Terry Downer Obituary
Terry O. Downer photos Terry O. Downer photos

There are 52 photos in the gallery

Service Information

 
In Memory of

Terry O. Downer

February 9, 1955 - June 1, 2013
Obituary

Terry O. Downer, an insurance company claims adjuster and world traveler, died Saturday from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center.The Towson resident was 58. Born in Baltimore to a single mother, Terry O'Neal Downer was raised at the old Lexington Terrace public housing high-rise that was later demolished. Mr. Downer received a full scholarship to McDonogh School, but transportation difficulties forced him to leave and enroll at Northwestern High School, from which he graduated in 1973. He enrolled at the University of Maryland, Baltimore...
Terry O. Downer, an insurance company claims adjuster and world traveler, died Saturday from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center.The Towson resident was 58.

Born in Baltimore to a single mother, Terry O'Neal Downer was raised at the old Lexington Terrace public housing high-rise that was later demolished.

Mr. Downer received a full scholarship to McDonogh School, but transportation difficulties forced him to leave and enroll at Northwestern High School, from which he graduated in 1973. He enrolled at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, from which he earned a bachelor's degree in history in 1977. While a student at UMBC, he met and fell in love with the former Pamela Joette Thompson, whom he married in 1979. He enrolled in the master's in business program at the University of Maryland at night, while working as a counselor at Marian House for battered women and as a drug counselor.

In 1982, his son, Ryan Chasce Downer, was born, and four months later Mr. Downer's wife was stricken with an aneurysm and died. Faced with being a single parent, Mr. Downer withdrew from the University of Maryland and went to work full time as an insurance claims adjuster for the Traveler's Insurance Co., where he continued working until his death.

Mr. Downer, worried about the deterioration of the city's Pimlico neighborhood, moved to Towson with his son. Acutely aware of the advantages he lacked growing up, Mr. Downer worked tirelessly so that his son could attend parochial schools and later the Park School, from which he graduated. When his son was accepted at Harvard University, he took out a second mortgage on his home, said his son, who is now a Washington lawyer.

Mr. Downer and his son traveled all over the world together and had visited Brussels, Amsterdam, Cyprus and Brazil. He enjoyed gardening - especially roses - and maintaining his koi pond.

In addition to his son, Mr. Downer is survived by his mother, Della Downer of Baltimore; six brothers, James Downer, Tony Downer, Alan Downer, Victor Downer, Spencer Downer, all of Baltimore, and Barry Downer of Atlanta; and a sister, Sharon Downer of Baltimore.

The family will receive friends in the LEMMON FUNERAL HOME OF DULANEY VALLEY INC. 10 W. Padonia Road, Timonium, MD 21093 on Saturday, June 8th, 12noon to 1pm at which time a Celebration of Terry's Life will begin. Interment Private. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be directed in Terry's memory to ALS Association - DC/MD/VA Chapter, 7507 Standish Place Rockville, MD 20855 &/or Life Chronicles, 113 W. Mission Street, Suite B2, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

"My condolences to the Downer family. Wow...I am totally shocked to just now learn about Terry's death and it was quite by accident. I just recently joined..." Melba (DeShields) Holmes (Belcamp, MD)

This Guest Book has 46 entries. View Complete Guest Book

More Obituaries

Baltimore Sun
DOWNER , Terry O. Following a brief and courageous battle with ALS, on June 1, 2013 Terry O. Downer ; father of Ryan Chasce Downer; son of...

Read obituary at Baltimore Sun.

Personalize Your Tribute

Share photos, videos and more with Legacy Memorial Websites. Find out more.

 
Start Planning Today

Make Your Plan Today

Preplanning your funeral or cemetery arrangements gives you and your loved ones peace of mind. Don't wait. Make your plan online today.
Plan Online Now

Audio Condolences

Use your phone to dial in a free personalized message. Click here to make an entry or listen to recordings from friends and family.