Rogers B. Downey passed away peacefully at his home in Lexington, Massachusetts on Saturday January 25, 2020 surrounded by the love of his family. He was blessed to have celebrated his 91st birthday on January 5, attended by his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews and nieces all sharing photos and videos of the many wonderful years we had together. He was an extraordinary man who enriched the lives of many, known and unknown throughout his life. Rogers was the son of William Wallace Downey and Priscilla Wing Downey of Upper Montclair, New Jersey and the brother of Burton Downey of Dallas, Texas as well as the late Peg Seiler, Doris Hubert and William Downey. He graduated from Montclair High School and then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Mechanical Engineering, graduating in 1951 and 1955. Following graduation Rogers served his nation, working on the development of military technology and performing confidential international assignments for the US government. Rogers subsequently pursued a career at the Polaroid Corporation becoming an Engineering Fellow before retiring in 1988. With over 35 patents his work influenced the camera world. If you have used a Polaroid Camera chances are one of his patents has helped contribute to your familys photo collection. After retirement he was more than eager to help family, friends, and his condo association with wiring projects, home renovations and his favorite, working on any type of engine. Rogers was a brilliant but humble man, an inspiration to all who knew and loved him. We all admired his self- discipline. He swam daily and was an avid tennis player, playing 3 times a week with a wonderful group of friends that he thoroughly enjoyed and who we have learned called him the Legend. Rogers had the privilege of loving two wives in his life losing his first wife Marjorie in 1967 and then marrying Eleanor Small in 1969 and losing her in 2001. He leaves behind his daughters Susan Messina and her husband Ken, Judi Lentini and her husband Roy and stepdaughter Lesley Zorabedian, two stepsons, James Small and his wife Sue and Edward Small and his wife Louise; also, grandchildren Kristen Duncan and her husband Jody, Kate Limberakis and her husband Anthony, Beth Small, Laura Cleary and her husband Rob, Wesley Small, Cindy Wrona and her husband Chris, John Zorabedian and his wife Stephanie, Jeff Zorabedian and his wife Una, James Zorabedian and his wife Neema; as well as his great grandchildren, Will and Emily Duncan, Evangeline Limberakis, Trey and Ryan Cleary, Ben Zorabedian, Liam, Jacob and Dylan Wrona and Sam and Max Zorabedian. Rogers had a saying done in needlepoint on his wall that he saw each morning and lived by, it reads "I shall pass this way but once. Therefore, any good that I can do or any kindness that I can show, let me do it now - for I shall not pass this way again". His life was a gift to us and we were all incredibly blessed to have him in our lives. He will be truly missed by all who knew him. A Celebration of his Life will be held at a later date.
Published in Observer-Advocate from Feb. 1 to Feb. 12, 2020.