Donald George Downs, Sr., born in 1937 to Maurice and Elizabeth (Stutz) Downs, passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 27, 2018, surrounded by his family.
Don graduated from Chester High School in 1955, where he enjoyed playing in the band and was selected to play in All State Band of PA as well as District Chorus. Don studied music at West Chester State Teachers College playing in the concert band, orchestra, a brass quintet and marching band, as well as singing in the college choir and the men’s chorus. Don was also a member of the Criterians (jazz band). Don graduated from West Chester College in 1959 and went on to the University of Delaware to complete a Master’s Degree in music. He was a teacher for 41 years and retired from the Brandywine School District in 2000. Don had many private trumpet students who went on to be very successful, professional musicians. During his career, Don was a lifetime member of the American Federation of Musicians and played with the Chester City Band, cornet soloist in the 287th Army Band (DE National Guard) and the DuPont Concert Band. He also played with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, DuPont Playhouse, Al Raymond, and the Chuck Laskin Orchestra. He played for 22 years with the Guy Perri Quintet and with the bands at the Sunnybrook Ballroom (PA), Almonesson (NJ), at the Roseland Ballroom (NYC), the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, and with Jimmy Palo and the Commanders. Don has been a member of Bugles Across America and was an active member of, and arranger at the Lima United Methodist Church, Lima, PA.
Don is survived by his wife, Joan Downs (Chipman); son, Donald G. Downs (Dorie); son, Dwayne M. Downs; sister, Linda Delia (Joseph); three wonderful grandchildren, Jacqueline, Aubrey and Jacob, as well as a beautiful great granddaughter, Hailey Elizabeth. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Maurice and Elizabeth Downs and brother, Maurice Downs (Janis).
At Don’s request, there will not be a viewing and interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lima United Methodist Church, for “The sole purpose of funding the Lima Brass,” PO Box 158, Lima, PA, 19037.
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