On Friday the Fairview Cemetery was the scene of another military funeral. Not only was Harold E. Downey a veteran, but he was also a hometown boy. Well, not quite.
“Tink” Downey was born in Erie and lived there until he entered his junior year in Fairview High School. He graduated from the Joint Borough and Township High School (now Chestnut Street Apartments) in 1946. By then his folks owned and operated the Downey General Store, which was the cement block building on the northwest corner of the Routes 20 and 98 intersection.
After high school Harold left town to get an education and join the service (Navy then Air Force). At some point he came back home to live and work. It wasn’t long before he was associated with one of the community’s long-time family businesses… the Fairview Chrysler-Plymouth Dealership. This had begun as a “tin garage” in 1920. He married a hometown girl and they began a family here.
These days it is hard to find (anywhere) a hometown boy or girl who comes back to live out his or her days. Those who do are precious. They are the fabric that can keep a community together. They have the memories of the old days and the motivation to improve the coming days.
Harold became an intricate part of Fairview Borough’s life. He was a member of several local organizations and supported others. One of those organizations was the Girard Chapter of the American Legion who proudly provided the honor guard and military salute at his graveside.
Harold served on the borough council for years and was Mayor for two decades. In 1968 during his tenure as mayor he served on the committee for the borough’s highly praised activity, the Centennial Celebration.
As owner of the car dealership his business supported all sorts of other community activities, including the historical society’s very popular Ice Cream Social.
Now, sadly, we honor and lay to rest another of these hometown heroes.
Taps has sounded.