CW2 George P. Downing was a VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 09/28/2023 at the age of 73.1 from Cancer
Punta Gorda, FL
Flight Class 70-39
Date of Birth 08/09/1950
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with B/7/1 CAV in 71-72
Call sign in Vietnam BIG UGLY 14
This information was provided by Lyle Borders

More detail on this person: George Downing GEORGE DOWNING 1950_2023 Join us in celebrating George_please share your stories and photos, and help spread the word about this page! ABOUT THIS MEMORIAL George Peter Downing passed away peacefully on September 28, 2023, at his home in Punta Gorda, Florida, after leading a full and impressive life that personified the American dream. Born on August 9, 1950, in Kitzingen Germany, he immigrated to Thornton, NH, in 1963. Learning English by watching TV, he deliberately shed the accent of his native tongue and assimilated quickly. There he spent his adolescence horseback riding, hunting, fishing, skiing and exploring the woods and mountains of Northern NH, spawning his lifelong love of the outdoors. He was granted U.S. citizenship in 1965. Upon graduating from Plymouth High School in 1969, he immediately enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving until 1972. He achieved the rank of Warrant Officer, serving as a helicopter pilot in Troop B, 7th Armored Squadron, 1st Air Cavalry in Vietnam. Surviving two crashes, he was awarded many decorations for his heroism, among them a Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He credited his wartime experience with shaping the man he became; he was fiercely patriotic and proud of his adopted country. In 1976, Elektrisola, Inc., a German-based worldwide manufacturer of fine copper magnet wire, opened a plant in Boscawen, NH. George was one of the original employees, and remained until his retirement 39 years later, upon which he was presented with a life-size statue in his likeness made entirely out of copper wire: a year-long project his management team secretly handcrafted in his honor. Starting as a machine operator, he worked his way up the ranks rising to the position of Vice President of Operations in 1987, managing at the helm for 28 years. Under his direction, the plant became the largest fine wire factory in North America, as well as a cornerstone of the community. Throughout those years, he built his own home, raised his family, and earned a B.S. degree from Franklin Pierce College. In addition, he was an active member of, and contributor to, many civic, business and charitable organizations. Always on the go, George loved anything with an engine. Trucks, sports cars, motorcycles, boats, snowmobiles, ATVs and tractors were in constant rotation throughout his life. The same was true of real estate. His desire for forward momentum resulted in numerous address changes. A versatile do-it-yourselfer, he derived a great deal of satisfaction in the hands-on maintenance and upkeep of his domains. He was a million-mile flyer and seasoned globetrotter for whom traveling was good, but returning home was better. King George was always happiest puttering around his castle. An avid hunter, George found time in the woods surrounded by nature calming, and the tracking of game challenging and exhilarating. Equally important to him was the camaraderie of his hunting companions. His exploits locally and on expeditions throughout the contiguous U. S., Alaska and Canada could have filled a book. His accomplishments filled the walls of his home with mounted trophies as well as his freezer. Retiring to Florida in 2015, he enjoyed boating, fishing and golfing--and disregarded hurricanes. He savored the more peaceful pursuits of reading and relaxing poolside on the lanai--often with a cigar and a cognac--as boats, marine life and the world passed him by. Diagnosed with cancer in January 2022, he nevertheless continued making memories, traveling and embracing new experiences. Ever the thrill-seeker, he convinced Tidewell Hospice to sponsor a bucket-list request to go skydiving. After his story was featured in The Daily Sun newspaper, his feat encouraged and inspired other hospice patients to fulfill wishes of their own. George was a man of firm convictions and high standards, honest and direct, possessing a sharp mind, quick wit and a generous spirit. A self-made man, he worked hard and played hard. To the many who were fortunate enough to be a part of the fabric of his life--take a moment to honor his memory with a smile, a raised glass, and a good anecdote. As he often said, "Any more would be greedy." Cherishing his memory are his loving wife of 29 years Sandra A. Downing; his treasured son Sean P. Downing and wife Melissa A. Downing, and the sunshine of his life, granddaughter Abigail R. Downing. He was a devoted son to his mother Marianne E. Downing-Kolp and her husband Arthur T. Kolp; and a lifelong friend to his former spouse and the mother of his two children Dorinda R. Downing. He was preceded in death by his stepfather Lawrence J. Downing, and his beloved and beautiful daughter Tanya R. Downing. A private remembrance gathering will be held in NH. In honor of George, please consider a memorial donation in his name to either of these organizations: The Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 South Main Street, Concord, NH, 03301 or The Tidewell Hospice Foundation, 3550 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL, 34239.

This information was last updated 10/02/2023

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Date posted on this site: 03/10/2024

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