City cemetery director leaves for position at hospital

Published 12:01 am Friday, December 21, 2007

NATCHEZ — After two years of serving the Natchez City Cemetery as its director, Mike Downey has stepped aside.

Downey, a resident of Natchez, has now taken a job working at Natchez Community Hospital as the director of dietary services.

“I take a lot of pride in the cemetery, and it was a very hard decision to leave,” Downey said.

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Since starting with the cemetery, Downey has uncovered unmarked grave sites, digitized records and received grants. He also helped restore old graves and other structures surrounding the cemetery.

“My work will probably never be done, I love the cemetery and I still call it ‘my’ cemetery,” Downey said. “There are still a few outstanding grants I am going to tend to and I am also assisting the new director.”

Danny Brown, the interim director, was recommended by Downey. The two have been friends for several years.

“Danny is a people person, he smiles and loves people. I think if he has those two qualities he can learn everything else,” Downey said.

Brown impressed the cemetery board as well.

“Mike’s recommendation of Danny carried a lot of weight with the board,” President of the Cemetery Board Nancy Kimbrell said.