Born: April 12, 1919
Died: Nov. 8, 2005
Children: Thomas, Nancy and Margaret
Dorothy Gardner Downs was the daughter of pulmonary disease researcher, Dr. Leroy Upson Gardner.
The following obituary was printed in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise on December 12, 2005:
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. - Dorothy Gardner Downs, 86, died on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2005 in Bainbridge Island, Wash.
Her father moved to Saranac Lake with his bride to work with Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau on tuberculosis research and to take the cure for his own case of tuberculosis.
After graduating from Saranac Lake High School in 1937 and the Connecticut College for Women in 1941, Dotty married Benjamin Downs, the son of Saranac Lake residents James Cloyd and Mabel Lehmann Downs.
Ben was a fellow classmate she had dated since they were in Miss Brunett's third-grade class together. They married were at the Trudeau Chapel.
Their son, Thomas, was born in Saranac Lake in 1943 and their daughters Nancy and Margaret followed.
Dotty followed Ben as his Naval career took them around the country and the world. After her husband retired from the Navy, the couple settled in Bainbridge Island, Wash, and Ben continued his naval architecture career with various firms in the Seattle area.
Following Ben's death, Dotty married Ben's recently widowed older brother Wil, a virologist at the Yale Medical School. Wil's children became Dotty's newest children and dear friends. They traveled extensively on both medical research trips and for pure pleasure. They were passionate fly fishermen. After almost 20 years together, Wil died and Dotty returned to the Northwest to where her children lived.
Wil and Ben's brother, Ray, himself a recent widower, followed Dotty to Bainbridge and won her hand in marriage. Ray, who spent his life as a minister and missionary in Thailand, settled into island life and the two of them went on many Elder Hostel trips together. With Ray's six children, Dotty now headed a family with 12 children and numerous grandchildren. Ray's family always maintained a camp near Saranac Lake for family gatherings, so Ray and Dotty spent some very happy times during their lives together exploring their old hometown.
Dotty is survived by her husband Ray of Atlanta, Georgia.; a son, Tom and his wife Nancy of Bainbridge Island, Wash.; a daughter, Nancy Leedy and her husband David of Bainbridge Island; 10 stepchildren: Helen, Anne, Mont, Isabel, Peter, Tim, Tina, Libbet, Jon and Carin and their spouses; four grandchildren; numerous step-grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and a sister-in-law, Jay Downs Campbell.
She was predeceased by her first husband in 1971; her second husband in 1991; her sister, Margaret Gardner Neely; and her beloved daughter, Margaret Ann Downs.