Obituary: Daniel Bush Downer

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Daniel Bush Downer
Daniel Bush Downer

His family and many friends lost a creative, talented, principled, caring and witty man on June 15 with the passing of Daniel B. Downer, 98, a resident of San Marino for 63 years.
Born in St. Louis and raised in Newton, Massachusetts, Dan relocated to Southern California with his family in 1939 and graduated from Pomona College in 1941. He served in the Army Air Corps during WWII in Fairbanks, Alaska, and married his college sweetheart, Mary Louise Geis of South Pasadena, in Juneau, Sept. 1, 1945.
The couple returned to Los Angeles the following year where Dan began a successful almost 50-year career as an award-winning industrial film producer. He and Mary Lou moved to San Marino in 1954 where they raised four children, and Dan became active in church, city, Scouting, school and civic organizations, lending his time, creative writing talents and filmmaking expertise to a variety of associations, causes and events — including the (in)famous San Marino City Fathers Musical Revues.
Dan played drums throughout his life — most recently with the Maestros (of which Dan was president in 1995). He loved to sail. He flew elaborate kites he built himself. He had a vivid imagination and inventive spirit — from designing hydrofoils for water skis to a line of humorous computer-themed T-shirts. He enjoyed the many vacations with his family and later traveled extensively with Mary Lou to Europe, the Far East and on a nostalgic 50th anniversary trip back to Alaska.
Dan was a man of character, wit and congeniality — steadfast and ever curious, with a ready smile and always willing to lend a hand. He had a zest for life and was a consummate gentleman. He was devoted to his family and a welcome presence to his friends and in the community.
Dan was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Lou, in 2014, after almost 73 years of marriage. He is survived by his children, David, Richard, Steven and Christina, a daughter-in-law, son-in-law, five grandchildren, one great-granddaughter, and many nieces and nephews and their families.
There will be a memorial service at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 7, at the San Marino Community Church, 1750 Virginia Road.

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