Visitation at Funeral Home
Obituary of Joseph "Steve" Downs
Retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Joseph Steven ‘Steve’ Downs, 61, of Leesburg, VA, passed away at his home on Thursday, June 28th, 2018 at 01:47 am.
Born in 1956 in Louisville Kentucky, he was the son of Mary Bernardine and Joseph Lorenza Downs. He attended school at St. Thomas More, and DeSales high school. Later, he attended the University of Louisville, where he participated in the ROTC program. After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Accounting, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force. He entered into a career with the Strategic Air Command, SAC, as a Minuteman Launch Officer. He and his family were stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base, Grand Forks ND, where he obtained a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Dakota. He later moved to Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, NE, and then onto Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, SD. His experience in the missile field eventually brought him to the DC metro area as an officer working on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. He retired from the Air Force in 1998, choosing to stay in the DC area, where he followed his Air Force career with positions within SAIC, and later with Quest Communications/Century Link.
Steve had a great love for the outdoors, and enjoyed camping and hiking, Being an Eagle Scout himself, he became heavily involved in Scouting as an Assistant Scout Master of his sons’ Boy Scout Troops. He watched the scouts achieve goals that instilled confidence in them, and reinforced values that enabled them to become upstanding examples for the community. He served as Troop Master for Troop 159 in Herndon VA, leading a group of scouts on a 100 mile hike at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. From 2000 until last year, he was the Scoutmaster of Troop 12, a special needs troop, created by Powhatan Committee member Dave Adams, who recruited Steve to lead the troop from its inception. He was the father of Joe Downs, a scout who remained in the troop this entire time. Steve was a friend, a mentor, and a shining light for all who knew him, living by the Scout Oath and Law every day in his devotion to the scouts he served. His influence on scouts remains a priceless gift. He was a man of boundless energy and optimism, known for his smile, huge laugh, and firm handshake. He never wanted any fuss made about him, and resisted attempts at recognition and appreciation, but will be remembered for the impact he had, and the joy he brought to many Scouts and their families. He will be deeply missed.
Steve and his wife Linda enjoyed reading and shared a love of history, with Steve being a Civil War buff. They travelled yearly, always visiting museums; going as far north as Maine, west to Hawaii, and south and east to Florida and the Caribbean Islands. Steve romanced Linda with his Karaoke skills, and proved his vast knowledge when they competed weekly at Trivia together for over twelve years. He was a generous and loving husband.
He was preceded in death by his son Matthew, his sister’s husband Steven, and his grandparents Joseph A., Mary Teresa, William O., and Mary Pearl. He is survived by his wife Linda, his son Jeremy and his wife Rachel, his son Joe, his wife’s daughter Jennifer and her husband Ed, his wife’s son Jeff and his wife Michelle, his parents Joseph L. and M. Bernardine, his wife’s parents Donald and Frances, his sister Karen, his sister Teresa and her husband Marty, his sister Elaine and her husband David, his wife’s brother Bruce and his wife Pam, his cousin Rhonda and her husband Chad, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and nieces and nephews. But most importantly, he loved being a grandfather to his grandchildren Caroline, Garrett, and Madeleine, and his wife’s grandchildren Braden, Christopher, Emma, and Tyler.
The family will receive friends from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Thursday, July 5th, 2018 at Adams Green Funeral Home in Herndon, VA. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, July 6th, 2018 at St. Johns the Apostle Catholic Church in Leesburg, VA. Burial will follow at Chestnut Grove Cemetery in Herndon, VA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or ECHO of Loudoun VA.