By WAYNE MARTIN
News staff writer
Probably few people who met lawyer Stan Downey could ever forget him. "He was unique," said Moody City Attorney Bill Weathington," inside the courtroom, and out."
And perhaps as unforgettable as Downey’s life was the way he passed from it. The funeral, complete with a New Orleans-style jazz band escorting the casket, was at the Cloud Room at Cascade Plunge, where generations of people had danced to Downey’s band, with Downey himself on trumpet.
"Stan didn’t plan the funeral," said his wife, Carol, "but at times he would point out things and say to me, ‘I don’t want that at my funeral.' I think the one we had was one Stan would have enjoyed."
But Stan Downey was more than a musician. The Stan Downey who had a jazz band funeral was the same Stanford Harmon Downey Jr. who was once the Moody city attorney, and was still in private law practice when he died in May at age 70.
He was also the guy who earned his high school diploma after dropping out to join the Navy. He then went to Auburn University, but left when he was unable to find a job to pay his way.Back home Stan played his trumpet to help pay for the degree he earned at Birrningham-Southem College. Not finished yet, Downey earned a law degree from Cumberland Law School at Samford University, and rose to the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve.
“But if you had asked Stan," said Weathington, “he would have told you he was a trumpet player who just happened to practice law."