Francis 'Frank''s Story
Francis 'Frank' Paul Downie, of Niagara Falls, passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 15, 2016 after a long illness. He was 83. Frank was born in Niagara Falls on November 22, 1932, one of 13 children to the late Charles and Margaret (McKiernan) Downie.
Frank attended Our Lady of Rosary and graduated from Bishop Duffy High School in 1950 as part of the first graduating class. A loving husband, avid family man and extremely hard worker, he retired as a Captain from the Niagara Falls Fire Department in 1978. After graduating high school, he worked at Carborundum and DuPont before being drafted into the U.S. Army where he served as a supply sergeant at Fort Dix, NJ. After his service he returned to Niagara Falls and to work at DuPont before joining the fire department. Throughout his career as a fireman he also worked in a plumbing supply warehouse, Case Elderfield, which eventually became Industrial Distribution Systems Lakes, Pipes and Supply division, where he retired at 80 years old in 2012.
Frank was an avid Notre Dame football fan, gardener, and handyman who enjoyed working around the house and in the yard, and solving his daily crossword puzzle. He also enjoyed spending time with family and friends, long drives in the country listening to music, and attending church events and festivals with the love of his life, best friend and wife, Ruth.
Frank is survived by his loving wife, Ruth Alena (Hodgkiss) Downie, after 63 years of marriage; four children, Diana, Dan, Jim (Carla) and Sean (Cindy) Downie; five grandchildren, Angela, Cheri, and Michelle Downie, Jennifer Thomas, and Ashley Ashmore; five great-grandchildren, Austin, Peyton, and Samson Thomas, Andi Downie, and Jaxson Ashmore, with two more on the way; three brothers, Arthur, Richard and Raymond Downie; and a sister, Dorothy Greenland; numerous nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews. He was predeceased by his son, Mark (2012); five brothers, Charlie, John, Joe, Gerard and Peter; and three sisters, Mary Lewis, Betty Mahoney and Gertrude Poirier.
Friends and family may call on Tuesday September 20th from 2-4PM and 7-9PM at ZAJAC FUNERAL HOME INC., 319 24th Street (corner of Welch Avenue), Niagara Falls, NY, where prayers will begin at 10:30 AM on Tuesday September 21st, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial 11:00 AM at St. John De LaSalle, 8477 Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls, NY, with Reverend Patrick Ojungu officiating. Entombment with military honors following in St. Josephs Cemetery, Niagara Falls, NY.
Visit zajacfuneralhomeinc.com for online condolences.
Published on September 16, 2016