ELLSWORTH – Stephen E. Downey, 65, passed away peacefully Nov. 2, 2011, at his home, after a long battle with cancer. He was born Oct. 4, 1946, in Ellsworth, son of John and Louise Downey.
Stephen graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1964 and continued his education in Boston at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Stephen married Doreen Higgins shortly after college and they had two children, Patrick and Shannon. He was employed by the Maine Department of Transportation for 32 years as a surveyor. Upon retirement Stephen worked full time at his own land surveying business. Stephen enjoyed boating, and he could often be found working on his offshore race boat, which he raced professionally for a short time with his son, Patrick. Stephen was blessed with the birth of his grandson, Aaron, and enjoyed many trips to Florida with him. Stephen and Doreen wintered in Florida, and they acquired many close friends there. Although Stephen lost an arm to cancer in 2005, his resolve and determination to fight and live a normal life were an inspiration for other cancer survivors. He figured out ways to do everyday tasks with only one arm, and continued to work and thrive in all aspects of life. He took a certain joy in watching people’s reactions as he performed complex tasks with only one arm, be it golfing or putting a boat engine together on his own. He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather and as a friend to all who met him. Stephen was a lifelong member of St. Joseph Catholic Church.
He is survived by his mother, Louise Downey-Wood of Ellsworth; son, Patrick of Ellsworth; daughter, Shannon and husband, Steve; and special grandson, Aaron, all of Southwest Harbor; brother and sister-in-law, Michael and Wendy Downey, and their children of Ellsworth; many cousins and extended family members. He was predeceased by his father, John; and his wife, Doreen.
Calling hours will be held 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, at Jordan-Fernald, 113 Franklin St., Ellsworth. A Mass of Christian burial will be held 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Father Scott Mower, celebrant. Interment will be at Mount Calvary Cemetery, Ellsworth. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Stephen’s memory may be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church Women’s Council, 231 Main St., Ellsworth, ME 04605. Condolences may be expressed at