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).