Obituary of John F. Downes
John F. Downes, 89, of Gumboro, DE passed away in the care of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford on May 30, 2020. He was born in Bethel, DE on Feb. 13, 1931 to the late Horace and Hazel King Downes. Johnny, as many called him, served in the US Army during the Korean War, married his sweetheart Rosalie and took up farming. He led a life of service to the community and to his church. He was a founding charter member of the Gumboro Volunteer Fire Company, where he served for 65 years. In addition, he was an ambulance driver, and served another twenty plus years as a member of the Delaware State Fire Police, becoming a Captain. He served as a Chief Engineer in the Fire Company. He was a people person, a dedicated Christian man, who loved everybody. He was a member of Gumboro United Methodist Church and served as a lay leader. One of his hobbies was participating in the “counsel of elders” who met regularly at McDonald’s to solve the problems of the world. He also loved gardening, playing the autoharp and would help anyone in need. Most of all he was devoted to his family and his community, loving both dearly.
John is survived by his son: Chester W. Downes and his wife Vicki, of Gumboro and one grandson: Danny Stewart, a great-grandson: Colt Stewart. In addition he is survived by his Nephew Michael Redmond and his wife Janice and a great niece Kaitlyn Redmond and great nephew Brayden Redmond. He also leaves behind many extended family members and friends.
In addition to his parents, John was preceded by his wife, Rosalie; and a brother: James Downes.
A time of visitation and viewing will be held at the Gumboro Fire Company, Station 79 in Gumboro on Saturday June 6, 2020 from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM. During the visitation, adherence to the directives from the Public Health Department will be observed. Attendees must wear a mask and practice social distancing. There will be a limit to how many may be in the Fire Hall at one time, however as some depart, others may enter. A funeral service will be held at 1:00 PM with Pastor Robert Hudson and Pastor Leza Smack officiating. Seating will be limited to 30% of normal capacity, with social distancing. Interment will follow in the Millsboro Cemetery.
Flowers are welcomed, or memorial contributions may be made to the Gumboro Vol. Fire Company, 37030 Millsboro Hwy, Millsboro, DE 19966 or the Gumboro United Methodist Church, c/o Edith Rickards, 34922 Pear Tree Road, Millsboro, DE 19966.
Electronic condolences to: www.watsonfh.com
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GUMBORO FIRE CO
37030 MILLSBORO HWY, MILLSBORO DE 19966
GUMBORO UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
C/O EDITH RICKARDS 34922 PEARTREE ROAD, MILLSBORO DE 19966