Thomas L. Downing, Jr.

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Sep 24 1940
Nov 10 2021
81 Years
West Grove, Pennsylvania

Thomas L. Downing Jr., 81, of West Grove, passed away suddenly on November 10, 2021 at the Chester County Hospital. Born in West Chester, he was the son of Thomas Lewis Downing Sr. and Virginia Barry Downing who preceded him in death. He attended Friends Community School and then the West Chester public schools, graduating in 1958. Staying in the West Chester area, he went to work for Eachus Dairies in West Chester in 1959 while also working for several local undertakers including Harold A. Famous, J William Barry, Joseph Wentz, Joseph Boyd, and Edward Towson. In 1966, he went to work for E.I. DuPont Co. at the Experimental Station in Wilmington, DE. His ambition, saw him also working several part time jobs; such as American Publishing selling programs at the former Brandywine Raceway from 1962 to 1972 and several years making his famous lasagna at Hugo’s in Kennett Square. He also acquired his father’s 33 year successful business, On Time Cleaners in West Chester, in 1972. Three years later, he purchased Parisian Cleaners on North Walnut Street and merged the two businesses to that location. The business grew and became quite a task to manage with another full time job, so he sold the business in 1981. After 35 years’ service, he took an early retirement from E.I DuPont Co in 2001 and moved from West Chester to West Grove, PA

He was always interested in history as he had attended West Chester State Teacher’s College as a history major in 1958. He always wondered if he was related to “Downingtown”. In adulthood, he continued his genealogy research of his Quaker Roots and his Civil War ancestors. He was so proud of his heritage as he was able to trace his direct family line to John Downynge from England in the 1500’s and Thomas Downing (1691 to 1772) who came to American in the early 1700’s. He confirmed he was an Eighth Generation Direct Descendant of the Thomas Downing whom Downingtown was named after. He spent countless hours documenting this to pass on to his children and grandchildren. He has collaborated and utilized his information with the Downingtown Historical Society. He also had inherited some civil war relics which were tied to his forefather’s. He collaborated with the Uwchlan Township Historical Commission’s author on a book about Civil War letters called “Dear Sister”. A major highlight in his life, was when he went to the Antique Road Show in Philadelphia and was chosen and interviewed with an ancestor’s neckerchief and an army-issued prosthetic arm, which was aired on TV many times and may pop up now and then on reruns.

He loved sports. In 1957, he received the first ever Outstanding Achievement Award for soccer at the West Chester School. He was a member of the undefeated freshman soccer team at West Chester State Teachers College in 1958. He was an avid bowler for years in local leagues, DuPont league, and traveling to various bowling tournaments that have generated many great stories and memories over the years. He enjoyed and found solitude on the golf course including the 19th hole. Watching his Philadelphia Sports teams ; Phillies, Eagles, Flyers was a must on TV. His musicality would have him on his basement drum set, rocking out to his 50’s music, a spin or two on the dance floor and even winning a couple of twist contests.

He valued the relationships he had with his lifelong friends, former co-workers and family; many cousins, nieces, and nephews. He so looked forward to their phone calls and the monthly gatherings he and his high school buddies had at the Square Bar or Jimmy Johns.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Lois Trout Downing in 2012 after celebrating 50 years of marriage. He is survived by his five children; Karen Brown (Randy); Carole Downing (Luc Filiaut), Thomas L. Downing III (Lisa), Donna Downing-Seiter (Fred), and Michael Downing(Sue); four grandchildren, Nathaniel Freas (Lisa), Noah Seiter; Paige Downing; and Brooke Seiter; one great granddaughter, Regan Freas; his companion, Lynne Baker, and his beloved turtle, Mortimer.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at 2:00 PM at the Grove United Methodist Church, 490 W. Boot Road, West Chester, PA 19380, where he was a 50 plus year member, with visitation from 1:00 – 2:00 pm. Interment will follow in the adjoining cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to Historic Downingtown Log House/Downingtown Boro, 4 West Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown, PA 19335 or the Chester County History Center, 225 N. High St., West Chester, PA 19380.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Wilde Funeral Home of Parkesburg. Online condolences can be posted at www.wildefuneralhome.com 

Service Date: 
Nov 16 2021 - 2:00pm
Service Location: 
Grove United Methodist Church

Condolences

Our deepest sympathy to Tom's family.  He was a terrific man and a loving companion to my sister Lynne.  He will truly be missed. You are in my prayers at this sad time.  Love, Karen & George Shogan

 

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Our deepest sympathy to your family Tom. Your father has a very interesting life history. Sending love and prayers,
Deni and Gary

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Russ and I will miss our neighborhood  visits with Tom and Lynne. Visiting Tom was always a part of our pups daily walk...she'd trot over to have her ears scratched and her head rubbed while we stood in the sunshine and talked.  Russ was happy to reconnect with a DuPont buddy and they visited often ...remembering the "good ole days" and Uncle Duppy!! We offer our heartfelt condolences to Lynne and Toms Family.  Tom was one of the "good guys" and we along with so many will miss him!

Sincerely,

Kathy

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I offer my heartfelt condolences to Lynne & Tom's family.  Tom was a good friend & I'm sorry we lost contact.  He will be missed

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