Francis E. Downs, Sr.

September 20th, 2013

Francis E. Downs, Sr., age 90, of Wilmington, passed away at home on September 19, 2013.  Born on April 9, 1923, in Warren, VT, Francis was the oldest of twelve children to Glenn and Phoebe (Carpenter) Downs.  Shortly after Francis was born, the family moved to Wakefield where Francis spent most of his childhood.  At the age of 17, the family relocated to Wilmington, the town that Francis would make his home. 

Francis married the love of his life, Elizabeth “Betty” Akins, in 1948.  Together, they raised five children.  He loved to take the family on trips to Kennebunk, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, as well as enjoying picnics and taking rides to the beach on Sundays.  Francis loved gardening, picking blueberries and strawberries, as well as playing cribbage, collecting wind-chimes and taking in Football games.  Francis loved his family and took great care of them.  He would always be willing to lend a hand to whomever needed one; all they had to do was ask.  In their later years, Francis and Betty enjoyed the company of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  They were so important to them and they were extremely proud of all of them.          

Francis was a hard worker.  He worked many jobs during his life to provide for his family.  In 1944, Francis took a job with the Town of Wilmington, at the age of 21, and spent thirty six years there working as a foreman and the superintendent for the cemetery department before his retirement in 1980.  Francis also worked for Coombs Furniture for over 30 years doing furniture deliveries.  Francis also spent many years as the “right-hand man” of Bud Lyford, former owner of the Nichols Funeral Home, whatever Bud needed, Francis was always there with a helping hand.  After retirement, since he never finished high school, Francis secretly went back to school and received his GED on August 31, 1992, at the age of 69.

Francis was the beloved husband of Elizabeth V. (Akins) Downs. He was the devoted father of Wilfred F. “Bill” Downs & his wife Beverly of Lowell, Glenna Feeley & her husband John of Alton, NH, Francis E. “Frank” Downs, Jr. & his wife Pamela of Wilmington, Andrew “Mack” Downs & his wife Danielle of Pelham, NH, and the late Phyllis Hagan & her husband Joseph “Butch” of Delaware. Frances was the loving grandfather of Tina Allen, Wilfred F. II, Michael, Patrick, Courtney, and Timothy Downs, Joseph Barnes & his wife Earlene, Andrea Barnes, Dereck and Stephen Downs, Ben, Travis, Jarred and Jason Hagan and Jacob and Christine Downs, great-grandfather of John, Dillon, Angelina, Jaylyn, Natasha, Devin, Matthew Lylah, Kynley, Hannah and Cailyn.  Francis was the dear brother of Forrest Downs of Wilmington, Clifton Downs of Mansfield, Stella Flynn of Reading and the late Clayton, Clesson, Harvey, Edward and James Downs, Geneva Morrison, Charlotte Godett and Pauline Russo.  Francis is also survived by many nieces, nephews and friends.

Family and friends gathered for a Funeral Service on Tuesday, September 24th at 11:00 a.m. at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave., (Rte. 62), Wilmington.  Interment followed in Wildwood Cemetery.  Visiting hours were held Monday, September 23rd from 4 to 8 p.m.  Memorial donations in Francis’ name may be made to the Care Alternatives Hospice, 100 Locke Drive, Marlborough, MA 01752 or the Jimmy Fund, c/o Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168.


15 Entries in Guest Book for “Francis E. Downs, Sr.”

  1. Kelly Wayne & Joe says:

    So sorry for your loss. We are thinking of you.
    Wayno , Kelly & Joe

  2. Linda Guild says:

    Dear Mack, Danielle, Jake and Christine,

    My heart goes out to you and the whole Downs Family. Keeping you and yours in my prayers. You are a special family and much loved. I’m sure Gus will welcome Francis with open arms. Heaven just got another angel. 143

    Linda, Mike and Melissa.

  3. The DeMangos says:

    Dear Frank, Pam, Dereck and Stephen, We are so sorry for your loss. We just wanted you to know that we are thinking of you.
    The DeMango’s and the Anderson’s

  4. Barbara Colbath says:

    Glenna, Bill, Frank & Mack. I am Sorry for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you. May he rest in peace.

  5. Carolynn and John Morrison, Ethan, Nathan Downs says:

    Bill, Glenna, Frank, Mack and Phyllis (in heaven). I am so sorry for the loss of a great person. He was a special person and uncle to us all. Hope he can sleep peacefully for all eternally.

  6. Joan and George Phillips says:

    Frank We are so sorry to hear about your dad’s passing

  7. Frank West says:

    To the Downs family-
    Karen and I are saddened by your loss. Our prayers are with you and your family. With Deepest Sympathy – Frank and Karen West

  8. Laurie Doherty says:

    Mack, Danielle, Jake, and Christine,
    So very sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers and with all of you and your family during this difficult time. I hope the love and support of your friends and family help you through this.

  9. Carol Fraser says:

    Dear Glenna, Bill, Mack and Frank,
    I am so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. I will always remember his smile and cheerful personality. He was such a hard working and caring man. He will be missed.

  10. Debbie O'Brien says:

    Dear Frank and family, my family and I would like to express our deepest sympathy to you during this sad time. Debbie O’Brien and family

  11. Arlene and Rick Muse says:

    Frank, Pamela, Derek and Stephen, we are so sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you at this very sad time. He was surrounded by love and is at peace now. Hugs for all of you.

  12. Wayne and Maureen Parsons says:

    Frank, Pam, Derek and Steven,

    We are very sorry for your loss. Your father was a wonderful man and now he is an angel in your connor. We are praying for you all.

    Wayne, Maureen, Ryan, Erica , John, and Eva.

  13. Tim Gilligan says:

    Mack and family,

    We are sorry to hear of the loss of your father. Our thoughts are with you at this sad time.

    All our best,
    Tim & Karen and family

  14. Janet Hawes says:

    Bev-Bill–sorry for your loss. I hope you can find comfort in the memories you have of your dad, and all the wonderful times you spent with him. Please take care of each other during this sad time.

  15. Dee payton says:

    I am your mom’s ny cousin. By the time I found some good news for her, she passed. I am so sorry I will never get to meet either of them. Do contact me when you are ready. I have some photos, one of which I believe is Betty as a little girl. Again, deepest condolences.

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