James Downey

Jay Downey, 55, of College Station passed away Monday, October 13, 2014 at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. A Celebration of Life memorial service is set for 11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 18, 2014 at Christ United Methodist Church in College Station. Services are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral Home and Crematory.

Jay was born July 13, 1959 in Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up in Fairfax, Virginia with a love of sports including the Red Sox, Celtics, Redskins and his Aggies. He brought smiles and laughter to all who knew him. Jay was a superhero loving husband and father who thrice battled leukemia to keep giving his loved ones lifelong memories. He graduated from Texas A&M and began a teaching/coaching career culminating in his recent retirement from Navasota High School. As a special educator, Jay helped many students finish high school and was proud to have started the Navasota softball program in 1997. His favorite activity was time spent with family, especially watching his sons pursue their passions and growing up to be hard working and loving young men.

He was preceded in death by his parents Betty and Keith Shoun.

Jay leaves behind his loving wife of 29 years, Linda Downey of College Station; sons, Jerry Downey and fiancé Damien of Dallas, Jacob Downey of Houston, and Cameroonian sons, Elvis Takow and fianceé Kat of College Station, James and Summer Takow of Seneca, SC; brother William Downey and wife Mary of Granbury; sister-in-law Jan Stolze and husband Mike of Southlake; grandson Jaylen Takow; mother-in-law, Betty McCuistion of College Station; uncle David Laughery of Zavalla; aunts Joyce Jackson of Lufkin, Sue Jackson and family of Santee, SC; nieces Sarah and Melanie Stolze, Kathleen Downey; special cousins Tricia and Ronny Roberson and family, Sharon and Keith Spoonmore and family, Terri and John Lengefeld and family; special friends Greg and Kristen Basgall and family.

For those who desire, memorial contributions can be sent in Jay’s honor to MD Anderson Cancer Center, Christ United Methodist Church, Young Life, or the charity of your choice.


  1. I don’t even know where to begin. My heart aches for you and your family Linda. I know one thing for certain, he was a remarkable human being, coach, teacher and friend. Any one person that devoted his life to what he loce d it was Jay Downey. I find it with in my heart and soul for it to be an honor to have known such a great man. He was there for my daughter all through her High School years and HS Softball. Jay had such a wonderful impact on her life and helped her become part of the caring amazing young lady she is today. I know she looked up to him as a hero, and role model and so did I. He was and still is an AMAZING MAN. A man that will never be forgotten in my lifetime. May you and your family find comfort in knowing how much he meant to so many people.
    With my sincerest love and prayers,
    Lisa Abke

  2. He was an amazing man who I enjoyed getting to know on and off the field while he was at Navasota! He was a great friend and I enjoyed the moments spent with him! Prayers for the family!

  3. My thoughts and prayers are with you all….mr.downey made a huge impact on my life in navasota he will truly be missed!!

  4. For the past ten years, Jay Downey has been a source of fun, humor and strength in our lives. His unyielding positive and sometimes quirky view of life; his hilarious stories and escapades; his strength and commitment to his kids, our kids, his students and every child he came in contact with, will be hugely missed in so many lives.

    To Linda, Jerry, Jacob, Elvis and James – you have our love and sympathy. You will be strong as Jay would want you to be – as he was in his battle. What an angel Jay will make!

  5. For the past ten years, Jay Downey has been a source of fun, humor and strength in our lives. His unyielding positive and sometimes quirky view of life; his hilarious stories and escapades; his strength and commitment to his kids, our kids, his students and every child he came in contact with, will be hugely missed in so many lives.

    To Linda, Jerry, Jacob, Elvis and James – you have our love and sympathy. You will be strong as Jay would want you to be – as he was in his battle. What an angel Jay will make!

  6. I am very sad to hear this about Coach Downey. He was always so nice and a joy to be around. He supported all the athletes but he loved to watch our softball team compete. I know that he will be missed by many of Navasota and his family as well. I am thankful that he is not suffering anymore and is now watching over us. Although I have never met his family, it saddens me that they have to experience losing their loved one. As someone who lost my mom just two months ago it is never easy losing someone so close to you but it is reassuring knowing they are there in your heart and watching over you. I hope my mom get’s to catch a game or two with Coach Downey…Heaven has some amazing angels!

  7. We had the pleasure of meeting and knowing Coach Downey and Linda as a Coach to our granddaughters Riley and Kelsey Poston. He will be missed but never forgotten by all those he inspired at Navasota High School. Our love and prayers to Linda and all his family.

  8. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. May the peace that comes from the memories of love shared comfort you now and in the days ahead.

