Obituary Condolences

Downer, John Andrew "Johnny" February 15th, 1972 - December 4th, 2009 Johnny Downer, 37, of Sebastopol CA, died suddenly on Friday, December 4th from a heart attack while in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Johnny was born in Newport Beach, California to Carol Esonis and John Downer on Tuesday, February 15th, 1972. He is survived by his mother and father; brother, Terry; sister, Julie; nephews, Jeffrey and Jake; and loving girlfriend, Ashley. Johnny was the baby. Growing up in Newport was fun for him. Johnny was a mellow kid, liked a good prank every now and then and always smiled. There was always a positive vibe when he was around. One felt happy and proud to be in his company. He had many friends. He loved to skateboard, surfed a little, played little football and baseball. Life was good, then it got better. Johnny taught himself how to play the guitar. He never put it down. Obsessed with having to learn the difficult Stones, Clapton , Hendrix etc., he would not stop practicing. Day and night he played his guitar, getting better and better. Having played in many bands, the most recent being Free Peoples, he didn't just play the guitar, he made music. He loved to experiment with almost every imaginable instrument. Johnny played the piano, drums, flutes and more. Basically, ANYTHING in his hands could make magical music. He wrote songs, lyrics and packaged it all together to make you happy. He was the most modest, humble person in town. Humility was natural to him. No matter how much negativity was around him, he would try to find the good. And he did. His music touched the soul of whoever was listening. To say he will be missed, is an extreme understatement. He will be immortalized in our hearts and souls, only to make us better human beings. Memorial service will be on Friday, December 18th, 2009 at 2:00 p.m., St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 600 St. Andrews Rd., Newport Beach, CA 92663. In lieu of flowers, please send donations (make check payable) to: The Sebastopol Educational Foundation, P.O. Box 1255, Sebastopol, CA 95473. Mark on check to allocate funds to the Johnny Downer Memorial Music Fund. Online donations go to: www.sef.sebastopolschools.org. Thanks to all his friends and fans for having his legacy live on. "Treat people how you would like to be treated"

Published in Orange County Register on Dec. 15, 2009
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