John Maurice Downs

February 15, 1944 - March 4, 2023
April 21, 2023 44 Condolences Print Obituary Send Flowers

It is with deep sorrow and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our dad, John Maurice Downs, on March 4th, 2023.

Born in England on February 15th, 1944 and raised in Edmonton, Alberta where he lived for 76 years. He loved Alberta and he was an Edmontonian through and through. Even though his girlfriend, his sister, his two daughters and five grandchildren lived in BC, he refused to leave his hometown. He swore he would live in Alberta until the day he died and that’s exactly what he did.

He was a man of his word. He served his community as a member of the Edmonton Fire Department for 35 years and retired as Platoon Chief in August 2002. Not only did he fight fires and risk his life to save others but he also fought for better working conditions and for the rights of his fellow brothers and sisters. He was Treasurer of the Edmonton Firefighters Union for many years.

He was stubborn. He loved a good debate. He loved to gamble. He loved all sports, especially hockey, football and golf. His favourite day was Sunday. He loved to take naps on the couch. He loved dogs. He loved the dollar store, a good cup of coffee, his cigarettes and his Wiser’s whiskey mixed with caffeine free diet coke. He loved pistachio nuts, caesar salad and hamburger soup.

He was a sharp dressed ladies man and never ever left his house without perfectly combed hair and after shave - as he would say a splash of cologne was a “Ukrainian shower”. He loved his 1972 orange VW Bug he called Punken and he loved to take her for a cruise around town with the windows rolled down and country music playing on the radio.

He loved a lot of things throughout his life but what he loved most of all was Iris, his girls Julie and Jennifer, his sister Pat and his grandkids, Jake, Ivy, Jeff, Ella and Kylee.

We love you Dad. We love you Grampa Downs! Cheers to you and the life you lived the way you wanted to live it.

May you Rest in Peace.

Please join us on April 27, 2023, 2:00 pm at the Kingsway Legion, 14339 50 St NW, Edmonton for a celebration of life to honour our Dad.

  1. RIP JD. I knew you and your Dad for many years, we were neighbors. I came on the job shortly after you did. You were the sharpest dresser I ever knew and you made others dress to your standards.
    You will be sorely missed John.
    Your dear friend Tom Moshuk

    • Thank you Tom!

  2. Most sincere condolences to the Downs family. I never worked any shifts with him but our paths crossed regularly. He was a staunch supporter for the firefighters in negotiations. RIP John.

    • Thank you Roy!

  3. Good man he shur did have a way about him everything had to b a certain way

    • Thank you Johnathon!

  4. You were a good man!
    Rest in Peace

    • Thank you Stephen!

  5. Worked a few shifts with John and I remember many many union meetings.
    John was a good man of principal and never asked of any one to do something he would not do himself
    You will be missed John.
    Rest in peace brother, a job well done.

    • Thank you Glen!

  6. Johnny Q Firefighter … I met you when you were elected as Treasurer to Local 209. I think the boys elected you because you had the shiniest shoes, most iron and pressed clothing and a compassionate heart for fairness to all firemen!
    As we became friends for life we had many great times always sharing our (sometimes opinionated) points of view with each other. Missing you our friend!

    • Thank you Helen!

  7. Your bothers and sisters are better off for the work you did my deepest condolences to your family

    • Thank you Leon!

  8. Not enough words to express how much I enjoyed working with you John and the many laughs with the guys when we played hockey going to the tournaments with the EFD . You will be sadly missed Dumper, rest in peace and my condolences to your family.

    • Thank you Tom!

  9. My Sincere Condolences to the Downs Family. I had the distinct honour of watching John work, for the Good of the Membership, at numerous Union Meetings over the years. If I said that they were entertaining at times, that would be a understatement. John was always up for a good debate. He spoke with conviction. It didn’t matter if it was the Department Administration, City Council or even our own EFFU Executive members, John never backed down. He was a admirable member of the EFFU. He leaves a legacy of his hard work within the EFFU Collective Agreement. You made a Difference for numerous people. Rest In Peace Brother. Sincerely, Peter Mickelsen

    • Thank you Peter

  10. Had fun at old #2 Stomper,Murray,Acres,Swab,Moon,Kok,Capt Scotty and many more great guys
    Rest in peace Pal

    • Thank you Rey!

  11. Glad to see the mix up has been corrected. though I am now 6000miles away I have fond memories of both our nights out and working around the department you were a good friend to me during my service and I am sure they will appreciate you in your new place of rest!!! Boomer.

    • Thank you Boomer!

