James Downing

Obituary of James Herbert Downing

DOWNING - James Herbert December 12, 2021, formerly of Clarence, NY. Beloved husband of Sara (Custer) Downing; loving father of Herbert J. (Christine), Peter G. (Beth), Thomas J. (Denise), Robert C. (Debbie) Downing, Janet C. (Jeffrey) Oddo, and Caroline (Gregory) Downing; grandfather of Chelsea, James, Jeffrey, Katelyn, Peter, Daniel, John-Paul and Grace. Also survived by four great-grandchildren. Jim was born on July 27, 1927 in La Grange, IL the oldest son of Herbert and Barbara Downing. He grew up in LaGrange and graduated from Lions Township High School in 1944. He received a B.S. in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1949 and a Ph.D. from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1954. He had a long and distinguished career at Union Carbide Metals and Elkem Metals in Niagara Falls. He was widely recognized as an expert in the field of high temperature metallurgical reaction research. He was the author of numerous published works and was awarded several US Patents. He married Sara Custer on April 23, 1952 and together they raised a large family in Clarence. Upon retirement, Sara and Jim moved to Ellicottville where they designed and built two houses, travelled extensively in Europe and other continents, carved turns on the slopes of Holiday Valley and patrolled the fairways of Elkdale Country Club in Salamanca. Jim was a lifelong gardener and bridge player (who didn't like to lose). Jim was an avid reader and student of history. Jim cherished the annual gatherings of his family at Fenwick Island, Delaware, including his 90th birthday in 2017, attended by four generations of his family. He will be remembered as a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. No prior visitation. Services will be held Saturday at 11:30 AM in the Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, 4369 S. Buffalo St., Orchard Park, NY. Friends invited. Memorials may be made in honor of James to a charity of your choice
Saturday
18
December

Final Resting Place

Saturday, December 18, 2021
Clarence Fillmore Cemetery
Ransom Road
Clarence, New York, United States
Saturday
18
December

Funeral Service

11:30 am
Saturday, December 18, 2021
Orchard Park Presbyterian
4369 S. Buffalo Street
Orchard Park, New York, United States
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