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James B Downs Jr.
June 7, 1924 ~ February 10, 2024 (age 99) 99 Years Old
James Bradley Downs, Jr., 99, of Titusville FL went to be with the Lord on February 10th, 2024. Bradley who was known to his friends as Brad, was a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his two sons, Steven and Thomas; three adult grandchildren; and his faithful cat Ginger. He was preceded in death by his first wife Elvie and second wife Chris.
Brad was born in Tifton, GA in June of 1924, to Bradley and Sulu Downs. In 1929 he moved with his parents to Cordele, GA. He joined the Army during WWII and served in the Signal Service Battalion, which took him to China, Burma and India installing communication equipment for the Allied airbases in the region.
Brad graduated as a Chemist from Georgia Tech after Army service and moved to Jacksonville, FL to join the team at Seaboard Railroad converting from Steam to Diesel Electric locomotives. Brad joined Brown Engineering as a contract employee in Huntsville, Alabama in 1959 and was soon picked up by NASA. In 1965 Brad moved his family to Titusville, FL to continue work on Apollo. During 24 years at NASA, he contributed to the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Apollo-Soyuz, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs.
Brad was a private pilot and enjoyed photography, cinematography, astronomy, electronic projects, spelunking, fishing, sailing, carpentry, welding, and computer programming.
A memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, February 18th at North Brevard Funeral Home, 1450 Norwood Avenue Titusville, FL. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the local Veterans Memorial Center at VeteransMemorialCenter.org/support-us/ or St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care at ReflectionsLSC.org/donate.