Social work student killed Wednesday

Social work student killed Wednesday

“Danielle Downs was my best friend, and closer to me than my own sister,” Debbie Graff, Downs’ friend of six years, said.

Downs died after Wednesday’s tornado, and funeral arrangements are still being finalized.

“Danielle was an advocate for the underdog,” Graff said. “During our time together, I witnessed Danielle stand up to men twice her size for the sake of justice.”

Downs was majoring in social work and was set to graduate May 7.

“She would have been an amazing social worker,” Graff said “Her heart extended to everyone, even her enemies. She could forgive you before you could apologize. Danielle loved with gusto, and never left a part of herself out of anything she was involved in.”

The viewing for Downs will be held Sunday from 3:30 - 6 p.m. at Peck's funeral home in Hartselle. The funeral will be Monday at 3 p.m. at the Catholic Church off the beltline in Decatur.

She is survived by parents Edward and Terri and sister Michelle.

The visitation will be held Sunday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Pecks Funeral Home in Hartselle, Ala. The funeral will be held at Annunciation of the Lord Catholic Church in Decatur, Ala.

If you are a friend or family member who would like to be quoted about Downs, email

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