Dan Downey, an employee of the Belmont Public Schools, passed away suddenly on Dec 12.
Downey, of Belmont, was 54. Dan was a computer specialist working throughout the school system cheerfully assisting staff and students alike.
Downey was a man of many interests, collections and passions: he loved the paintings of Hokusai; Japanese netsuke; cactus and succulents – he was a member of the Cactus and Succulent Society of Massachusetts – digital photography especially of plants; salamanders of all sorts and owned several. He loved gems and minerals and had an extensive collection. He loved sumo wrestling and was a huge fan of such disparate music as Phillip Glass, Morrissey, the Throat Singers of Tuva and the Flaming Lips. He owned many string and electronic instruments and enjoyed playing with friends when he had a chance. Dan was an avid reader and collector of books including Chinese and Japanese literature, mysteries and classic comic books.
Downey was born in Kittery Maine, moving to Dorchester with his family when he was two years old. Dan graduated from UMass-Amherst in 1980 and went on to have jobs as varied as his interests.
Dan embraced the interests of his children whether it was re-kindling a passion for Dungeons & Dragons, the plots and characters of Star Wars and every version of Star Trek, the sophisticated humor of the Simpsons and gaming world of Jack & Daxter and Final Fantasy.
Dan is survived by his wife, Laurie Graham, son Jasper and step-son, Mackenna, as well as his mother, Kay Simpson, and sister, Linda Dowell of North Carolina.
A memorial service will be held on Dec. 29 at 1 p.m. at the First Church in Belmont Unitarian Universalist, 404 Concord Ave.
Remembrances of Dan and expressions of sympathy can be shared on Dan Downey's memorial page at the Brown and Hickey web site.
In lieu of flowers a donation can be made to the Dan Downey Memorial IT Fund, c/o Belmont Public Schools, 644 Pleasant Street, Belmont, MA 02478 or to a fund that friends have set up to help the family through this difficult time: The Graham Family Benefit Fund, Belmont Savings Bank, 2 Leonard St., Belmont MA 02478.