Nathan "Nate" Downey, 83, an Oak Park resident who formerly lived in St. Joseph, Mich., died on Feb. 16, 2012. Born on April 23, 1929 in the neighboring city of Benton Harbor, he was best known for his work in the real estate business and for his accomplishments as an amateur golfer.
He completed studies at both Northwestern and Michigan State universities and was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in the Counter Intelligence Corps in 1953. That same year he entered into partnership with Downey Real Estate, a business started in Southwest Michigan by his grandfather, William D. Downey Sr., in 1904. With his father, William D. Downey Jr., he continued to manage the prominent and successful Benton Harbor-based business until its eventual closure in 1980.
On the golf course, his talents took him around the country, where he won a number of amateur tournaments. He was a longtime member of the Point O' Woods Country Club in Benton Harbor and one of the founding members on the development team for what has become one of the top-100-rated golf courses in the country. He was also one of just a handful of local golfers to compete successfully more than once in the Western Amateur Golf Championship whose home course was Point O' Woods.
In 1962, he married Mary Anne Weitz of Fort Wayne. They resided in St. Joseph, Mich., and raised four children. He continued to lend his real estate talents to Heath Company, Zenith Data Systems and Coldwell Banker Real Estate. After retiring, they moved to Bluffton, S.C. until Mary Anne's death in 2003. Soon after, he moved to Oak Park to be near his children and grandchildren.
Nate Downey is survived by his children, William R. (Lisa), Anne (Michael) Kavanaugh, Sarah (Michael) Olsen, and Maura; and his grandchildren, Keegan and Isobel Downey and Nate and Henry Olson. He was preceded in death by his parents, William D. Downey, Jr. and Bertha (Totzke); his brother, William D. Downey III; and his wife, Mary Anne (Weitz).
Visitation was held Feb. 23 at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home in Oak Park followed by a liturgical service.
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