JOHN DOWNEY (1930 - 2019)

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Service Information
Carmon Funeral Home & Family Center
301 Country Club Road
Avon, CT
Funeral service
Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019
2:00 PM
Sharon Congregational Church
25 Main Street
Sharon, CT
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DOWNEY--John Alexander (Jack), MD, BSc (Med), DPhil (Oxon), FRCP(C), born September 16, 1930 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada to J. Stuart and Victoria Downey, passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 24, 2019. He was raised on a prairie wheat farm in Nokomis, Saskatchewan where he attended a one room school through grade 12. He graduated from the University of Manitoba School of Medicine in 1955 (MD (Hon), BSc (Hon), then completed a rotating internship at the University of British Columbia Vancouver General Hospital (1953-54), the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency at Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (1954-58), the Internal Medicine residency at The Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Harvard University (1958-60), and earned a DPhil from Christ Church, Oxford University while pursuing laboratory studies investigating Body Temperature Regulation. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (Presbyterian Hospital) in 1963 then a full professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in 1967. In 1973, he was appointed the Simon Baruch Professor and Chairman of that department, a position in which he remained until his retirement in 1991. Following retirement as Emeritus Professor, he divided his time between Sharon, CT and Greenwich Village, New York City. His academic accomplishments include over 200 peer reviewed publications, three textbooks, appointment as visiting Professor at the University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia (1969-70) and election to the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Science) in 1991 - the first of his specialty so named. He married Elsie Winifred Waterman in 1952 and was the father of four children Richard Downey (Virginia), Susan Downey (David Franklin), Robert Downey (Laura Forese) and Jennifer Dussault (Rene). He is survived by Janis Elizabeth Piggott - his wife of 36 years, ten grandchildren and four great- grandchildren. A funeral service will be held at 2:00pm on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at the Sharon Congregational Church, 25 Main Street, Sharon, CT. In his memory, donations can be made to the P&S Club Office of Development at or to the University of Manitoba Victoria and J. Stuart Downey Entrance Scholarship in Medicine at Carmon Funeral Home, Avon, CT is assisting with services. To leave an online condolence, please visit:

Published in The New York Times on Nov. 3, 2019
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