Forrest G. Downs

November 29th, 2016

Forrest G. Downs, fondly known as “Brownie” or “Ned” to his family and friends, age 88, of Wilmington, died peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on November 26, 2016.

Forrest was born on August 28, 1928, in Wakefield, MA; he was the dear son of the late Glenn and Phoebe Downs. Forrest was raised in a large family; he moved to Wilmington when he was a young boy when his family bought the Pettingill Dairy Farm at Perry’s Corner in Wilmington. Forrest was raised and educated in Wilmington; as a youngster, Forrest, along with his brothers and sisters learned how to work hard around the farm, take care of the animals, and milk the cows; they did everything as a family.

Forrest went on to serve in the U. S. Army Reserves before being inducted into active duty on January 24, 1951 during the Korean Conflict. Forrest served as a Sergeant with the 70th Engineer Combat Battalion and was awarded the Army of Occupation Medal for his service during the occupation of Germany. In January of 1953, after being honorably discharged from active duty, Forrest was transferred to the Army Ready Reserve and returned home to his family in Wilmington.

On June 6, 1951, Forrest married his “sweetheart” Helen Mae Ellsworth; the couple raised five wonderful children and shared more than 63 years together before Helen’s passing in October of 2014. Forrest loved being a dad; he was involved in the kids lives and they have many fond memories of their dad teaching them how to ice skate and play sports. As a “Papa” to his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren he couldn’t be beat; Forrest spent countless hours on the side lines of every sporting event that those kids played, he was always cheering them on and giving them encouragement. Forrest Loved his family unconditionally and was always so proud of them.

Forrest was a hard worker and for over 38 years he dedicated himself to the Wilmington highway department. Forrest was an easy going guy, a wonderful co-worker, and a great friend to many. At the time of his retirement, Forrest had worked his way up to Assistant Superintendent but everyone knew he just loved working in his front end loader.

In his spare time, Forrest enjoyed playing card games such as cribbage and kings in the corner. Forrest was also a Boston sports fan who enjoyed watching hockey and the Red Sox with his daughter Cindy. In his younger years Forrest was an avid bowler who was so good that he even tried out for a spot on television.

Forest will be remembered as a nice guy; he would do anything for anyone especially his family and friends. Forrest will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Forrest was the beloved husband of the late Helen M. (Ellsworth) Downs, devoted father of Cynthia Ronan & her husband Kevin of Tewksbury, Clifford Downs & his wife Janice of Derry, NH, Carolynn Morrison & her husband John of Wilmington, Glenn Downs & Danielle McKiel of Wilmington, and Terri Higgins & her husband John of Newbury, NH, loving “Papa” of Kevin Ronan and Kim D’Agostino, Katie and Chris Wright, Kelli and Dennis Estabrook, Keith Ronan and Tara Robertson, Kurt Ronan and Bery Madrano, Cliff and Emily Downs, Amy Huot, Angela and Sean Hyde, Ethan Downs, Nathan Downs, Christina and Mike Day, Joey Downs, Billy Downs, Sean Higgins, Shannon Higgins, Justin, Matthew, and Emily McKeil, Great Papa of Kaliegh, Emily, Jack, Max, Carter, Andrew, Cameron, Logan, Julia, Alivia, Owen, Declan, Tyler, Haleigh, Kylie, Brooklyn, Mikayla, Ryan, Arianna, Ryan, and Kaitlin, dear son of the late Glenn F. and Phoebe S. (Carpenter) Downs, brother of Clifton Downs of Mansfield, the late Francis, Edward, Clayton, Clesson, Harvey, and James Downs, Pauline Russo, Stella Flynn, Geneva Morrison, and Charlotte Gaudette. Forrest is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Forrest’s Funeral Service at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Wednesday, December 7th at 11:00 a.m. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Vising Hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Tuesday, December 6th from 3-7 p.m.


11 Entries in Guest Book for “Forrest G. Downs”

  1. Lorraine MacLeod says:

    Words seem inadequate to
    express the sadness felt with the loss of your Father.
    Wishing you peace to comfort,
    Courage to face the days ahead
    Loving memories to forever hold in your hearts

  2. Beth Johnson says:

    Such a pleasure getting to know this wonderful man. Enjoyed his stories, his sarcasm and his quick wit.

  3. Vickie says:

    My sincerest condolences to all of my Downs cousins on the loss of your Dad, Papa, and Great Papa. Uncle Ned was the kindest, most gentle man I have ever known. I will always remember him for how much he loved Auntie Helen, all of his children, and everyone else related. Wishing you peaceful, healing hearts and lots of love in your time of grief. ~ V

  4. Kim Tourigny says:

    Ned was a man I enjoyed talking with, I new him all of my life. Sorry for your loss.
    “Those we love don’t go away. They walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near, Still loved, Still missed and very dear. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

  5. Thomas Gates says:

    he was a great man.sorry for your loss!!

  6. your daughter says:

    Dad: I am missing you, words can not express the pain and emptiness but I know you will be with Mom soon. Love you daddy.

  7. Cathy Downs says:

    He was my second dad he was always there for what ever was needed we sat and talked many times I miss him very much. He now is back with mom. They are together sitting in there lawn chairs enjoying after life as they did in life, watching down on the family they loved. I was very grateful to been able to see him recently we all enjoyed the visit he will always be in my heart.

  8. Susan Ginivan says:

    Cindy and Kevin, I was saddened to hear the news of your dad. May your family find strength and peace knowing that he is now reunited with your Mom. Thinking of you and keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Please take care!

  9. Joyce Monsignore says:

    Cindy & Kevin, sorry for your loss. My heartfelt condolences to you and the family. Sounds like you were truly blessed with a great loving Dad. Thoughts and prayers are with all of you. May he rest in peace with your mom.

  10. Glenna Feeley says:

    I will always remember the Family reunions. The fun we had catching up on the years events and each of my aunts and uncles talking about days gone by and joking with each other. So sorry for the loss of a good man. My prayers and thoughts to the family.

  11. Michael Duggan says:

    Frank and Family,
    I am truly sorry for the loss of your Dad. He was an amazing guy with a great sense of humor . Our hearts and prayers are with you.

RSS feed for comments on this post.