Cover photo for William M. Downey's Obituary
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1926 William 2019

William M. Downey

July 22, 1926 — August 13, 2019

William Michael Downey, 93, died Tuesday night, Aug. 13, 2019, at his home in North Lima.
He was born July 22, 1926, the son of James Patrick and Julia Welsh Downey. He was their sixth son and ninth child and at the time of his birth he was recognized as the biggest baby born at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Youngstown. He spent his boyhood on baseball diamonds throughout the city. He played shortstop and often participated as the youngest player on many teams.
He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Anxious to join his brothers and sister in the war effort, he enlisted as soon as he could. He was training in California for overseas when the war ended, and he was discharged in July 1946.
After the war, he attended Shepherd College (University) in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, where he continued playing baseball. He graduated in 1951. His baseball career included a tryout and signing with the Philadelphia Athletics. He played in the minor leagues.
While at Shepherd College, he met Virginia Higgs of Hyattsville, Maryland. They were married June 14, 1952, and spent their early married years in Washington, D.C.
He earned his teaching certificate and taught social studies and physical education at Surrattsville High School, Clinton, Maryland. He later joined the administration for Prince George’s County Schools, Maryland, working as assistant supervisor for transportation and helping oversee the largest school bus fleet in the nation.
In 1959, he and his young family moved to their home on the Chesapeake Bay in Franklin Manor, Maryland. He was active in neighborhood events and enjoyed many years of boating, crabbing, and hosting extended family in the bayside community. He was a longtime member of Our Lady of Sorrows, Owensville, Maryland. He and Virginia moved to Shepherd of the Valley, Poland (North Lima), in October 2017.
He is survived by Virginia, his wife of 67 years; three daughters, Nancy J. Spinney of Solomons Island, MD, Kathleen V. Terreri of Lake Milton, and Anne-Marie Downey of Boardman; his son-in-law, Daniel J. Terreri of Lake Milton; eight beloved grandchildren, Matt (Ashley) Spinney of Lusby, MD, Michael (Sheida) Spinney of Philadelphia, Kyle (Faith) Terreri of North Jackson, Danielle (Shawn) Fallon of Powell, Jillian (Zachary) Zimmer of Madeira, Claire Tinkler of Columbus, Patrick Tinkler of Columbus, and Laura Rose Tinkler of Boardman, and eight great-grandchilden. He also is survived by his brother- and sister-in-law Donald and Grace (Day) Higgs of Dunwoody, Ga.; brother- and sister-in-law Gerry and Debby Higgs of Gainesville, Va; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, James (Bud), Donald, John (Jack), Edward and Patrick, and his sisters Rose Mary Sadler, Kathleen Elenz and Julie Glenellen.
Friends may call on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 9:45 a.m. at St. Christine Parish, 3165 S. Schenley, Youngstown, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. Arrangements have been entrusted to Lane Family Funeral Homes, Boardman Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to local food banks or the Salvation Army.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, August 17, 2019

9:00 - 9:45 am (Eastern time)

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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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