George Laurence Downie

December 13, 1926 ~ October 9, 2020 (age 93)


George Laurence Downie, 93, of Franklin Lakes, NJ and Harwichport, MA passed away on October 9, 2020 in Massachusetts.

George was born in Paterson, NJ to Agnes Lyon and Jack Downie on December 13, 1926.  He was raised and educated in Ridgewood, NJ.   He served 2 years in the Navy from 1944-1946, as an Aviation Electronic Technician and earned an Engineering and Architectural degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He married Joan Voorman of Ridgewood at West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood in 1953.

George loved his family, creating adventures,  Cape Cod, sailing, his dogs and a good game of golf.  He was especially proud of his four daughters.  George was an avid do-it-yourselfer, and even built his Franklin Lakes home nearly single-handedly.   Thirty years later when he built another home in Harwichport, his daughters (and various boyfriends) pitched in. George brought his creativity to everything he did from designing and overseeing the building of dozens of homes and important buildings in Northern New Jersey to opening up the town’s first coffee shop - The Lemon Tree.   He was very involved in civic and church activities having served on the Franklin Lakes Board of Education, chairing the town’s bicentennial committee, directing, and starring in dozens of plays through the HIlliside Players (Ridgewood NJ) and serving on MIT’s 50th Reunion Committee.

George is survived by his four daughters, three sons-in-law  and a dozen grandchildren (and their spouses):  Melinda and George Maryniuk, Andrew and Adam (and Jessica Maryniuk);  Carolyn Downie Sebring, Jim, Jessica (and Juan Carlos Perdomo) and Sara; Alison and Tom Whitehouse; Amanda and Rebecca; Priscilla and Bob Thoma, Samantha, Katie (and Roy Rodriguez), Robert, Elizabeth and Caroline.    George is preceded in death by, his beloved Joanie, his brother John R. Downie (95) and his son-in-law Harry Sebring.

A memorial service will happen at West Side Presbyterian church at a later date.  The family would like to thank Hebrew Senior Life in Boston for the wonderful care during George’s final year of life.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in memory of George Downie to Hebrew SeniorLife, Development Department, 1200 Centre Street, Boston, MA 02131 or via Or West Side’s Memorial Garden - West Side Presbyterian Church, 6 South Monroe, Ridgewood, NJ 07450

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