Michael Lee Downing, 54, died in his home on May 27th in Portland, Oregon.
Michael was born in Riverside, CA and later moved with his family to Alaska. His young life was spent fishing and exploring the outdoors and after graduating from high school he set down roots in Juneau, Alaska and worked in carpentry and construction. Michael later went on to graduate from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Management and a Master's in Civil Engineering from Stanford University. He later went on to study Spiritual Psychology and graduated with a Master's degree from the University of Santa Monica with an emphasis in Consciousness, Health and Healing.
Michael was a senior vice president for HDR Engineering in Oregon at the time of his death and was appreciated by his staff as a wise and caring mentor and leader. He spent 10 years with the Alaska Department of Transportation, as an assistant commissioner and chief engineer as well as a marine engineering manager.
Michael is survived by his wife, Carole and their son Lucas; his son Leit; his stepson Ashley (and Heather) Call of Haines, Alaska; his parents John and Verna Downing of Ozark, Missouri; his sisters Jeannette (and Gary) Gibbons, Victoria (and Chuck) Knight, and Elizabeth Tatum, all of Ozark, Missouri; and his brother John (and Christian) Downing of Franklin, Kentucky.
A service and celebration of Michael's life will be held in Juneau, Alaska on Saturday, July 21st at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church at Noon, with a potluck reception at Eaglecrest Lodge from 1:30pm-3:30pm, followed by a hike on the Eaglecrest trails.
Donations in his memory can be made to the University of Santa Monica by calling 310-829-7402.
Michael will be remembered for his generous heart, determined spirit, kind smile, and soft spoken way of expressing his love for life. His favorite quote by John Keats sums up his outlook:
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's
affections and the truth of imagination".
Published in The Juneau Empire on July 15, 2012