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Jay E. Downing

February 23, 1936 June 24, 2016
Jay E. Downing
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Obituary for Jay E. Downing

Jay Downing was a luminary in the Providence cycling community starting in the late sixties. After
graduating from Rhode Island School of Design in 1962 with a major in Industrial Design, he began
applying his design, fabrication, and mechanical engineering skills to building bicycle frames in the
basement of his house on Williams Street in Providence RI. His basement shop was a hub of the cycling community, where he sold custom frames and quality components. His standards were very high for the quality of the bikes that left his shop. In 1976, after importing many custom frames that did not meet specifications, he began building custom frames under his own name in his shop. In 1983 Jay opened Downing Bicycles on Hope Street in Providence, RI, which operated successfully for 18 years. Jay lived in Providence his entire life and is survived by his wife Lynne, his daughters Gwen and Liz, his stepson John, and two grandchildren.
Jay had a great sense of humor and loved to listen to, and tell jokes. He loved music, particularly
classic Jazz recordings. He and his wife Lynne were regulars at the Coffee Exchange on Wickenden St. early on weekend mornings, where they enjoyed the music and company of many friends. As a hobby, he built beautiful banjos. Jay was a craftsman who was always concerned with precision and the quality of anything that he made or repaired for others.
A Celebration of his life is planned for Tuesday beginning at 4pm at the Coffee Exchange, 207 Wickenden St. Providence

To send flowers or plant a tree in memory of Jay E. Downing, visit the Tribute Store.

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