George was born on June 22, 1941 to George and Catherine (Lyons) Downs. He was the youngest with two older sisters, Kathleen and Lee. He was raised in Southwest Philadelphia where he attended Most Blessed Sacrament and West Catholic High School for Boys. He met Pat in high school loving her since the day they met.
George enlisted in the Army after high school and was stationed in Germany for 2 years. He sent his future wife an engagement ring in the mail. When he returned home, he formally proposed, and they spent the next 58 years creating a beautiful life and family. They have four children: Donna-Lynn, George, Bobby, and Monica. They all married and brought into the family his cherished Bob, Daneen, Jennifer, and Chris.
Upon his return, he enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania, went to night school and graduated with an Associate Degree from the Wharton School of Business. He started a lifelong career in the banking industry where he held various positions in branches and corporate roles.
George was a hobby enthusiast. He went through phases of collecting baseball cards, fishing, photography, wine making and his favorite of all cooking. He was an avid sports fan. Growing up he was always on the court or a field. In his adult life he played golf as often as he could. He was a devoted Philadelphia Sports fan. Sundays were specifically planned around the Eagles and he also loved Villanova basketball. As a banker, he often treated his children to “unused” tickets for Phillies and Flyers games where diehard fanhood was established.
George’s family was most important to him. He was a man of deep faith and had a love of God and family. He was a member of St. George parish in Glenolden for over thirty years. He was always involved in parish activities and member of the infamous men’s first Friday night card club until his last days. He started the St. George CYO basketball program and coached the team for over 10 years. If he was not coaching basketball at St. George, he was coaching a team for the Glenolden Youth Club. He never missed a game and was a beloved coach.
George and Pat moved to Newtown Square in 2002 and became active members of St. Anastasia Parish. With this transition, and his formal coaching years behind him, he took on the role of the biggest coach & fan for his grandchildren. He was always part of their school, club, and township sports teams where he made so many dear friends. He never missed a show. He was always the proudest grandparent in the audience for concerts, plays, dance recitals, and gymnastics meets.
George had a passion for cooking and loved to cook for “everyone” he met. You were always invited to have a meal at his home and loved to swap recipes and would bring meals everywhere he went. He was often seen with a crockpot walking into your home with a delicious meal.
He was often the first call if you needed advice or words of wisdom. There was never an issue too small or too big that he was not thrilled to help you with. Career advice, motivation or how to cook a turkey – he had the answer! He was always on the phone calling his family friends. He was nicknamed the “gate keeper” because he always answered the house phone and was excited to hear from anyone on the other end.
Spending time with family was George’s favorite thing to do. He never missed an opportunity to be with his loved ones. Cookouts, parties, and impromptu Sunday dinners were his favorite. Thanksgiving with a crowd of 70 or so people was his annual family Super Bowl. He loved his nieces and nephews, and they loved their “Uncle Bud”.
He loved to travel with his family. Whether the Jersey shore, Poconos, or a quick road trip he loved to share memories with whoever he was with. With his grandchildren he traveled to Europe, cruised the Caribbean, took in Disney, and even flew across the country with his grandson’s World Series winning baseball team.
In his most recent years his favorite topic was how proud he was of his family. No matter how often you heard him tell you he was sure to tell you again how proud he was of his four children, any success they may have had, and, especially, his grandchildren. He loved to tell you how special his grandchildren were, and nothing pleased him more than seeing the start of the promising careers of the eldest.
In the end, we believe he was comforted knowing that he and his wife had done a good (exceptional) job at raising their children instilling values and faith to be good people and successful in any path they choose. He was then able to see his children establish the same values and faith in return to their children. He was an amazing man, husband, father, mentor, and we were so blessed to have him as all those things. We Love you Bud / Dad / Pop-Pop!
George was the beloved husband of Patricia L. (nee Crowley) Downs; loving father of Donna-Lynn Carden (Robert), George J. Downs, III (Daneen), Robert F. Downs (Jennifer) and Monica M. Gallo (Chris); proud grandfather of Robert Carden, George J Downs IV, Matthew Carden, Kelly Downs, Kevin Downs, Julia Downs, Joseph Downs, Caroline Downs, Addison Downs, Cooper Downs, Christopher Gallo, Catherine Gallo.
Relatives and friends are invited to his Viewing Thursday evening, January 21, 2021, 6:00 – 8:00 PM at The Donohue Funeral Home, 3300 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA 19073, 610-353-6300, and on Friday, January 22, 2021, 9:30 – 11:15 AM at St. Anastasia Church, 3301 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA 19073, followed by his Funeral Mass at 11:30 AM. Military Burial to take place at Washington Crossing National Cemetery, Newtown, PA, at a later date.
NOTE: Live Stream to begin just prior to Funeral Mass starting at approximately 11:20 AM. Please click the following link to view: https://www.facebook.com/thedonohuefuneralhome/videos
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory to Kids Against Hunger, https://www.kidsagainsthunger.org/, would be appreciated.
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Kids Against Hunger