Jill Nicole Casten Downing, 38, passed away on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at her home in Manhattan.
A celebration of Jill’s life will be 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5, 2019, at the Marais des Cygnes Valley High School Gym in Melvern. The family will receive friends immediately following Jill’s celebration until 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Jill Casten Memorial Fund, to help support 4-H and FFA students, sent in care of Feltner Funeral Home, 818 Topeka Ave, Lyndon, KS 66451. Link to Kansas FFA Foundation is https://ksffafoundation.givingfuel.com/casten
She was born on June 17, 1980, in Ottawa, the daughter of the late Joyce (Stinson) Casten and Jeff Casten. Jill grew up in Quememo and graduated from Marais des Cygnes Valley High School in 1998. She had lived in Manhattan since 2014.
Jill received her Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Economics from Kansas State University in 2002, and her Master’s Degree from the University of Nebraska in 2005 along with her PhD in Agriculture and Extension Education from Virginia Tech in 2011. She had worked for the National FFA organization, American Farm Bureau and most recently at Kansas Farm Bureau as the Senior Director for Educational Training.
Jill attended Crestview Church in Manhattan. Jill served organizations that she had benefited from, including the: Kansas FFA Foundation, K-State Ag Alumni Board, Kansas FFA Association and numerous 4-H roles.
On June 9, 2018, Jill was married to Bo Downing in Quenemo.
Jill is survived by her husband Bo, of the home; her father, Jeff Casten and wife, Merrilyn, of Quenemo; her three sisters, Jennifer (Peter) Roy, of Vassar; Janae (Caleb) McNally, Quenemo; Jarah (Mike) Hauger, Gardner; and 13 nieces and nephews.
Jill was preceded in death by her mother, Joyce; grandparents, John and Dorothy Casten, Quenemo; and Bennie and Jean Stinson, Ottawa; two aunts and an uncle.