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Obituaries & Guest Book

Barbara Anne Downey

Thursday, August 27, 2020 from 9:30 AM to 10:00 AM

Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home

Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home


Barbara Anne Downey, 89 of Hagerstown, MD passed away at Homewood at Williamsport, Williamsport, MD on  August 22, 2020.
Born in Orange, NJ, she was the daughter of the late Arthur Joseph (AJ) Buckley and Gladys Buckley.

Barbara is survived by her two daughters, Carole Downey of Baltimore and Janice Downey of Hagerstown; two sisters in law, Arella Prunyi and Marianne Buckley; her brother’s children Diane Evangelista, husband Mark Evangelista; Arthur Joel Buckley, wife Regina and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Preceding her death was her husband of 58 years, Vernon Downey and her brother Arthur Jay Buckley. 

She attended primary schools in NJ and Massachusetts; graduating in 1949 from Bloomfield High School in NJ. The family moved to Hagerstown and she received her Bachelor’s Degree in 1953 from University of MD in Biology; then attended Penn State University earning her Master’s Degree in Counseling in Education. In the 70’s she continued her education at Western MD College with studies in Administration and Supervision.

She started her teaching career at Hagerstown High School as a Biology Teacher where she met Vernon Downey and later married in 1955. When South Hagerstown High opened in 1956 she was a Biology teacher and then took time off to raise her children. During this time, she was a Girl Scout leader at Lincolnshire elementary and started tutoring math and then substitute teaching at private and public schools in the area. She returned to Washington County Public Schools to teach Biology at Hancock High and as worked as an Administrator at Smithsburg High School. From 1976-1986 she was a Guidance Counselor at North Hagerstown High and also JTPA coordinator from 1984-1993. She retired in 1993 from Washington County Board of Education. 

After retirement, she was the admissions/counselor for Richards World of Travel-Career Institute. During this time, she and Vernon enjoyed hosting many travel tours. She was a Board member to Washington Co. DSS; was the Chairperson of the MD Assoc of Social Services Boards; and helped develop Children in Need Program. She was member of the Funkstown American Legion, Ladies Elks Club, Washington County Retired Teachers Association, Washington County Retired Guidance Counselor Association and AAUW.

While Barbara was in her teens, the family lived close to New York City, and she had a great opportunity to drive her father into NYC for his work. Thus, Barbara wasn’t afraid of driving in big cities, and this also exposed her to different cultures. She enjoyed hosting holiday parties and entertaining foreign guests at the house. Reading books, sewing clothes and swimming were some of her favorite activities. Since the late 1950’s she enjoyed playing cards with the South High wives bridge group and more recently, outings with the Thursday night dinner group. Most of all, Barbara loved to travel and cruise with her family and friends, especially to the Caribbean and Europe.  She had a very keen sense of humor, was a very loving mother and wife and was always willing to listen and assist anyone that needed help.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 10:00 AM at the Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home, 1331 Eastern Blvd. North, Hagerstown, MD with Pastor Douglas Wagner as celebrant. Her daughter’s will greet guests outside under the front portico from 9:30 AM to 10:00 AM. Masks and social distancing will be adhered to. The funeral home will be open at 9:00 am for those who cannot make the scheduled time.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to the American Parkinson Disease Association 135 Parkinson Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10305 or to Hospice of Washington County, 747 Northern Avenue, Hagerstown, MD 21742.

Online condolences may be expressed at


Guest Book

Janice and Carole, I'm so sad over your dear mother. She was always always peppy and in a good mood. Supportive, strong- the works. What a fine person. You helped her so much in her older age and you should be proud of that. You were and are great daughters. I love you both and much sympathy- Ruthy

Ruthy Stenger Japzon
Hagerstown, md

Recalling many pleasant memories from days long gone. Rest in peace.

Kay Kimbrew
Fairmont , West Virginia

Being French and away from home, Barbara invited me to her home for Christmas and I had the best Christmas ever, giving me a sense I was home again. Barbara and her daughters gave me the warmth that being with a loving family over Christmas can give you. Rest well, dear Barbara, you will always have a place in my heart.

Annick Delorme
New York, NY 10017

Carole and Janice I'm so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. She was a wonderful lady.i thought the world of her and your are in my thoughts and prayers. Tina

Tina Larrick
Boonsboro , Maryland

Im very sorry for your loss. I will pray for strength and peace for your family. God Bless

Valerie Setzer
Baltimore, Maryland

Carole and Janice, So sorry to read about the passing of my friend, and your Mother. I have such fond memories of our Thursday dinner group at the Legion. God Bless.

Jean Dullabaun
Hagerstown, Maryland

God Bless Mom Downey!!!! She will forever be with me. She was always there for me and my Mom. She will be one of the first to greet us someday when it is our time . Cheers to you and your daughters! XO, Daughter #3......Paula Dixon

Paula Dixon
Hagerstown, MARYLAND

Janis my codolences to you and the family.I met your dad at SHHS in shop class and after reading your mother's obituary they had a lot in common.I know you have given your best to take care of your mother in recent years.I miss working with you in Childcare but my prayers to you at this time.

Terry Gearhart
Hagerstown, Maryland

I am very sorry to hear of Barbara's passing. Please know that we have the Downey family in our thoughts. I still have very fond memories of the gatherings hosted by Barbara and Vernon especially those in the summertime on the back porch. Barbara was always so welcoming.

Glenn Johnson
Marriottsville, Maryland

Wishing you comfort and peace in the days ahead. My heart goes out to you Carole and Janice ~ Emily B

Emily Brown
Timonium, MD

While I didn't know your Mom, I do know Carole and wanted to let both Carole and Janice know that I've kept you in my prayers during the last several days. I am so very sorry for your loss and especially that it happened during this time where you were limited in your access to her. There is nothing that anyone can say to relive your grief but we can show you we care and hope to bolster your spirits in that way. Reading her obituary, I am amazed at what an incredibly active and busy woman she was! I'm sure she was a joy to have as a Mom. Much love, Sharon

Sharon Ervin
Parkville, MD

I met Barbara through her niece Kerri Buckley and remember her as a very loving woman. My heartfelt condolences to Carole and Janice. Such a loss. Remember the good times you enjoyed, they will carry you through. Blessings, Christa Berthold.

Christa R Berthold
Enfield, CT

Janice and Carol, So sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. My prayers are of thanksgiving for the marvelous life she so obviously led (her obituary is incredible!) and for the joy she is experiencing now again with your dad. I pray for your comfort, peace and strength. The next days and weeks will be hard, as were the past few ones, I’m sure. I wish I could be with you later this week in person, but back to school activities are in full swing and I’m driving Daniel to college in Massachusetts early Friday morning. Looking forward to a time when we can visit. Much love, Karen

Karen Price
Parsonsburg, MD

Janice and family, So very sorry to hear of the loss of your dear mother. What an extraordinary life she lived. Mrs. Downey was a guidance counselor at North during some of my years there. She served our community well in many different capacities during her life. She will be remembered fondly. Christy Lewis

Christy Lewis
Hagerstown, MD

so very sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. Thoughts and prayers for peace and the Lord's comfort.

Bob Butler
Williamsport , Maryland

I’m so sorry to hear about Aunt Barbara. Love and prayers go out to both of you Carol and Janice. Love Kellie

Kellie Sabo
Fairmont , West Virginia

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