American Veteran 08

Robert K. Downing

October 16, 1929 ~ May 21, 2021 (age 91)

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West Warren - Robert K. Downing, 91, of West Warren, passed away peacefully May 21, 2021, at Mercy Hospital surrounded by his loving family.  He was born on October 16, 1929, in Detroit, Michigan to the late Joseph Downing and Dorothea (Buck) Downing.


He was a WWII Veteran having served with the Army Air Force and the Air Force Strategic Air Command.  Robert attended the University of Mass School in Engineering and graduated from Western New England College in Springfield, MA.


Robert was employed for 37 years with Hamilton Standard United Aircraft where he held various management positions in Experimental Test, Manufacturing Engineering and Field Support.  He was a past President of the Hamilton Standard Management Club.  After retirement in 1986 he moved to South Royalton, Vermont. In 1998 he moved to West Warren. 


He loved everything to do with the outdoors.  He enjoyed being in nature and was an avid sportsman.  Robert was a member of the Quaboag Lodge of Masons and Melha Shiners, Springfield, MA.  In 2001 he entered into the Clown Unit with the name NIF-T. In 2005 he became Chief Clown of the Unit.  He was also a member of the American Legion in West Brookfield.


Robert was a very active community member in the towns of West Warren and Warren.  He served on the Board of Selectman in the town Warren, Warren Board of Health, Warren Council on Aging, and the Warren Conservation Commission.  Robert was a dedicated Selectman and a successful businessman. 


He was a passionate person who stressed safety first for friends and family.  He was a devoted and loving husband for 53 years to his wife, Marlene G. (Tatro) Downing, a daughter, Kimberly G. Hatch and he deeply loved and cherished his granddaughter, Kayla D. Hatch of all West Warren.  Robert has three children by a previous marriage, Maureen Laramee, Robert Downing, and Kathy Vieira.  He also leaves one brother Donald Downing and wife Brenda of Carlinville, Illinois.  Robert was predeceased by three brothers Kevin Downing, Joseph Downing and Dean Downing of Illinois.


Funeral services for Robert will be held privately.  There are no calling hours and burial will be at the convenience of the family.  In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in Robert’s memory may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children, 516 Carew Street, Springfield, MA 01104.  Varnum Funeral Home, Inc., 43 E. Main Street in West Brookfield is assisting his family with arrangements. 


An online guest book is available at

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Private Services


Shriners Hospitals for Children
516 Carew Street, Springfield MA 01104
Tel: 1-413-787-2000

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