In Memory of






Obituary for Odessa Marie "Dessa" Downing (Brown)

In celebration of a life well lived, Odessa “Dessa” Miller, was born on Wednesday, August 15, 1945. She was raised in Atlantic, Virginia with a loving village including mother and father, John and Beatrice Miller. She was educated in the Accomack County Public School System. She went on to attend Delaware State College in Dover, Delaware.

On Saturday, May 27, 1967, she was joined in holy matrimony to Bernard “Larry” Downing, Sr. and they soon settled into life together in Trenton, New Jersey. To this union three children were born, Bernard “Bernie” Jr., Andre, and Equai. Odessa was a faithful employee of the city of Trenton for many years until her retirement.

During her childhood, Odessa found much joy in serving the Lord as a member of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Atlantic, Virginia. She continued to serve in various churches until she and Larry became devoted members of New Horizon Baptist Church in Hamilton Township, Graveville, New Jersey.

“Dessa” was the epitome of grace and compassion. Her gentle spirit will be missed by all. She has left a shining example as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, and so much more.

As she departed this life, she was undoubtedly welcomed on the other side to life eternal by her husband, Bernard “Larry” Downing Sr.; son, Andre Downing; birth mother & father, Doretha Fiddemon & Cleveland Brown; parents, John & Beatrice Miller; grandparents, Avery & Vilina Brown; and brothers, Bruce Brown, John Avery Miller, & Danny Brown

Odessa leaves her remarkable legacy to be carried on by her son, Bernard “Bernie” Larry Downing, Jr. and his wife Kasandra and daughter Savannah Ishmael; son, Equai Downing and his wife Jennifer along with children, Ariyon, Jessica, Equai, Jr., and Julia; her brother, Rev. Gary C. Miller and his wife Tampa; aunt, Althea Goodwine; sister-in-law, Betty Downing; many family members from Trenton, NJ and The Eastern Shore; very dear friends, Sharon, Che-Che, and Silas Coleman; and a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins, family, and friends.

Lovingly and sorrowfully submitted,
The Family