Historical society lines up guest speaker

DOWNEY – Longtime Downey resident Pat Kearns will be the guest speaker at the Downey Historical Society’s Sept. 25 meeting. Kearns was born on St. Patrick’s Day 1933 in the tiny 6-room Downey Hospital located on 5th St., just west of Dolan Avenue. He was the first of seven children raised at the family home at 338 S. Downey Avenue, across the present YMCA complex.

After graduating from Downey High School in 1951, he left for the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a degree in civil engineering. He came home to work as an aerospace engineer for North American Aviation and Firestone Rocket Division for 11 years.

During that time he met and married Joann Benadon at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in July 1957. They had four children – Stacey, Cathy, Teri and Kevin – and lived on south Dolan Avenue.

Kearns was elected to the Downey Recreation and Park District in 1962 and served as its chairman in 1965. That same year he became a charter member of the Downey Historical Society.

Kearns and his family moved to Ventura in 1966. He and his wife retired to Seal Beach in 2002.

The Sept. 25 meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in the John Downey Room at the Barbara J. Riley Community and Senior Center. It is open to the public.



Published: Aug. 21, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 19