Gwendolyn Downes

Obituary of Gwendolyn Downes

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Gwendolyn “Gwennie” Downes passed away peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at the age of 63, at the Plymouth Rehabilitation and Health Care Center. She had been enduring kidney disease for an extended period of time.

Born on August 14, 1960, in Boston, MA, to Stephen and Luella Downes, Gwennie lived a life marked by her gentle and loving nature despite her profound intellectual disability and being nonverbal. Raised with her family at home in Dorchester, MA, Gwennie loved to run, and she was fast! However, as she grew, it became impossible to keep her safe. Stephen and Luella spent a great deal of time and resources to find the best care for Gwennie, which led her first to Wrentham State School and then to various group homes in the Wrentham area. Across the decades, Gwennie continued to be lovingly cared for by her parents, with Luella, in particular, spending many a Sunday taking her for walks, bringing her to picnics, cutting her hair, or doing her nails—which Gwennie especially enjoyed.

Though unable to speak, Gwennie's mischievous and affectionate spirit shined through. She was known for her speed in drinking any unattended soda, and she enjoyed holding hands. She also liked to keep things neat and tidy, a family trait.

Gwennie is survived by her parents; her older brother, Stephen Jr. (Maureen) Downes of Kingston, MA; her younger brother, Gerald (Kimball) Downes of Amherst, MA; her nephews, Calvin and Reece Downes; and her niece, Milena Downes. The Downes family expresses deep gratitude for the many caregivers, nurses, and doctors who have helped care for Gwennie.

A funeral service will be held at Shepherd Funeral Home in Kingston, MA, on Thursday, May 30, 2024, at 12:00 PM, with visitation beginning at 11:00 AM. Pastor Judith Paige will officiate the service.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Gwendolyn
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Shepherd Funeral & Cremation Service - Kingston
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Gwendolyn Downes

In Loving Memory

Gwendolyn Downes

1960 - 2024

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