Cover photo for Robert Matthews Downing's Obituary
Robert Matthews Downing Profile Photo
Robert

Robert Matthews Downing

d. August 13, 2022

Robert Matthews Downing, 80, passed away on August 13 of complications from Parkinson’s disease. Born in 1942 in Bremerton, WA, to Robert and Mary Downing, Bob grew up in towns along the Great Northern Railroad like Whitefish, Montana, Minot, North Dakota, and ending in St. Paul, Minnesota. He graduated from Yale University in 1964 with a degree in Chemical Engineering and earned an MBA from Harvard University in 1966. It was while at Yale that Bob met his wife of 57 years, Valerie, at a school mixer. Together they had four sons. Bob started working at Rohm and Haas Company in 1966. Appreciated for his insightful business management and sensitive and compassionate leadership style, he spent his entire 31-year career there, moving with Val from Philadelphia to England, South Africa, Australia, and California before settling in the Philadelphia suburbs. After retiring as Vice President for Manufacturing and Operations, Bob served on the boards of Project H.O.M.E. and the Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, where he helped develop affordable housing for the people of Philadelphia. Bob loved traveling and being outdoors, a passion he shared with his wife. With Val, he hiked numerous trails in the Americas and Europe, developing a particular love for the Dolomite mountains in northern Italy. He was also an avid sailor, sailing in Australia, San Francisco, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina — a favorite family vacation spot for many years. He also liked a good project: he built an office, a boat, restored a vintage MG, built models of ships and cars, and renovated numerous kitchens and basements. Bob was a patient, generous, and loving husband, brother, father, and grandfather. He is survived by Val, his sister Susan Videen (Tom), and his children Robert Jr. (Barbara), Richard (Nancy), Andrew, and Christopher (Dorothea), along with six grandchildren: Lia, Valerie, Matthew, Nicholas, Thomas, and Elliot. He is predeceased by his parents and sister Nancy (Tom) Anderson. In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to send donations in Bob’s name to the Parkinson’s Foundation (parkinson.org) or Project H.O.M.E (projecthome.org).
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Matthews Downing, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Starts at 9:30 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Mass

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 41

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree