December 19, 1971 ~ March 5, 2019

Born in: Denver, Colorado
Resided in: Denver, Colorado

It is with deep sorrow that the Downing family shares the unexpected loss of Gregory Walker Downing of heart failure at the age of 47. At Cherry Creek High School, Greg excelled in sports, winning state titles in tennis and setting a long standing record in track with the discus. He was a member of the the competitive choir, The Meistersingers, which began a lifetime love of music. Greg attended Bucknell University and the University of Colorado, graduating with a degree in economics. He worked briefly in New York City, returning to Denver for the rest of his life.

Greg loved being outdoors in Colorado, especially on multi-family camping trips, skiing, climbing the Fourteeners, playing golf with his dad and on road trips with his friends. A sometime runner, he and his family have fond memories of theme-dressing for several Bay to Breakers races in San Francisco and vacations in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

Greg struggled long and hard with bipolar disorder, which changed his life. The unwavering support of his sister, Julie and his many loyal friends were his lifelines. To these and his medical team, our gratitude is boundless. His two cats, Gus and Po, also were treasured companions. Greg’s warmth, sense of humor, laughter and gregarious nature were his hallmarks. Most of all, he would want to be remembered as a good friend.

A celebration of Greg’s life will be held at Pinehurst Country Club on March 30, 2019 at 3:00 pm. Memorial donations may be directed to the National Association for the Mentally Ill (www.nami.org) or Cherry Creek Court Club, c/o Box 460304, Aurora, CO 80046.

Services

Celebration of Life: March 30, 2019 3:00 pm

Pinehurst Country Club
6255 W Quincy Ave.
Denver , CO 80235


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Memories Timeline

Guestbook

  1. To my best friend, I will miss our daily phone conversations and talks about whatever random subjects were on our minds at the time.
    I will see you again my friend to continue our conversations.

    In the meantime, make everyone in heaven smile and laugh:)

  2. You were such an amazing human living in such a confusing world. I hope your thoughts are now clear, your questions are answered, and your mind is at peace. We will all miss you Gregory.

  3. Greg, you were always the sweetest guy to me and I appreciated your friendship when I was a kid. You will be sorely missed.

  4. Greg will always be remembered for his smile, which could light up any room. His personality was huge and he was a great friend to so many people. He taught me about life and resilience. He was a fighter and one who was very strong minded. Although he’s not with us in the physical world, his spirit lives on through all of those he has touched. May you Rest In Peace.

  5. Where to start. Greg, you and I were inseparable for years. I will always treasure our friendship. I know you are on the tennis court right now cranking aces.

    You will be missed!

    Matt

    • Julie, I’m so sorry about the loss of your brother. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. It sounds like you will have no regrets as you were a great supportive sister. Love. Nancy

  6. Among all of your wonderful traits, I will remember your kindness the most. I always thought of you as a little brother who taught me a lot about hard work and perseverance. You left a mark on family and friends that we will keep forever.

  7. Greg, you were always such a kind, warm person, and I feel fortunate to have had you as a friend since childhood. I have many fond memories of times shared with you— weekends at the Dillon house, our caravan to the Northwest, fun times at the Snow Mountain Ranch, or of course, reunions at the annual quiche and cookies Christmas party. Everyone always enjoyed being around you. You will be sadly missed, but your gentle soul will always be with us.

  8. Greg, we had just talked before your passing and I am glad we were able to. We got through some of the hardest time of our life together and I am forever grateful to have known you.

  9. Although we never met you, we know how much your friendship, compassion and love for our son Jerry meant to him. Our sympathy to your sister and other family and friends meant.
    Gary and Ginny Sears

  10. You will always be one of the best friends I have ever had, and it weighs so heavy on my heart to receive the news I did this morning regarding your passing. As all good friends do we did have our rough moments and disagreements, but we always stuck by each other even through the rough times. You always had such good advice that you provided me, and I will always keep in my heart the awesome time we had spent just hanging out watching movies, playing video games, or watching tv shows… I hope you are resting in style in heaven my good buddy, and I hope we meet again when my time comes to cross the pearly gates as well however long that will be until that happens…. I will miss our future times hanging out eating tacos, talking about life, and enjoying new movies we were talking about watching!

