Tag Archives: Class of 1987

Kathryn P. Downey ’87

Kathryn Paddock Downey of Eugene, Oregon, died in her sleep at the Pete Moore Hospice House on March 4, 2020 after a 23-year battle with brain cancer. She was surrounded by her twin sister, Kristen, her mother, father, and other family members.
Kathryn was born in Morristown, New Jersey, on October 22, 1969 and was raised on both Coasts, living in Piedmont, California; Chatham and Summit, NJ; and New York City, as well as London, England. Until age 17, she spent every summer in paradise at Beaver Lake, the family lake house in Franklin, New Jersey. She attended public and private schools, and graduated from the Williston Northampton School in 1987. After high school she attended college for a year in Pennsylvania. She lived in Colorado and Hawaii for brief stints and traveled to art and music festivals around the US. She also visited Central America and Europe before following her sister into the University of Oregon, earning a Fine Arts degree. She was a gifted artist, specializing in handcrafted fine jewelry and beadwork. She co-owned Imagine Gallery for several years, an endeavor of which she was particularly proud.
Kathryn was stricken with a brain tumor in 1996. In addition to being cared for by Eugene cancer specialists, she was treated principally, and lovingly, at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF). Despite the profound and negative impacts brain cancer had on her adult life, Kathryn always remained positive, upbeat, and hopeful.
Kathryn was loved by all who knew her for her art, her great sense of humor, endless laughter and joy, and her uncanny ability to ruin Subarus, her preferred means of transportation. She loved to go out for dinner and have a local microbrew with her twin sister and mom. She also enjoyed spending time outdoors, crafting, and hanging out with her beloved niece and nephew in Eugene.
In addition to her twin, Kathryn is survived by her mother, Marjorie Downey of Eugene; her father, Paul Downey of Healdsburg, California; brothers Paul, of Hollis, NH and Robert of Burlington, VT and their families; her brother-in-law David Helton, niece Ella and nephew Spencer, all of Eugene; her stepmother, Hallie Beacham; a stepbrother and sister; many uncles and aunts; and more than 20 first cousins scattered all over the country.
A Remembrance of Kathryn will be held in Eugene at a date and place to be determined. Any contributions in her memory can be made to the Kathryn Downey Brain Cancer Fund at UCSF.