John Downing

December 16, 1932May 10, 2023
Obituary of John Downing
John Downing, age 90, of Eugene, Oregon passed away on Wednesday, May 10, 2023. He was born in La Porte, Indiana, December 16,1932 to Harold and Florence (Swanson) Downing. On June 6,1953, he and Millicent Ellen Jacobs were married in St. Peters Catholic Shurch, La Porte, Indiana. Mr. Downing graduated from Roling Prairie High School, Rolling Prairie, Indiana, in 1950. He attended Purdue University, along with mathematical studies throughout much of his career. After 25 years with Rockwell international Space Division in Downey, California, he retired as a Senior Engineering Specialist (Member Technical Staff 6) in 1994. His specialty was mathematically developing and controlling the exterior shape of aircraft and spacecraft using computer biquartic patch system developed by Rockwell. He moved back and forth between Rockwell Los Angeles Division and Rockwell Space Division, numerous times when his talent was needed. Much of his time was spent working on secret projects in lead shielded compartments/meat lockers so competitors or foreign agents could not pick up any electronic signals. Prior to North American Aviation/North American Rockwell/Rockwell International, John had worked at Boeing, Seattle; Northrop, Hawthorne, California; Lockheed, Burbank, and Lockheed, Georgia. Mr. Downing was an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment and was an Endowment/Life Member of the NRA. He also belonged to the Desert Sportsman's Rifle and Pistol Club of Las Vegas. In 2008, he attended an intense four-day Advanced Hand Gun Class and a one day Thirty State Concealed Carry Class at Front Sight, Nevada. Surviving are daughter Sharon Jones; granddaughters, Shawna Jones, Katie (Derek) Marley, Maggie and Halle (Downing) Dryer; and great-grandson Van Owen Marley. His beloved wife, Millie, of 53 1/2 years, died Jan. 15, 2007. Their son Blane Downing, and John's parents proceeded him in death. The Neptune Society is taking care of his cremation and his ashes will be spread at the sea off the beautiful California coastline by San Pedro and the Palos Verdes Peninsula where his beloved Millie's ashes were spread. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Downing family.

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