Jerry E. Downey, 72, a lifelong resident of Windham, passed away peacefully on October 8, 2021 surrounded by his loving family. He was born on February 17, 1949 in Detroit, MI to George W. Jr. and Beatrice (nee Daniels) Downey. Jerry married the love of his life, Nancy (nee Croft) Downey on June 7,1969.
Jerry was a 1967 Windham High School graduate where he played football, basketball and baseball. He was a member of the 1966 PCL Championship Football Team. After high school, he proudly served his country during the Vietnam War in the United States Army. He carried the love of his country throughout his life and instilled those values onto his children. Jerry was a volunteer firefighter for Windham during the 1970’s. He was a Windham Hot Stove coach for many years. Jerry was an avid Cleveland sports fan. He loved the Browns but would always say “they will break your heart.” Jerry had so much knowledge of all sports. He could sit for hours talking about players and teams. Jerry retired from the Chrysler Corporation in 2002.
His stories were legendary. He could tell you the same story multiple times and he would laugh just as much as the first time. Jerry enjoyed hunting and fishing. He never could get a buck, so his family nicknamed him “Doe boy.” One winter he finally got his buck and told all of them “Doe Boy No More!” Jerry loved his family beyond measure. It was evident in everything he did! He didn’t leave the house or hang up the phone without telling them he loved them. He never missed a ballgame and was their biggest supporter.
Jerry is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Nancy and their dog, Sophie; children, Mike Downey, Brian (Barb) Downey and Christina (John) Ladd; 10 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and 2 on the way; siblings, Wannedia (Jess) Wirick and Ken (Fiancé, Anne Boshears) Downey; mother-in-law, Lois Croft; sisters-in-law, Betty (Walt) Whitacre and Dale Gilbert; brother-in-law, David (Mary) Croft; many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and a friend to many.
He was preceded in death by his parents; father-in-law, William “Sam” Croft; sisters-in-law, Joan Hebb, Brenda Croft and Cindy Downey; brother-in-law, Richard Gilbert; niece, Tami Sgambati and nephew, Daniel Gilbert.
Honoring Jerry’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A private service will be held. Jerry will be laid to rest in Windham Township Cemetery, where full military honors will be provided by the U.S. Army Honor Guard Team, assisted by members of Windham American Legion Post No. 674. Arrangements are by the Green Family Funeral Home & Crematory Service in Mantua, where his video tribute, condolences, and memories may be viewed at www.greenfamilyfuneralhome.com.
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