Cover photo for Phebe Hofford Downey's Obituary
Phebe Hofford Downey Profile Photo
1929 Phebe 2017

Phebe Hofford Downey

November 3, 1929 — August 3, 2017

Phebe Hofford Downey of Concord, MA died peacefully at the Miriam Boyd Hospice Center in Wayland, MA on August 3, 2017 with loved ones by her side. She was 87.

Phebe is survived by her husband, Frederick Andrew Downey, four daughters, Ann Little of Boxborough, MA, Margaret Hardy of Hollis, NH, Katherine Berges of Branford, CT, and Martha Lemp of Arlington, MA. She is also survived by her sister, Ann Wilson, of Sterling, VA, twelve grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. She was predeceased by three brothers: John, Herbert, and Phillip Hofford.

Phebe was born in Providence, Rhode Island to Herbert and Margaret Labbée Hofford. She graduated from Smith College in 1950 with a degree in American Studies. Phebe met her husband, Frederick Downey, when working for Warner Brothers as an executive secretary, and was married in 1954. Over the next seven years, the couple welcomed their four daughters. Her daughters remember Phebe as a dedicated mother who encouraged them to be strong, educated, involved, and independent.

Phebe was passionate about giving back to her community, and she led many volunteer efforts in the towns in which she lived—Easton, CT, Shaker Heights, OH, New London, NH, and Concord, MA. While living in New London, she founded the New London Council on Aging, which continues to support local seniors to this day. More recently, she served on the board of directors of the Concord COA and participated in the MIT AgeLab and Voice of the Faithful.

Phebe was a focused, highly organized, and brilliant woman who had a particular passion for the needs of senior citizens. Her first priority, however, was always her daughters and grandchildren. Her greatest joy was to witness the close bonds between her offspring, which she viewed as her greatest legacy.

At Phebe's request, services will be private.

Memorial donations may be made to the Basser Center for BRCA ( or the Concord COA (


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