead and guide her. He was her anchor. All the members of the United Methodist Churches in Lilesville were her extended family. After the recent closing of Lilesville United Methodist Church, she moved her membership to Forestville United Methodist Church. She dearly loved each of the members of the churches and the times shared in worship and fellowship. She found great joy in gathering with her church families.

Nana, as she was called by all who knew and loved her is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Donna and Frank McAllister, Debbie and Jeff Griffin and Dede and Joey Watts; her grandchildren, Lezlie Stegall (Jamey), Franklin McAllister (Danielle), Nikolas Griffin (Jessica), Emily Hasty (J.R.), Emsley Griffin (Bobbie Ann), Brooks Watts (Mallory Gibson) and Zakery Watts (Katie Young); her great-grandchildren, Peyton, Sydney, Madi, Griffin, Eason, Bailee and Case; her sister and brother-in-law, Becky and Ben Burr; her nephews and their families and many dear and close friends who were all like family to her.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Hampton Downer and her sister, Peggy Turner.

There will be a funeral service to celebrate her life at 11:00am Saturday, September 4, 2021 on the front lawn of Forestville Untied Methodist Church with Rev. Sybil Perrell and Rev. Mark Perko officiating Interment will follow in Anson Memorial Park.

With the service being outside, those attending are encouraged to dress comfortably and bring a lawn chair.

The family will greet friends from 6:00pm until 8:00pm Friday, September 3, 2021 at Leavitt Funeral Home.

Due to the rise in COVID 19 cases, the family requests those in attendance at the visitation and service wear masks and practice social distancing.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Forestville United Methodist Church Cemetery, Joanne Clark, 1781 Clark Mountain Rd., Lilesville, NC 28091 or to Lilesville Cemetery Fund, P.O. Box 206, Lilesville, NC 28091.

The arrangements are in care of Leavitt Funeral Home and online condolences may be made at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Burns Downer, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Friday, September 3, 2021

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

COVID 19 precautions in place - wearing face coverings/masks and social distancing.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Forestville United Methodist Church

5238 Vintage Rd, Lilesville, NC 28091

COVID 19 precautions in place - wearing face coverings/masks and social distancing.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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