  11. We’ve shared so many sweet memories in our 47 years. From matching Lake Powell shirts on one of our numerous family vacations when we were kids, to double dating at prom, to intense conversations on park benches as adults. In all of those years – some more challenging than others – your love of family and true friendship never wavered.
    I will miss sneaking out of holiday parties together, seeing you with my kids, and our 2am conversations about figuring out this crazy world.
    My heart is a touch lighter knowing that you don’t have to go to battle every day. May your time up there be blanketed in peace, clarity, and the knowledge that you have touched so many hearts.
    The sound of your belly laugh and honest giggles will remain in my memory forever.
    Your lifelong friendship has made me a better person & I am eternally grateful to have had you in my life as my friend and my confidant.
    I’ll miss you Greg D.
    Save a spot for me at your table.

  12. Dear Bonnie and Bob, our hearts go out to you and your family. As I said to you recently, my daughter tells us that Greg was always the person who was nice to everyone. What a wonderful way to be remembered! Please know we are all thinking of you and keeping you in our prayers. Judy Trumbull

  13. Greg Downing was, hands down, one of my favorite people. I loved his sense of humor (and he loved mine); we laughed a lot together. We laughed especially about “lieutentant” and “leash your dog” and “22 down,” all inside jokes, but he knows what they mean, and I believe he’s laughing his contageous laughter now. Greg, you will be sorely missed. You blessed this world with your special wit, gentleness, love, and friendship. Much love to you and my thanks. Love, Tricia

  14. I met Greg through my husband, John, who was his friend for 30 years. Greg’s kindness, love and friendship were the most sincere and palpable I have ever experienced from another human being . I know he struggled with mental illness and the ebb and flow of a “normal” life, yet he never let those deep challenges outweigh his indomitable spirit. Thank you Greg for showing us how to embody grace and for modeling true generosity of spirit and love. You will be greatly, greatly missed.
    With love and hugs,
    Jessica

  15. Greg Downing
    You were one of my best friends from a week into us meeting each other. My list of memories, so many positive and remarkable experiences with you, is vast like the nightsky. I was lucky, so lucky for this. This week has been hard on me and so many others that loved you for all the reasons everyone is writing. You were truly one of a kind I don’t think it possible to argue this. A spectacular personality. You were kind, you kept it simple, except when you got it complicated. You lived life on your terms and in that you shielded yourself from much of the pain of your afflictions. You were a happy man. I know your spirit shines bright wherever you may be. I miss it being here, tangible on planet earth. I want for my phone to ring or for me to place a call. Just place a call…(ha!). I love you like a brother and a best friend. That will never change. My memories of you will keep that love strong now. My heart goes out to Julie and your parents. And to everyone else who loved you. Your dear friend, frisky cat

  16. Bonnie, Bob and Julie:

    I am so sorry to hear of Greg’s passing. I am thinking of you and sending strength and peace during this extremely difficult time.

  17. Oh Greg,
    You were such a kind soul and gentle giant. Such an endearing boy…. and an awesome friend to our son Josh! Thank you….

    We loved watching you guys play tennis at Creek! Your laughter, your wisdom and generosity was always a part of you and you loved sharing that with others.

    I know you struggled with your demons, but we’re glad they have now, finally been put to rest … it was a hard fight, it is now time to find peace.
    Our heart goes out to your parents and sister Julie, as it is so difficult to lose someone you love. We hope they too, can find peace and healing.

    You will be missed…

  18. We have many fun and fond memories of Greg on camping trips, road trips, and other family gatherings. He was always interested in other people and what they were doing. His sense of humor and personality made him a pleasure to be around. We will miss him.

    Ellen and Fred Fisher

  19. Greg was a kind spirit. My early memories of him were on a tennis court when I watched him win a state championship with my older brother. Greg was three classes ahead of me, but he always paid attention to me. For years after high school we’d get together every now and the to play tennis. Greg was kind hearted and always showed concern for others. I’ll always remember him fondly.

