2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Pearl Harbor survivor recognized before Sky Sox game

Published: July 28, 2013, 6:59 pm, by Joe Paisley

sky sox pics 004The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by Jim Downing, 99, who is the oldest-living Pearl Harbor survivor.

His secret to longevity? Good grandparents – he had a brother and sister live into their 90s — and not letting life’s stresses get to him.

“That’s how someone my age still has blood pressure in the 120s,” he said. ““I’ve had a full life, a happy life.”

The 24-year U.S. Navy veteran, who turns 100 next month, drew a standing ovation from the fans who stayed through a 103-minute rain delay.

The crowd then sang “Happy Birthday” for the retired Navigators’ vice president and chairman of the board, who still travels the country on the ministry’s behalf.

He was the subject of a Pearl Harbor feature by the Gazette in 2011.