Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Downses in:
 • Saratoga Township Cemetery
 • Saratoga
 • Howard County
 • Iowa
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Sponsor This Memorial!
Erma J Miles Downs
Learn about upgrading this memorial...
Birth: Dec. 10, 1929
Death: Jul. 9, 2012

MASON CITY - Erma J. Downs, 82, of Mason City, went to be with her Lord on Monday, July 9, 2012, at the Good Shepherd Health Center.

Erma Jean Miles Downs was born Dec. 10, 1929, to Glen and Thelma (Jones) Miles in Riceville. She received her education at Saratoga No 4 School and Riceville High School. In 1948 she graduated from the Americana School of Cosmotology and began her career in the beauty profession in Glidden.

In 1949, she moved to Mason City and worked in a variety of beauty shops including Florimel Beauty Salon for 15 years. She was a member of the National Hairdresser & Cosmetologists Association and a past president of NHCA. In 1954, she placed third in the Iowa state Hairstyling Contest. She followed this with a first-place finish in 1955.

She opened Erma's Beauty Salon and successfully operated that business until her retirement. During that time she employed and mentored generations of hairdressers including formal instruction at the local beauty school.

On June 16, 1956, she married Joseph M. Downs and made her home in Mason City for the rest of her life. She was active in her community and a member of the VFW, Women of the Moose and her local parish. Erma had a big sense of humor that kept her friends and family engaged. An animal lover, she adored her cats and with her husband raised hunting Labradors. Her hobbies included music, fishing, gardening and cooking.

Erma died of congestive heart failure on July 9, 2012, after spending the last four years of her life in Good Shepherd Nursing Home. She was a doting aunt, loving sister and joyful friend.

She is survived by her sisters, Konnie Russell of Phoenix, Ariz., and Eleanor Bower of Osage.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe; her brothers, Melbern, John and James; and her parents, Glen and Thelma.

A Funeral Mass will be held 10:30 a.m. Thursday, July 12, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 302 Fifth St. S.E., with Rev. Neil Monternach officiating. Interment will be held in the Saratoga Cemetery at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Visitation will be held 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, with a Rosary held at 5 p.m. at Major Erickson Funeral Home, 111 N. Pennsylvania Ave. Memorials may be directed to the Erma J. Downs Memorial Fund in care of the family. Online condolences may be left for the family at

Arrangements: Major Erickson Funeral Home, Mason City, 641-423-0924,
Family links: 
  Joseph M Downs (1929 - 1991)*
*Calculated relationship
Saratoga Township Cemetery
Howard County
Iowa, USA
Created by: D. Fox Engelhardt
Record added: Jul 12, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 93484036
Erma J <i>Miles</i> Downs
Added by: D. Fox Engelhardt
Erma J <i>Miles</i> Downs
Added by: Paul Maruska
Erma J <i>Miles</i> Downs
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Paul Maruska
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


Privacy Statement and Terms of Service