Obituary for Elizabeth Marie "Libby" Downer
Elizabeth “Libby” Marie (Newburgh) Downer
9/1/53 - 9/28/17
Libby Downer passed away peacefully at her home on a sunny Thursday morning, with her husband Dan holding her hand and talking to her. Libby was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease, and by 2008 her difficulties in performing routine tasks as a special needs teaching assistant led to her tough decision to resign. Libby had previously been an elementary teacher, working at several schools in Oregon (Newport, Albany, and Tigard). In 1999 after some years as a stay-at-home mother, she returned to the school system as an inclusion assistant, working at Peter Boscow, Imlay, Patterson and Free Orchards in the Hillsboro district. She accomplished many breakthroughs with autistic children she worked with, and received numerous written commendations during those years. Teaching children was a lifelong passion for Libby.
Libby was born to Robert and Marilyn Newburgh in Grundy Center, Iowa. While an infant, the family (including older brother Kirk) moved to Corvallis where Robert accepted a biochemistry professor position at Oregon State University (and was later appointed the dean of the OSU graduate school). Libby also attended OSU, became a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She earned her education degree in 1975, and began teaching school in Newport that fall. Libby met her first husband Geoff Theurer in Newport, and they had two daughters Heather (1984) and Alison (1987). Libby remarried Daniel Downer in 1996 at their Hillsboro home, where she lived for the rest of her life. Dan and Libby celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary one week before her death.
Libby is survived by her husband Daniel, father (Robert) of Tallahassee, Fl., brother Kirk of Corvallis, daughters Heather and Alison Theurer of Hillsboro, stepchildren Matthew, Bradley and Holly, and grandchildren Hailey, Anthony, Jayden, Jesse, Evan, Kaiser, Jamison, Grace, Braiden, Aiden and Annabelle.
Libby will be remembered for her love of children, her kindhearted and fun-loving nature, and her unique and creative ways of decorating our home in a classy, albeit whimsical at times, style. Libby, we will miss you so much, and are grateful that you remain in our hearts forever.