BIrds 02

Jean Downing Holston

June 12, 1928 ~ May 12, 2020 (age 91)


Jean Downing Holston, age 91, of Wilmington, DE, passed away on May 12, 2020. 

Born at home in Malvern, PA in 1928, she was the daughter of the late J. Ellsworth and Clara Wilson Downing. She was one of six sisters, including Dorothy Menig, Anna Baldwin, Ruth Field, Marian Conner, and Alice Cantrell, and a brother William Downing.  She is survived by her sister Alice Cantrell of Anaheim Hills, CA.  In 1946 she graduated from Tredyffrin Easttown High School in Berwyn, PA. That same year she worked on the first penicillin line at Wyeth Labs in West Chester from which she retired after nearly 40 years.  She lived in West Chester, Linwood and the Downingtown area prior to moving in 2013 to Wilmington, Delaware to be closer to her son. 

Jean was the loving wife of the late Albert Holston of West Chester and is survived by their son Kim R. Holston (Nanette), two grandchildren (Michael Williston; Caroline) and Courtney Holston-Phillips; Richard Phillips) and four great-grandchildren (Lyra and Ivy Williston and Carter and Harrison Phillips).

Jean had a fantastic sense of humor, loved dogs and children, did crochet, and was an avid birdwatcher.

Her son remembers fondly their extended family picnics at Valley Forge and annual trips to the Poconos in the 1960s, moviegoing (when they saw everything from Cinderella and King Kong to How the West Was Won and The Sound of Music), enjoying gigantic omelets at Annamarie's Place and “Casino Dogs” at Ron's, and from 2003 until 2014 a May weekend at the Tournament Indoor Association Atlantic Coast (colorguard) Championships in Wildwood. 

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Tri-State Bird Rescue, 170 Possum Hollow Road, Newark, DE 19711, 302-737-9543. 

Funeral and interment will be private.   

Arrangements by DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc. West Chester, PA 610-696-1181;

To plant a tree in memory of Jean Downing Holston, please visit our tribute store.


Services and Interment will be private


Tri-State Bird Rescue
170 Possum Hollow Road, Newark DE 19711
Tel: 1-302-737-9543

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