Margaret M. Downs Was Nurse, Active Volunteer

Margaret M. (Hickey) Downs, a longtime resident of Oak Bluffs, died at Marian Manor in Taunton on Feb. 7, after a long illness. She was the wife of the late Charles Downs, former superintendent of Island schools.

Born in Taunton in 1907, she was the daughter of Edward T. and Mary E. (Shea) Hickey. She attended St. Mary's School in that city, graduating in 1926. She then attended St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing in New Bedford. Following her graduation she accepted a job at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital in 1929 and worked as a registered nurse until her marriage in 1935. After raising her six children through their younger years, she returned to private duty nursing and again to the Martha's Vineyard Hospital. Following her retirement, she volunteered at the long term care unit of the Martha's Vineyard Hospital and was honored on several occasions for the hours she contributed.

She was a member of the Oak Bluffs Homemakers Club, the Oak Bluffs Hospital Auxiliary, the Sacred Heart Guild and the Altar Society of Sacred Heart Church. For her service to the church and her Christian example she was awarded the Marian Medal from the Bishop of Fall River.

Peg Downs was committed to her faith, her family and her community and conveyed that commitment in her modest, friendly way. She easily related to all generations and was much loved by members of each. Her counsel was resolute and deeply rooted, given easily with affection and without pretense. She considered it her responsibility to serve her neighbor, and all who knew her will remember her fondly and with a smile. Bless her heart.

She is survived by her children, Charles E. and his wife, Gaynell, of South Hadley and Oak Bluffs, Jerome F. of North Conway, N.H., John F. and his wife, Jill, of Bridgewater, Michael P. and his wife, Martha, of Alexandria, Va.,, Mary Elizabeth Butler and her husband, Eric, of Mansfield, and Timothy of Falmouth and Oak Bluffs. She also leaves 10 grandsons and one great-granddaughter.

Her funeral mass was celebrated in Sacred Heart Star of the Sea Church, Oak Bluffs at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 11. Interment followed in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Oak Bluffs. Visiting hours were from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday in the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs. The O'Keefe-Wade Funeral Home of Taunton is also assisting the family with the arrangements.

Memorial donations may be made to Sacred Heart Church, P.O. Box 1565, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.