Evelyn Downe passed away peacefully in her room at the York Care Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick, on Thursday, May 31. She is survived by her daughters Kathryn (Douglas Watling) Downe of Fredericton, NB, Pamela (James Waldram) Downe of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, son Alan Downe of Cyberjaya, Malaysia, granddaughters Kaitlin Littlechild, Amara Jaine-Waldram, grandson Kenny Downe, and her sister Patricia (Kenneth) Skeoch of Cameron, Ontario. Evelyn was predeceased by her husband, Aylward Downe, and by her parents, Harold and Bertha (Buchanan) Giffin.
Evelyn was born on April 4, 1934, in Long island, New York, and grew up in eastern Ontario. She met her husband Al Downe while studying Biology at Queen’s University in Kingston. Evelyn and Al were married in 1954 in Foxboro, Ontario, with Evelyn’s father Harold presiding. Soon after, Evelyn and Al began a nomadic existence largely dictated by Al’s university career, living in Ottawa, Kansas, Regina and Kingston, Ontario. Many sabbatical years were spent in England.
When she was home in Kingston, Evelyn taught Psychology and Health Sciences at St. Lawrence College. A succession of cats and dogs travelled with Ev and Al to every port of call.
After her retirement, Evelyn and Al lived a bucolic existence in Hartington, Ontario, tending gardens, creating frog ponds, and playing music. Jazz was Al’s genre of choice, Evelyn’s was classical. Their tastes made for some challenging duets!
After Al’s death, Evelyn moved to Fredericton, where she enjoyed a relaxing existence with her pets Jenny, Howard, Timothy and Millie. Evelyn was a prodigious reader, and polished off a library’s worth of historical mysteries in softcover and on her Kindle. Evelyn eventually set up house in Saint Anne’s Court, the Oromocto Special Care Home and, finally, York Care Centre. At Oromocto and York, Evelyn could be regularly seen travelling the halls with her beloved mechanical therapy cat. She kept her sense of self and desire to communicate until the very end.
Evelyn’s family would like to extend their thanks to the Tower 2 staff at York Care Centre for their unwavering professionalism and dedication.
A small service in honour of Evelyn will take place at the Robert J. Reid & Sons Funeral Home in Kingston Ontario, on June 25, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. Burial will also take place in Kingston. In lieu of flowers, donations in Evelyn’s memory can be made to the Kingston Humane Society.