Brenda Kay Downing

Brenda Kay Downing

Brenda Kay Downing


Brenda Kay Downing, 62, of Anamosa, died peacefully in her home, on Wednesday, Aug. 23, held in the arms of her sons and husband.

Life of Celebration will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Anamosa. Pastor Rodney Blum will officiate the service. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, at the Goettsch Funeral Home, Anamosa. By visiting, you may share your thoughts, memories and condolences with Brenda’s family and sign the online guest book.

Surviving is her husband of 42 years, Dirk; her two sons, Jesse (Betsy) Downing and Joel (Mallory) Downing; and the precious joys of her life, her grandchildren, Rerni, Karter, Theo and Brooks, and another precious joy on the way; her mother, Patricia Merritt; siblings, Bill Merritt, Susan Merritt and Jodie Merritt Ludwig; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws and out-laws.

Brenda Kay Merritt was born Aug. 15, 1961, to Richard (Dick) Merritt and Patricia Kellogg Merritt at the Anamosa Community Hospital.

She graduated from Anamosa High School in 1979, where she was Homecoming Queen and received The John Phillip Sousa Award as the top musician in the band. Brenda attended Capri Cosmetology College and graduated at the top of her class. Brenda and Dirk first dated on her 15th birthday and on her 19th birthday he proposed. They were married June 5, 1981, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

Brenda operated The Hair Studio, which she bought at 19 years of age and ran two salons until she changed careers after 25 years. Brenda and Dirk renovated the old Tyler & Downing store in 2004 to create Tyler & Downing’s Eatery. Chef Brenda designed everything, the kitchen, dining room, menu and created all the dishes from scratch and all self-taught. When health problems made her unable to work in the restaurant, she started GypsyMoon Boutique on the upper floor of the restaurant. She was the consummate entrepreneur, never one to be idle, she wrote three books and 1800 poems and songs.

Brenda dedicated her life to her sons and family. She started gardening so that her hobby put her at home with her boys. She was always there for them. Her grandchildren gave her the purest joy of late and she would fight through her pain to play with them, building blanket forts, swimming in her pool, playing in tents and their favorite, Grandma Robot.

She was a rare jewel, God’s love poured through her and she shared her faith and love effortlessly.

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