Pearl Blackburn Downer

(Jan. 20, 1929 - Jan. 22, 2023)


Pearl Blackburn Downer, age 94, died Jan. 22, 2023 at Billings Clinic surrounded by her family. Pearl was born in Fort Hall, Idaho, on Jan. 20, 1929, to James Amos Blackburn and Phoebe Cowley Blackburn. Pearl was the fourth of five children.

When Pearl was 6 months old, her parents and siblings moved to Otto, Wyoming. When Pearl was 5 years old the family moved to Little Valley Ranch and worked there. This was her first memories of her home, a very small and narrow two-bedroom house for a family of seven. Pearl would tell stories about her childhood living as they had a model T car, and cooked on a woodburning stove since there was no electricity. The clothes would be handed down to younger siblings and each child had one dress outfit for church as clothes were handmade and hand stitched.

Pearl would talk about her parents being hard workers and always supplied the family with what they needed. Pearl always said the family bond back then was very strong and they always worked together. Pearl always said hard times are not all bad. There was less greed and more thankfulness back then.

Pearl attended school in Lovell, Wyoming, and graduated from Lovell High School, where she met the love of her life and childhood sweetheart, Clayton Downer in 1946. They married on Nov. 8, 1948 in Lovell and they lived with Clayton’s parents on their farm in Deaver for about four months before they moved to Heart Mountain and homesteaded.

They lived in barracks with no electricity, running water or telephone until 1956, when they moved to their present home. In 1958, they purchased more land to farm on Heart Mountain and that is when it became the Downer Farms. They had children James Wallace (deceased in 1975), Eddie Clayton (deceased in 2018), Marjorie Wester and Margaret Miller. In 1969, they adopted Timothy Wallace. In Nov. 2008, they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary and renewal of their vows at Cody Bible Church, with many of their friends and family present.

Pearl loved the Lord and accepted him into her life many years ago. She was very blessed throughout her life, and Pearl was looking forward to being with Clayton again in the presence of the Lord.

Pearl is survived by her children, Marjorie Wester and husband Gary Wester, their three children, Steve Wester and wife Stacy from Idaho, Brian Wester and wife Laura from Colorado and Cathi Wester from Colorado, Margaret Miller and husband Will, and their three daughters Amanda and husband Chris, from Oregon, Sara and Rachel. Tim Downer and wife Dawn, and Tim’s children, Joshua Downer and wife Rochelle, and Carrie Downer from Iowa, along with her many great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, at Cody Bible Church with viewing and visitation starting at 2pm. There will be food and fellowship at the church immediately following the services. Thank you Pastor Levi and all of Pearl’s long-time friends at Cody Bible Church for all of their help and contributions.

A private family graveside will be held on Saturday at Riverside Cemetery.

Memories and condolences can be left on Pearl’s memorial page at