John F. Downs

John Downs, a retired schoolteacher, died peacefully at his home in Bridgewater on February 13 at 71.

He was born and raised in Oak Bluffs, graduating from Oak Bluffs High School with the class of 1956. After earning a bachelor of arts degree from the College of the Holy Cross in 1960, he spent the next two plus years as an officer in the U.S. Navy on the USS Aeolus, leaving service as a LT(jg).

In 1968, he began a teaching career in mathematics of more than 40 years, retiring from Stoughton High School after more than 30 years in 2000, and then from Cardinal Spellman High School after an additional 10 years in November 2010.

He leaves behind his wife of more than 31 years, Jill (Howsen) Downs; a son, Todd, of Austin, Texas; a daughter, Caitlyn, and a son, Andrew, both of Bridgewater. He is also survived by brothers Charlie (Gaynell) of South Hadley Falls; Mike (Martha) of Alexandria, Va.; Tim of Falmouth; a sister, Mary Butler (Eric) of Mansfield; and numerous nieces/nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Margaret Downs, formerly of Oak Bluffs, and his brother Jerry.

A funeral mass will be celebrated at Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Bridgewater Friday, Feb. 18, at 9 am with burial immediately following at the Saint Thomas Aquinas Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Old Colony Hospice at 1 Credit Union Way in Randolph, Massachusetts 02368.