Former Iowa Teacher and Superintendent Celebrates 100th birthday


Jaelynn Osborn

A photograph of former Iowa teacher and superintendent craig downing

Jaelynn Osborn, Reporter

Craig Downing, current resident of Oskaloosa Care Center, celebrated his 100th birthday on April 12th, 2022. 

He lived in Cantil Iowa till he moved to the Oskaloosa Care Center. After graduating from high school he went on to college at The University of Dubuque. After graduating from Dubuque he went on to teach Social Studies before becoming the superintendent of a school district.  Craig retired from teaching in the 1980s.
Aside from teaching, Craig also served in World War 2 from 194 -to 1945. He fought in Iwo Jima and South Pacific Theatre. He was a part of the third wave of Marines who landed in Iwo Jima. There he was shot in the shoulder. 

 During an Iowa Hawkeye Basketball game, he was honored for his service and was given the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Craig is also able to talk about his time in the war.  He is able to tell stories about his service to anyone.

One hobby he enjoys is gardening. His favorite thing to eat is basically any good food.  This year for his birthday, family and friends alike sent him cards to celebrate instead of gathering and having a party. 

Craig was married to Marian Downing. They have three daughters named Cyndi, Jane, and Joni.  His daughters and his sister-in-law Erma visit Craig frequently. 


His cousin Marilou Osborn stated “ My favorite memory is being at Aunt and Uncle Stephens’s house. When Craig was ready to leave and the kids weren’t, he would tell them to get ready and it’s time to go. But if he had to say ‘saddle up’, then they knew it was time to get going.”  

I may not have met him in person but I know if I have the chance I would be deeply honored in doing so.