  20. I always thought of Greg as my second son. He and Peter were together constantly from birth to College and often at our house. Greg was so motivated in high school, taking voice lessons so he could join the Meistersingers ; running tennis camps for children; starting a lawn mowing service. I told Peter way too many times “I wish you could be more like Greg Downing”. His laughter when he and Peter were together would fill our house. In later years he would come help me with yardwork for some spending money and we had long, deep conversations about life and relationships and families. He loved my dog(and she him) and would spend lots of time throwing the tennis ball and talking to her in his falsetto voice. The Gentle Giant is how I remember him and we will miss his sense of humor and loyalty to friends. May he rest in peace that so often eluded him.

  21. Oh my goodness. I am so sorry and saddened that we lost Greg and I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Greg’s family, friends, and everyone who loved him.

    When I was 13 years old in the Summer of 1990, Greg and Matt Butler were my tennis coaches in Arapahoe Lake in the Denver suburbs. I can honestly say that I don’t think it’s possible to have had more fun than we did. Greg was so passionate about the game, and such a good teacher who made every session so enjoyable. I can still hear him teaching me how to volley correctly: “Zach, it’s like giving the ball a high five. Just tap it. Don’t swing through it.”

    The actual tennis instruction was occurring during periods in which we weren’t doubled over laughing, likely from something funny that Greg said or did, or from the environment that he and Matt fostered in which we all became great friends through tennis. These were the best of times and I’m better for the memories I still have.

    The truth is that Greg was so talented that I wanted to learn more about him so I could (try to) model his well-roundedness. I asked him about Cherry Creek, as I was about to embark on my Freshman year and how he juggled academics, climbing the tennis ladder, and extracurricular activities so well. I even wrote him snail mail in college at Bucknell and we stayed in contact through the post office. Yes. Before email!

    I am heartbroken to know that Greg struggled but I find solace that he is at peace now, and I hope that’s comforting to everyone who loves him even with the enormous void his passing leaves behind. And the great part is that he takes all of the treasured memories from his time on earth to a better place. I’ll miss his hysterical impersonations of his family and friends, the Jetta (I think it was a Jetta :-), and just his goodness. Please know that my memories of him make me smile and laugh to this day.

  22. Dear Bonnie,

    I am so sorry for the loss of your son Greg. Thinking of you at this sad time and hope that you and your family will find peace in your memories.

  23. “Lumpy”-
    We shared many memories throughout high school. Although I never achieved your success, you always pushed me and motivated me to work harder. Your kindness and support will always remain with me. During a brief couple week span hanging with our sisters, we created memories and bonds to last a lifetime. I look back and thank you and your family for always being caring and supportive. You’ll forever hold an important place in my heart. Thanks for everything—“Chunky”

  24. To The Family So Loved by Greg,
    Our whole family has such fond memories of Greg….High School would never have been the same for Brian and Katie if Greg had not been such a key player during those years. Thank you Greg for bringing so much fun and laughter into our home. What ever happened to the street sign I wonder……..!? Lots of great memories, thank you for being such a good friend.
    Marsha Richardson Lunnon

  25. Greg,

    I always enjoyed our talks about God and your questions that you would challenge me with. I know that God was drawing you to Himself and working in your life. I believe that you are in a much better place now and I will see you again my friend. I look forward to that day.

  26. When I think of Greg, what comes to mind most is the underlying Sparkle he amazingly never seemed to lose in spite of many ups and downs, his ability to keep connected and working over the long haul, and his close connection to his family. That he retained his engagement and enthusiasm, and his kind and likeable nature through it all, is truly a testament to him, and something I very much admired.
    He and his family are in my prayers.

  27. Dear Bob, Bonnie, Julie, and the entire Downing Family,

    It was with such shock and sorrow that we heard of Greg’s passing. We think of you often. Please know that our hearts, love, and thoughts are with you now. May Greg Rest In Peace.

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