John's Story

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BANGOR, MAINE AND PHOENIX, ARIZONA - John Philip Downing III, 58, died unexpectedly March 22, 2016, at his home in Phoenix. He was born on March 28, 1957, at the Presidio in Palo Alto, California, the son of Myrtle Laverne Luke and John Philip Downing, Jr., the third of four children.

John was born into a military family and traveled extensively in his life with his family, having lived in Izmir, Turkey, California, West Virginia, Kansas, Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, Massachusetts, Maine, and Arizona, and with his job with the Rhodes Retail Services and O'Reilly's to places like Hawaii and Costa Rica. He was a graduate of Whitehall-Yearling High School in Columbus, Ohio where he ran cross country and Kent State University in Kent, Ohio where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Business. He was an outstanding retail manager, working at base exchanges and private stores, bringing a sense of organization and pride to every place he worked, instilling confidence in his employees and encouraging them to strive for higher goals.

He was proud to be a Life Scout, having been awarded that rank at Camp Philmont in New Mexico. John was a gifted writer and sensitive soul, a devoted Oakland Raiders sports fan, an avid reader of Stephen King books, fascinated with history and a beloved brother, adopted grandpa, and kind, loyal and patient friend to so many.

Surviving are his sisters, Mary Downing Minctons of Phoenix, Arizona, Elizabeth Anne Downing and her husband, Dr. Dennis K. Cox, of Brewer, Maine, and Catherine Frances Downing, Esq. of Boston, Massachusetts; stepmother, Vera J. Downing of Phoenix, Arizona; best friend, Nancy L. Downing of Dallas, Texas; his aunt, Nancy B. Robbins and her husband, Don, of Sidney, Maine; step-siblings, Gilbert L. Christopher Jr. and his wife, Deborah, of Phoenix, Arizona, John E. Christopher and his wife, Cindy, of Bucksport, Maine, and Candi McKay of St. Augustine, Fl.; first cousins, Patrick, Bridget, Michael, and Terry McCabe; very special cousins, Winnie, Mark, Steve, and Chris Collins of New Jersey, and Ann and Frank Gallant of Bangor, Maine; friends, Michael Eichenbaum, Michael Beck, Stacie Maple-Kellejian, Tony Piel, as well as many other extended family members and old friends.

He was predeceased by his father, Col. John Philip Downing Jr.; his mother, Myrtle Laverne Luke Downing; two uncles, Kenneth A. B. Downing and David R. Downing; a brother-in-law, Ronald P. Minctons.

All are invited to a celebration of John's life with the family in Phoenix, AZ at 2p.m. Saturday, April 16, 2016, at the home of Vera J. Downing. A celebration of his life and family reunion will take place in Maine on Saturday, July 2, 2016 at the home of Liz Downing and Dr. Dennis Cox in Brewer, Maine.

Condolences to the family may be expressed at edowning@maine.edu. Gifts in memory of John Downing may be sent to the Assistance League of Phoenix Assistance League of Phoenix, 9224 North 5th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85020
Published on  April 8, 2016
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