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Ray Downs

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Family-Placed Death Notice

RAY DOWNS Ray Downs, 89, died on Wednesday December 13th, 2006. The fourth of five children born to James Cloyd Downs and Mabel Lehmann, he was raised in Saranac Lake, New York in the Adirondack Mountains. With a lifelong love of wilderness, mountains and the ocean, he was an avid hiker, canoeist and sailor. Ray graduated from Columbia University in New York and McCormick Seminary in Chicago in 1945. He was ordained in the United Presbyterian Church before installed as the first pastor of Northminster Presbyterian Church. In 1945 Ray married Elizabeth Holmquist. Three years later they moved to Thailand and worked with Thai University students until 1981. In Thailand, Ray and Betty established the Student Christian Center in Bangkok, a ministry of the Church of Christ in Thailand. Voices of peace and social justice, they were committed to promoting arts and culture; and encouraging interfaith dialogue. In 1981, they retired to Betty's family farm in New Hope, Pennsylvania where they worked as outreach ministers visiting home-bound members of their church community. In 1990, after the death of Betty, Ray moved to Bainbridge Island where he was married to Dorothy Downs. He later moved to Atlanta four years ago to live in Wesley Woods and be close to two of his children, Christina Dondero and Timothy Downs. Ray lived a life that spanned many cultures and communities. He leaves a legacy of commitment to a global community and service to others in the Thai students he worked with as well as with his children and grandchildren, many of whom worked internationally. His life and work live on in his six children. Peter Downs, Timothy Downs, Christina Downs Dondero, Libbet Downs, Jonathan Downs and Karin Downss. He is also survived by 17 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, and a sister. A service will be held at Central Congregational Church, 2676 Clairmont Road, Atlanta, on Sunday, December 17 at 4 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Southeast Conference, DCC, 1330 West Peachtree Street, Suite 350, Atlanta, GA 30309 designated to the Student Christian Center, Bangkok, Thailand. Wages & Sons 770/469-9811
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Dec. 15, 2006
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