    Jay was a great guy and fellow teacher when he worked at Ada Henderson Elementary in Cameron.

  9. Linda, it’s been a very long time since I’ve heard of Jay. Just wanted you to know that we laugh and talk about Jay from time to time her at Cameron Elementary. He was a great man and fun to work with. We feel your loss and want to offer you our love and prayers. What a great man Jay was. I know in my heart he is already dancing, singing and playing sports with all the other angels that went before him. Peace and love to you and your family. Debbie Shuffield; Cameron Elementary.

  10. Very sad to hear this news. Jay was a great man who I enjoyed working with immensely, and was lucky to call my friend. He was full of life, and loved his family very much. He will be missed in this world a great deal. My prayers and condolences are with the family.

  11. Jay really was such a superhero in many lives. He was one of my most favorite people. Teaching beside him in the portable buildings at Navasota offered it’s own challenges, but Jay always made it fun! I am so sorry that we have lost him. Linda, you and the boys are in my thoughts and prayers for the months to come.

  12. Good memories of Jay will fill your hearts. It will not make the pain of his loss go away, but it will help to ease that pain. I taught with Jay when he was in Cameron at Ada Henderson. He was a great guy and will be missed.

  13. Our deepest condolences to Linda and all of Jay’s family. Jay was a special friend and was well thought of at Cameron Elementary School and many a story was told involving his time there. He was truly a good friend. May God bless you all as you celebrate his life.

  14. We are so sorry about your loss. Jay was always willing to help Scott and the FFA with anything. He loved kids and teaching. He will be missed.

  15. I will miss my sweet friend Jay. He was a dedicated teacher and coach that touched the lives of many through his kind spirit. What a privilege it was to teach with him for over 20 years and share so many fun times. Linda, I am so sad for your lost and pray that God’s love, peace, and strength will be with you and your family during this difficult time. May God Bless the Memory of our Sweet Jay!

  16. I wanted to let all of you know that our thoughts, and prayers are with you. It’s so hard to lose someone at such a young age. Cancer shows no mercy, for sure. We’ve all lost quite a few of our dear ones to it. Just know even know we’re not physically there, we are for sure thinking of you at this difficult time. I did call and let everyone else know last night. We do need to get together sometime this year, as life is too short. Love yall.

  17. I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Downey (Jay). I only knew him briefly last year but enjoyed attending meetings and getting to know him and his love for the students he worked with in Redirect. I admired how he was always available for students regardless of however he was feeling.

    He was loved by so many & will be truly missed!
    God Bless him & his family during this time,
    Warmest Regards,

    Rhea Lester
    Guidance Counselor
    Navasota HS

  18. It was a pleasure to work with Jay, he always kept us laughing and I know he had a passion for truly wanting to help kids learn. He will be missed here at Navasota High. My prayers are with you and your family.

  19. I will forever be grateful to you, Linda, and to Jay for the hope and peace you gave to me back in August of 2008. Those two hours will be with me forever. You know you will continue to get my hugs and prayers.

  20. I was saddened to hear of Jay’s passing, I will definitely keep his family and friends in my prayers. I always remember Jay laughing and making me laugh when I taught at Navasota. We often talked about the ‘Skins and how they would when next year. He was a special person and I will miss him.

  21. We enjoyed seeing Jay in church with Linda and Betty each Sunday. We know that Jay is with Jesus now and there is no more pain. Our hearts are filled with abundant love for you, Linda and your family. May our Lord give you peace and comfort.

  22. I wish I had the words to express the admiration I have for Jay Downey. I first met him when I was an aide in the Study Lab at NHS. I loved working with him because he always made it clear that he loved his wife and was a family man, so right away I knew I could trust him. When I got my certification and my own classroom, he was my most trusted source for honest advice and encouragement. He helped me know which battles to fight and when to walk away.

    We will never be able to measure the positive impact Jay had on this Earth, but I am confident that his reward in heaven will be so great, he may need an extra room!!

  23. To the Downey Family: I am truly sorry for your loss. I just want you to know what a hugh support Jay was to the girls during softball season. He will truly be missed. Linda – we were all looking forward to you and Jay joining us in the stands this spring. Please come and join us if you can. We would love to have you with us, as we know that his spirit and memory will be. Please let us know if you ever need anything. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  24. Dear Linda,

    Gail just sent me a facebook message about Jay. I am so very sorry. I don’t even know what to say except that I hope you are coping well and that you are doing ok. I had no idea that he had battled cancer three times….I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been for all of you. Not sure if you will even get this message, but if so and you want to respond I would love to hear from you. Please tell all of your family I said hello and extend my sympathies to them as well. Love, Stacy

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