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Katharine Downer

1949 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Katharine Downer Obituary
Downer, Katharine

Kate was born on Long Island, New York to Joan Ross Leboeuf and Halsey Schenck Downer in 1949. Her formal education included Buckley Country Day School, Chatham Hall, The Masters School at Dobbs Ferry, Bradford Junior College, The Katherine Gibbs School, and the University of New Mexico (UNM). An insatiable reader, she read widely from the NYTs best sellers to the smallest of imprints from the well-known to the never-remembered author. The printed word was her sentinel and muse.

She worked as the postmistress at Point O' Woods, New York, then South Street Seaport, Motor Boating and Sailing Magazine, then moved to Albuquerque where she worked for the Albuquerque Journal, UNM, and a myriad of nonprofits; most experienced her as a committed protector of the English language as an editor.

Her love of rescue dogs and cats was a single driving force. Her daily dog walks led to many encounters with dogs and people.

Kate looked forward to her annual train trips back to Point O'Woods for time with the ocean, whales and family and friends.

Though it was ovarian cancer that stopped her life, she cherished the years of support from the medical community based at the UNM Cancer Center and Center for Life.

Kate is survived by her three siblings; five nieces; and nephews; and their four children. Her communities of friends here in Albuquerque have been a spring of varied support, intellectual vigor, and comradery. She was a private person, but relied on close friends for love, support, and kinship.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the Animal Humane of New Mexico (animalhumanenm.org) or to Best Friends Animal Shelter (bestfriends.org).

Please visit our online guestbook for Kate at

Published in Albuquerque Journal on Dec. 11, 2016
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