Pat Downey, who played for Vols from 1962-63, dies at 72

Pat Downey, a Tennessee blocking back during the early 1960s, died Sunday in Knoxville. He was 72.

Mr. Downey came to Tennessee from Montgomery, Ala., lettering on Tennessee teams coached by Bowden Wyatt (1962) and Jim McDonald (1963). He wore No. 28.

While on campus, he won the 1963 Knoxville Journal Trophy presented to the Tennessee football player with the highest scholastic average. He also was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity.

“He was the nicest guy in our class,” said teammate Mallon Faircloth, a Tennessee tailback in those years. “He was a first-class guy everybody liked. He was undersized, playing at 5-10 or 5-11 max. He played a couple of different positions, fullback and wingback.”

After graduating from UT in 1963 and completing medical school in 1969, he was appointed to the staff at Southeast Missouri Hospital in August of 1971. He became medical staff officer from 1977-82, serving during this period as member and chair of the Medical Executive Committee.

Mr. Downey served as medical staff president from 1980-82 and as past president from 1983-84.

He had a mini-residence in occupational medicine and was a longtime member of the American Family Physicians Association.

He was a member of Central United Methodist Church in Lenoir City and the Argentina 1500 Dove Club.

He was preceded in death by his father, Norman Ronald Downey; mother, Francis Early Downey, and brother, Ronald Downey. He is survived by his wife, Leslie Downey, son, Drew Downey, daughter, Julie Downey Page, all of Knoxville.

Celebration of Life services will be held Saturday at 4 p.m., at Central United Methodist Church in Lenoir City, 174 Hickory Creek Road, with Rev. Micah Nicolaus officiating. A reception will follow the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Amedisys Hospice, 665 New Highway 68, Suite B, Sweetwater, TN 37874.

Tom Mattingly is a freelance contributor.

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Comments » 1

volnsc writes:

Rest in Peace, Bro'. I remember you and those days. Thanks for all you did in and out of orange.

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