Honoring Jim Downingby Representative Doug Lamborn
Posted on 2012-07-31
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, July 31, 2012
Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honor of Jim Downing who
will be celebrating his 100th birthday on August 22, 2013. Throughout
his century of life, he loyally served the United States Navy, was a
devoted husband and father and faithful to his Creator.
He enlisted in the Navy in 1932, and was assigned to the USS West Virginia where he held a variety of roles onboard. On April 8, 1935 Jim gave his life to the Lord and vowed to follow Him wherever he was led. Jim was involved with original founders of The Navigators who discipled him and gave him the tools to evangelize to his whole ship and lead regular Bible studies onboard.
[[Page E1179]] A survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor, he helped rescue men from his ship and fight fires onboard. He later rose to the rank of Lieutenant, commanding his own ship the USS Patapsco. While at sea in 1954 his ship was showered with the radio-active ash from the ``H'' bomb being tested at Bikini Atoll. He served as an advisor to the Brazilian Fleet in Rio de Janeiro and later became an assistant professor of Naval Science at the Merchant Marine Academy.
Jim retired in 1956 with 24 years of service in the Navy and went to work for The Navigators for the next 22 years. During the years he served on The Navigator staff he held many capacities including, Divisional Director for Europe the Middle East and Africa with Headquarters in London, Vice President, Deputy to President Lorne Sarmy, and Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Jim and his wife Morena were married for 68 years before her passing. He has authored two books, Meditation and Living Legacy, both of which have been very well received. He has spent over 78 years working for the Lord and being a disciple maker wherever he is located. While he retired from full-time ministry in 1983, he has not retired from teaching others about the Lord and is on the volunteer staff of The Navigators' Collegiate Ministry.
To this day, Jim is investing in the lives of thousands of young people through personal discipleship and The Navigator's Collegiate and Military Ministry. I am greatly honored to help celebrate 100 years of life for a man who has been influential to so many communities around the world through his service and devotion to the Lord.