Thursday, May 13, 2021


Thomas Wayne ‘Wayno’ Downey


Thomas Wayne “Wayno” Downey, 86, passed away on March 11. He was the husband and life partner of his high school sweetheart, Joan Helen Rabbitt Downey, for more than 60 years. Born Dec. 12, 1934, in Fitchburg, Mass., Wayne was the son of Thomas and Mildred Downey. Wayne’s life and love was between Guilford and the camp on Branch Lake in Maine.

He began his educational career at Milford High School (’52), The Hopkins School (’53), Yale College (’57), and Yale School of Medicine (’61), continuing education at the University of Minnesota (Pediatrics) and Department of Psychiatry at Yale. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, as Captain Downey, Chief of Neuropsychiatric and Family Services, at General Leonard Wood Army Hospital, Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, (’66 ’68). Wayne had a 52-year private practice of adult, adolescent, and child psychoanalysis and psychiatry in his hometown of Guilford. He was a training and supervising adult and child analyst at The Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis in New Haven. Reaching out to children, adolescents, and adults throughout his career, Wayne developed a creative and innovative style to further his singular goal of improving mental health.

Wayne recently commented that he came to medical school in the time of the polio epidemic and retired from medical psychoanalytic practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wayne’s life was filled to overflowing with family, friends, colleagues, and the connections he made with the people and communities he frequented.

Wayne is survived by his wife, Joan; daughters Sharon Panetta (Joe) and Susan Heston (Bill); grandchildren Hailey, Kaelan, Brook, and Blake Heston; his loving sister-in-law and sisters Patricia Downey, Pamela Dodge (Tony), and Deborah Afasano (Ray); six nephews; and extended family, Lois and Harry Lutz. He was predeceased by his son T. Lincoln Downey and brother Richard Downey.

A celebration of life gathering will take place at a later date. In memory of Wayne, please consider a contribution to one of these organizations or to any program of your choice: The Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis, 255 Bradley St, New Haven, CT 06510;; Edith B. Jackson Child Care Program, Inc, 405 Canner St, #1, New Haven, CT 06511;; Elizabeth Celotto Childcare Center, 181 Mitchell Dr, New Haven, CT 06511;; or Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, Office of Development, P.O. Box 1849, New Haven, CT 06508-9979;

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