    • Hi Julie Downs,
      We send our 2nd condolences on the loss of your father.
      Do realize this is a later contact, I am the wife of ‘Boomer’ Dave Broomfield,
      who worked with your father many years and was a friend.
      We were talking..and both have a question for you regarding your father, who,
      incidentally, stood up for us at our wedding in Edmonton, Sept/2000,
      with our following reception at The Hotel McDonald.
      We now live in Slovenia so are often limited with the goings on at EFD.
      Would you contact myself on my email.?
      I know no other way to contact you.
      Thank you Julie, it is appreciated.
      Best Regards, ( Mrs. ) Anita Broomfield and ‘Boomer’

      • Hello Anita! Yes I would email you although I don’t have your email address. If you see this message perhaps you could post it here for me. Thanks!

  12. John was at Stn #8 where I came on the job as a Rookie for 2 1/2 years.
    John took me under his wing, taught me so many things and is most likely responsible for how I am today!!
    I had the honour and privilege of working with John at several Fire Stn’s and on the Union as a Trustee.
    John was not only a mentor, a friend… but a true Brother to me!
    He definitely was “One of a Kind”

    • Yes Ed… I 2nd that E-motion!!!

    • Thank you Ed!

  13. Just wanted let you know that I am very sorry for your loss. To just say that John was a colorful character would be a huge understatement. By happenstance, John was the first FF I had met @ old #11 (In the dungy front tv room) prior to my hire where he was eager to share tidbits of wisdom and a myriad of tales and sound advice. John had a big personality, big voice, and was a big contributor to the betterment of those with whom he worked. John was, and will be, missed.

    • Thank you Brad!

  14. I cut my teeth in the labour movement under the mentorship of JD, travelled many miles and experienced many adventurers. Rob and JD looked after us, their little Brothers and included us in all activities to learn the way and many other things. The IAFF and CAFF provided JD the stage and North America was his audience for “the show” and it entertained us for hours! Rest as you should Brother and Thank You for the ride.

    • Thank you Kim!

  15. Julie and Jennifer and family.I am so sorry for the loss of your Father. You are so right that your Dad was one of a kind. My husband Bob and him went back a long time. We lived in the same complex as your Mom and Dad in Roseland Village when you two were toddlers. We moved to Sherwood Park in later years and so did he. He would bring Punken over for visits. He was a good friend. Rest in Peace JD.

    • Nice to hear from you Lynda! I wasn’t sure how to get in touch with you. Thank you so much. Both my mom and dad have talked about the days in Roseland Village and how you were all good friends. I know my dad was very fond of you and Bob. He was also very proud to say that he knew Ryan 😊

      • Thank you Julie.

  16. I enjoyed working and playing hockey with you John.
    Rest in Peace Brother,

    • Thanks Gary!

  17. My condolences to the Downs family. John was well respected, always a positive person with character. (Jan. 1999) John being promoted to the new position of Platoon Chief. At EFD/City/EMS meetings, JD had his opinions and spoke with conviction that made for some interesting conversations. I had the honor to work with John as PCs, you are truly a good friend. Rest in peace JD.

    • Thank you Richard!

  18. My husband Bob Peden lived 2 doors down from your dad growing up in Prince Charles. Met up again in the fire department. When Bob was diagnosed with MS your dad was one of first to help us. That just shows his character. Rest In Peace John. Bob and Konnie Peden.

    • Thank you Konnie!

  19. Sorry to hear of your dad’s passing Julie & Jennifer. I hadn’t seen your dad in years. He will be having a drink with Jim & all the other retired firefighters. Carol Campbell & family

    • Thank you Carol! Nice to hear from you. Hope you’re doing well.

  20. Sincere condolences to the Downs family on the passing of Johnny, ”you didn’t butter the corners” Downs as he was known to my brother mike and i . After a hard night of entertaining following one of our hockey games out in Gibbons , JD wasn’t quite ready to call it a night and ended up at our townhouse in St. Albert. Of course at 4 in the morning hunger set in so it was time for toast with peanut butter and jam, along with a few more whiskeys and beer. Being a good host we served johnny a full plate of toast only to have him complain to us that we hadn’t buttered the corners!! What a guy. knew johnny for over 45 years and had the pleasure of playing hockey with him in Gibbons and then later with the St. Albert firefighters. Had some great times out in gibbons and a great goalie for us. sad that my brother and i missed his service on the 27th as i found out about it later that night but i did phone him last fall and had a great conversation with him reminiscing about old times. The first thing he mentioned was ” not buttering the corners”. I had asked him how he was doing and he mentioned he felt great at the time but had been going through a few issues previously. I’m so glad that i had the opportunity to talk to him again. a man of conviction, especially with buttered toast, with that twinkle in his eye, he will be sadly missed.. Tim O’Neill

    • What a nice story! That sounds like my Dad! Thank you Tim. I’m glad you had a nice conversation with him 😊

Leave a message of Condolence

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *