Mable Downer Williams – Upper Telegram

Mabel D. Williams, of Superior, passed away Saturday, September 24 at Essentia Health Duluth. She was born in Bowdle, SD on November 2, 1926, the daughter of Adney and Alma Downer.

Mabel was the first in her family to attend university. She graduated from Jamestown University, Jamestown, ND with a dual degree in Art and Religion. She was accepted by the Presbyterian Board of Missions and taught art to high school students in Haines, AK. She went back to school and earned a Masters in Library Science from Emporia State University, Emporia, KS. Mabel returned to Alaska and served as a librarian at Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, AK. She eventually transferred to Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina, where she met her husband, Paul L. Williams, Jr. They were married on June 29, 1961, in Roscoe, SD. After Paul’s retirement, Paul and Mabel volunteered at private schools in Mississippi, North Carolina, Alaska, Arizona and New Mexico.

Mabel was a member of the United Presbyterian Church, serving on numerous committees and as a Sunday school teacher. She enjoyed growing indoor plants, gardening and reading. Another source of pleasure was travel, especially when it came to family visits. She was the keeper of the Downer family history and called as many friends and relatives as she could until her death.

She was predeceased by her husband Paul, her parents and her siblings: Ella Downer, May Anderson, Edna Brucklacher, Perry Downer and Ivan Downer.

Mabel is survived by her children, Mary Williams of Superior and Laura Williams of Gaithersburg, MD as well as many cousins, nephews and nieces.

His visitation will be Monday, November 7, 2022, from 1:00 p.m. until the 2:00 p.m. funeral service at United Presbyterian Church, 229 N 28th Street, with light refreshments after the service. Reverend Brett Foote will officiate.

The family would like to thank the staff at Villa Marina Health and Rehabilitation for caring for Mabel over the past 18 months.

Interment will take place in Freeman, SD at a later date.

Downs Funeral Home, 1617 N 19th St., is helping the family make arrangements. To leave a condolence online, please visit

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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