John Downes

Obituary of John Edward Downes

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John Edward Downes passed away peacefully on January 1, 2024 after a wonderful, blessed life. John, or Joe to family and friends, was born in New Britain, CT and had recently celebrated his 87th birthday.


He is the brother to Eleanor Downes Bouchard and the son of the late Frank Downes and Eleanor Mabee Downes. John will be greatly missed by his loving wife of 63 years, Mary Ann Lynch Downes, and his adoring children and spouses Patrick and Allison Hudson Downes, Maribeth and Greg Macko, John and Kim Downes, Susan and Mark Bavaro, Eleanor Kelly, and Carrie and Peter Cerrato. Cherished as “King,” he was loved and respected by all of his sixteen surviving grandchildren Christian, Ryan and Amelia Downes, Lexie and Gregory Macko, John, Erin and Matthew Downes, Grace, Dominic, and Lucas Bavaro, Elizabeth and Frances Cerrato, Dillon, Tatum, and Shane Kelly and his recently deceased grandson Finnegan Kelly, as well as his great grandchild Cecilia Bavaro Loveday, and his many nieces and nephews.


John, or Joe to family and friends, grew up in New Britain, CT, and went to high school at the Taft School and graduated from the University of Notre Dame. He was proud of his education and loved following the Fighting Irish wherever they went, in winning and losing seasons both, and where he made lifelong friends with whom he shared his passion for fun, family, and never saying “no” to whatever came his way- unless asked “if he had enough.” After graduating from college, John went to work from the ground up at Frank Downes Construction Co. in New Britain, where he grew the company as president to prominence and proudly retired after 50 years when he happily stepped aside to transition to traveling with friends and family to his favorite places in Florida, Rhode Island, Nantucket, New York City, Phoenix, Chicago, and various capitals of Europe. John and Mary Ann raised their family in West Hartford, making enduring friendships. Their children flourished with their neighbors in an idyllic setting.


Never one to leave a party first, John enjoyed numerous activities like playing cribbage, bridge, and golfing as a member and instrumental board member of Shuttle Meadow Country Club in Kensington, Ct and at Indian Creek Country Club in Bal Harbour, FL, where he was also a member of the Board of Directors for over five years. He also loved to ski at Okemo Mountain, where he served on the Board of Directors, and where the family spent abundant holidays and vacations skiing, playing charades, playing bumper pool, and listening and dancing to the music of Neil Diamond, Roger Whitaker, and Don McLean. Although his work in this life is done, those who knew King were fortunate to have learned numerous valuable lessons from him on love, and laughter, and how to live to the fullest, without any regrets. Those who’ve taken his lessons to heart will continue to hold John in their spirit forever and remember him as a man of adventure, loyalty, kindness, and love.


Visiting hours will be on Friday, January 5th from 4:00-7:00 pm at the Farrell Funeral Home 110 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT. Friends and family are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Paul’s Church, 485 Alling Street, Kensington at 10:00AM on Saturday, January 6th. Burial will follow in Maple Cemetery, 1165 Worthington Ridge, Berlin.


Memorial donations may be made to The Hospital for Special Care-;2150 Corbin Avenue, New Britain CT, 06053, ( Donate to HFSC | Hospital for Special Care  ) and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, 3 Columbus Circle, 15th Floor, NY, NY 10019 in honor of John and his angelic grandchild Finn, who he joins now in heaven.





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4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, January 5, 2024
Farrell Funeral Home
110 Franklin Square
New Britain, Connecticut, United States

Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Saturday, January 6, 2024
St. Paul's Church
485 Alling Street
Berlin, Connecticut, United States


11:30 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, January 6, 2024
Maple Cemetery
1165 Worthington Rdg
Berlin, Connecticut, United States
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John Downes

In Loving Memory

John Downes

1936 - 2024

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