Harry Edward "Sam" Downey

July 17, 1935 ~ January 12, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old

Harry Downey Obituary

HARRY EDWARD “SAM” DOWNEY passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 12, 2023 at the age of 87.  He was born July 17, 1935 to his parents Harry and Julia (Allis) Downey.  He attended West Hartford Schools and graduated from Hall High School in 1953.  He served his country as a member of the Connecticut Air National Guard, serving as a member of their crash rescue team for a term of nine years and attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant.   

In 1959 he married Grace Cooper, the love of his life, and together they started an insurance brokerage firm under the name of Sam Downey & Associates that specialized in providing employee benefits for municipal and school district employees, insuring over 50,000 public sector personnel.  

Sam became involved in the Colchester Jaycees where he eventually served as Regional President.  He also became deeply involved in local politics as a member and Chairman of the Colchester Republican Town Committee, and as a campaign manager for several Republican candidates.  His interest in local government was evident as he served as the Borough of Colchester Warden and a member of the Board of Burgesses for several terms.  He was elected to the Board of Education, served on the School Building Committee and the Board of Tax Review.

 Sam was well-known for his dedication to youth sports.  He coached and managed both Little League and Babe Ruth baseball teams for several years, and was also one of the founding Fathers of the Colchester Cougars Football organization, as well as its first Chairman.  The Cougars long-time objective was attained when football was adopted by the Colchester Board of Education.  He was also a member of the Eastern Connecticut Approved Football Officials and refereed countless local games in this position.

The most important part of his life was the family he loved.  In addition to Grace, his bride for 63 years, he had 4 children:  Lisa (Martin) Sedlmeier, Patrick (Janet) Downey, Melissa Cavrell and Betsey Downey, as well as a very special ex-son-in-law, Carl Cavrell.  His pride and joy were his grandchildren:  William, Kathleen, Jacob, Shannon, Kevin, Timothy, Daniel and Jonathan, as well as his great granddaughter Gabriella. His presence in our lives will be sorely missed.

Sam’s family would like to thank the wonderful nurses, doctors, technicians and staff at the W. W. Backus Hospital for their overwhelming compassion and kindness throughout his hospice stay.

Sam’s funeral services will be privately held.  There will be no calling hours.  In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial donation, in Sam’s name, to The American Cancer  Society.   To share a memory or express condolences to his family please visit: The Aurora McCarthy Funeral Home in Colchester is assisting with arrangements.                                 

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