October 17 1923 January 31 2020
John’s Obituary John R. Downie, went home to be with his Lord on January 31, 2020 at the age of 96. The staff at Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center provided wonderful care for him throughout his time there, especially during his final days. John was born October 17, 1923 and grew up at the family home in Ridgewood, New Jersey until he left for Army service in 1943. He served with the 66th Division in the European Theater returning in 1946 to resume his studies at Colgate University, graduating in 1948 with a degree in history. John began his insurance career with companies in Newark, NJ and in Boston and later joined the Wheeler & Taylor Agency in Great Barrington. He served as its president from 1976 until his retirement in 1985. John lived in Great Barrington and Sheffield for over fifty years before moving to the Geer campus in Canaan, Ct. While in both towns he was active in Church and Town affairs and also with Hope Church in Lenox and Greenwoods Community Church in Ashley Falls. As president, he led the Southern Berkshire Community Fund which eventually merged with the Berkshire United Way in 1984. He organized the first planting of trees on Main Street in Great Barrington, was a co-founder of the Ashley Falls Historic District, a school Committee member, and was a long-time participator in the affairs of Bartholomew’s Cobble and the Trustees of Reservations. John considered himself a “low profile doer,” yet made significant contributions and impact through his roles as Scoutmaster, board member with the Berkshire Hills Conference, the Berkshire Christian College board of regents, co-founder of Sheffield Chapel, the Great Barrington and Sheffield planning boards and was the recipient of the Robert K. Agar United Way volunteerism award. He was a twenty-five-year member of Kiwanis and a fifty-year member of Wyantenuck Country Club where he loved the game of golf and became club champion in 1958. He also enjoyed gardening at his home, affectionately known as Mole End. John married Audrey Tichenor in 1963 and was joined by her three sons, Bruce, Carl and Ed. He and Audrey had many enjoyable travels, visiting her home grounds in Northern Ireland and his relatives in England. John was predeceased by Audrey in 2016 and is survived by sons Bruce (Dianna) of Buxton, ME, Carl (Mary Lou) of Phoenix, AZ and Ed of Lakeland, FL, and Tichenor grandsons, Eric, Noel, Ryan and Seth. John is also survived by brother George (Joan deceased) of Jamaica Plain, MA, nieces Melinda Maryniuk (George) of Jamaica Plain, MA, Carolyn Sebring (Harry deceased) of Richmond, MA, Alison Whitehouse (Tom) of Braintree, MA, Priscilla Thoma (Bob) of Franklin Lakes, NJ and a host of grandnieces/nephews and great grandchildren. SERVICES – Scheduled calling hours will be Friday, March 13th from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home, Great Barrington, MA. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 14th at 11:00 a.m. Greenwoods Community Church, Ashley Falls, MA with a reception following. Instead of flowers, gifts may be made to the Greenwoods Community Church Elder’s Fund through Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home, 426 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230. To send remembrances to his family please go to www.finnertyandstevens.com Read More
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of John R Downie October 17 1923 January 31 2020.
Death notice for the town of: Great Barrington, state: Massachusetts