Edward Thomas Downes, “Red Dog,” a devoted husband, father, and respected member of his community, peacefully passed away on Friday, May 10, 2024, in his hometown of Laurel, with his loving family by his side. Eddie leaves behind a legacy of hard work, dedication, and love. He was born Oct. 2, 1942, in Laurel, a son of the late Roscoe Edward Downes and Irene Virginia (Foskey) Downes.

Eddie proudly served his country in the U.S. Army National Guard from 1959 to 1964. Throughout his life, he excelled as a locomotive engineer in the railroad industry, working for Pennsylvania Railroad, Penn Central, Conrail, and Norfolk Southern. He advanced as an assistant superintendent for the Amtrak Baltimore Division but missed his love as an engineer and returned to the Laurel area and retired as a locomotive engineer in 2003. His commitment to his work was matched only by his commitment to his family and community. For many years he also owned and operated Red Dog’s Tavern in Delmar, raised chickens and loved spending time on the farm.

Eddie was a proud member of the Roelma Lodge #206 in Sharptown and a 32nd degree Master Mason. He was also a past member of the Laurel Ruritan Club and served as the Chairman of the BLE Local Chapter. Known for his impeccable work ethic and love for his community, he was a member of Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church where he found solace in maintaining the church and grounds of Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church and serving as the Chairman of the Trustees of Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

Eddie’s greatest passion was his family and had many fond memories of trips to Lancaster with Peggy, and supporting his children as they grew up in all of their school functions and sporting events. Once grandchildren came along, he became a proud pop-pop who loved picking them up from school, simply spending time with them and rarely missing a school play, a ball game or whatever they were involved in.

He is survived by his beloved wife of over 61 years, Peggy Ann (Insley) Downes; children, Edward Thomas Downes, Jr. and wife, Michelle, Darrell Thomas Downes and wife, Lezlie, Daniel Thomas Downes and wife, Luz, Angela Ann Hill and husband, Tracey, and Lisa Ann Culver and husband, Jason; grandchildren, Trey Downes, Tyler Downes, Bethany Laird, Mike Dodson, Matt Dodson, Logan Downes, Danny Downes, Lindsay Wilson, Hernan Guerrero, Vivian Guerrero, Carlos Guerrero, Brandi Perry, James Hill, Carlos Gonzalez, Alicia Gonzalez, Moshe Zrihen, Chanah Trevorrow, Jaylah Culver and Noah Culver; 31 precious great-grandchildren; a sister, Nancy Twilley and husband, Denny; and many nieces and nephews. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Alda Godwin.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the nurses and staff at VITAS Hospice for their comfort and care for Eddie.

Join us in honoring Edward’s life and legacy at his funeral service, to be held on Saturday, May 18 at noon at the Short Funeral Home in Delmar. Prior to the service, a visitation will take place from 10 a.m. to noon. Following the service, Red Dog will be laid to rest at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Laurel. Pastor Tim Dukes will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in his memory to Mt. Pleasant Cemetery Fund, c/o Angel Hill, 34580 Susan Beach Road, Laurel, DE 19956.

His presence will be deeply missed, but his memory will forever live on in the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Arrangements are in the care of Short Funeral Home in Delmar. Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.shortfh.com.