James Downey, 80

James Downey

James Lyons Downey passed away peacefully on February 2, 2023. Jim moved with his wife Sandy to Chandler, Arizona to watch every activity his grandkids participated in, but always considered himself a lifelong resident of Lake Orion. Jim’s smile will be missed by those closest to him; wife Sandy of 54 years, son, Jim P (Jennifer) Downey; grandchildren Payne and Lila Downey. Jim was welcomed to heaven by his parents Payne and Mildred Downey, his sister Kathy and a host of friends, teammates, veterans, and assorted characters that crossed his path in life.

He was born in 1942 and a 1960 Lake Orion High graduate; a football scholarship took Jim to Big Rapids and Ferris Institute. A draft notice then relocated Jim to Fort Lewis Washington, where he served his country in the 1st Battalion Military Police. After his honorable discharge, Jim returned to Orion and joined the family business, selling insurance under Downey Agency along Lapeer Road with his Dad, Payne Downey and partner Rick Martin. His love of selling was a valuable skill, as it was utilized in support of Lake Orion Community Schools, Orion youth baseball and soccer, St. Mary’s in the Hills Episcopal Church, and the Make a Wish foundation of Arizona. If there was a good time for a good cause Jim was on that committee, buying the raffle ticket, pouring the drink, and selling it to everyone he met.

Lake Orion Community Schools, Ferris State, his parents, Fort Lewis Army base, and God made Jim a unique person that will not be replicated. His smile, laugh, and storytelling will be missed, but his positive outlook on life will continue through his family and those that he touched. A small family service was at St Matthew’s Episcopal church in Chandler, Arizona. The delay in this obituary was to allow the Irishman’s announcement to fall in month of March and allow Jim sufficient time to get into heaven, before the devil knew he was dead. For those that want to contribute to Jim’s memory please raise a glass on March 17 and consider a donation to our veterans via the Lake Orion American Legion Post 233, located at 164 S Broadway Street, Lake Orion, MI 48362.


James Downey

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