Robert J. Downey, Jr. passed away on May 26, 2022, at his home in Monroe, NY. He was 75 years old. Born in Gloversville, NY on February 23, 1947, he was the son of the late Nancy (Catanzaro) and Robert J. Downey, Sr. In the Downey family lineage, there are two ancestors who were signers of the American Declaration of Independence: Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Maryland and Josiah Bartlett of New Hampshire.
Robert (Bob) is survived by his beloved wife Marianne (Lamitola) Downey at home in Monroe, NY; by his niece Jody Wood of Ballston Spa, NY; by his brother-in-law Frank Lamitola and his wife Vickie Smith of Ann Arbor, MI; and his brother-in-law, Anthony Lamitola of East Northport, NY; along with cousins, second cousins, and a grandnephew. In addition to his parents, Bob was predeceased by his brother Patrick Downey, his mother-in-law Mary Lamitola, and his sister-in-law Margie Lamitola.
Bob graduated with the cadet rank of Captain from Peekskill Military Academy, a high school. He was a musician, athlete, and budding scholar. He earned academic honors across several disciplines. He was band commander, and in charge the first year the band was the honor company of the year. He participated in six sports, including skiing, for four years.
Having a deep affinity with nature, Bob attended the College of Forestry at Syracuse University. He then joined the Air Force in 1968, and served in the United States and Thailand. On one occasion, the pilots of a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird had a mechanical problem and requested permission to land at the Air Force base in Thailand where Bob was stationed. He was selected as the only one qualified to do the necessary maintenance needed to correct the problem. Bob proudly regarded and chuckled at this experience as one of the highlights of his military career, as a full military guard was summoned to monitor his every move.
Upon returning to the United States, Bob enrolled at Brooklyn College, where he was involved in a special project identifying Pre-Columbian pottery sherds in a collection acquired from Peru. He graduated with a dual major in archeology/sociology and psychology.
Bob began his professional career at Prince Carpentry in New York, NY. He had extensive experience as a lumber trader working at Paniflex Corp., Zullo Lumber, and various other lumber companies. He attained the office of Vice President of Sales while at Boro Lumber. Bob partnered with Brian Drabkin, creating/owning Mott Haven Lumber in the Bronx, NY. In his long career, he held many responsibilities: he developed a strong contact network with mills and other vendors, while also training staff in wood related specialties. Bob was very well respected within the industry.
Bob was a true Renaissance man with a unique sense of humor. He had a passion for American history, and loved telling stories that make history come alive. He also loved military aircraft, cars, cooking, and carpentry.
He was a devoted fan of all of Bob Dylan’s work. And as Dylan wrote, “Death is not the end.” At his passing, Bob was looking forward to living the rest of his life in his family home in the Adirondack Mountains, which held a special place in his heart. As Bob Dylan said, “Death is not the end.”
Visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, June 3, 2022, at Smith, Seaman, and Quackenbush, Inc. Funeral Home, 117 Maple Avenue, Monroe, NY. A Funeral Service will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the funeral home. Cremation will take place at Cedar Hill Crematory in Middle Hope, NY.
Arrangements by Smith, Seaman, and Quackenbush, Inc. Funeral Home; (845) 782-8185 www.ssqfuneralhome.com.