Wayland knew no strangers. His warmth radiated as he rode motorcycles, flew small engine airplanes, and explored the outdoors. Active in Young Eagles program, Wayland flew over a hundred students, sharing new perspectives to all he encountered. At St. Henry’s parish, he was an active member of the Building and Grounds committee. Master sign painter, his creative output spans decades.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dan and Irene, nee Wicklein, Downen; and three siblings, Lavonne Downen in infancy, Delmar Downen, and June (Arthur) Rasmussen; and two brothers-in-law, Richard Przychodzin and Carroll Joost.
He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Luan, nee Smith, Downen, whom he married on July 6, 1957;
five sons, Greg Downen, Jeff (Kathleen) Downen, Steve (MaryKay) Downen, Kevin (Melissa) Downen, and Phil (Cathy) Downen;
two daughters, Jill Downen (Char Schwall), and Janet (Jack) Gidding;
nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren;
two sisters, Valeria Przychodzin, and Charlene Joost;
a sister-in-law, Patricia Downen;
and many wonderful nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and friends.
Memorials may be made to Radio Station KDHX, St Louis 88.1 FM. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 8, 2023, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, and from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday, February 9, 2023, at St. Henry Catholic Church, Belleville, IL.
Funeral: A memorial mass will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, February 9, 2023, at St. Henry Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Rev. Kenneth York officiating.
Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Chester, IL.