Michael Noel Downer, 77 died Sept. 4, 2021, in Grover Beach, after a short battle with leukemia.
Michael was born in Los Angeles, on Dec. 19, 1943, to Glenn and Lula Downer. The family lived in San Fernando until Mike was 6 years old, when they moved to Yucaipa. He was a member of the Future Farmers of America and received both gold and silver certificates for his prize-winning sheep. Mike was in the very first class to graduate from Yucaipa High School in 1961.
He married Lucinda (Cindy) Wyatt in 1961 and they had three children; David, Michelle and Renee. During his teenage and young-adult years he worked at the local turkey ranch, lumber yard and Davis Market.
Mike started his career with the Postal Service in 1963 as a letter carrier. He formed and served as vice president for the first local union in Yucaipa “Local 5319” for the National Association of Letter Carriers. Throughout his 42-year career with the Postal Service he served as postmaster of Yucaipa (from 1985 to 1998) and helped design and oversee the building of the current Post Office located on California St. He also served as Postmaster of Perris (from 1998 to 2003) where he helped design and oversee the building of their office on Redlands Ave before going on to be Postmaster of Rialto and Bloomington. He held multiple other positions with the Postal Service before retiring in 2006.
Working hard was just part of his character and for a good portion of Mike’s life, he maintained two jobs. Managing the Liquor Basket wasn’t just a way to support his family, but a way to connect with the community. Because the Liquor Basket was a small-town market, he met new people, kept up with old friends and stayed akin to the happenings of Yucaipa.
Michael married Jeanie Megert who also worked for the postal service and they lived in Yucaipa for many years before moving to Moreno Valley, Hemet and later on Arroyo Grande and the Grover Beach area.
He belonged to the San Bernardino County Sheriff Rangers and served as Captain in 1993. Mike was passionate about his horses and going on trail rides, for many years he belonged to a local riding club. One of his favorite rides was the “Chief Joseph Trail ride” in Montana. He thoroughly enjoyed hunting, shooting and the great outdoors.
Michael loved spending time with family and being a father, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather. He was preceded in death by his father Glenn Downer, mother Lula Downer, brother Jerry Downer and daughter Michelle Dickey. He is survived by His wife Jeanie Downer of Grover Beach, son David Downer of Yucaipa, daughter Renee Bechel and husband Mike of Yucaipa, step daughter Lisa Chernekoff and husband John of Grover Beach CA, step son John Weber of Grover Beach CA, step daughter Amy Stephens and husband Lane of Bradleyville, Missouri, 14 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 at 11 a.m. at Mill Creek Cattle Company, 1874 Mentone Blvd., Mentone.