EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

May 12, 2013

Jo-Ann Helen Downs, 56

Litchfield, N.H. — Jo-Ann Helen Downs, of Litchfield, N.H., died Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center after a long battle with cancer. She was 56.

Jo-Ann was born in Dorchester and is the daughter of the late John and Evelyn O’Brien. She graduated from North Andover High School and spent much of her adult life in Lawrence, Mass., raising a family. In 1999, after working for many years at First Essex Bank, she received an administrative assistant certificate from Northern Essex Community College. She was a fantastic gardener and would macramé her own plant hangers. Jo-Ann was a gentle soul who had a smile for everyone. She found inspiration in the kind acts of others and strongly believed in strength from an indomitable will. Even in her most difficult moments with cancer she stayed strong and showed everyone around her love, kindness and that beautiful smile. Jo-Ann will be utterly missed.

She is survived by a loving partner, Michael John Santos of Litchfield, N.H.; a sister, Evelyn El-Haddad and husband, Asaad, of Taunton, Mass.; a brother, Patrick O’Brien of Wilmington, N.C.; and her three children, Christine Marie McNiff and husband, Nathan of Tampa, Fla., Clinton Nicholas Downs of Tampa, Fla., Kimberly Ann Newman and her husband, Donald, Laconia, N.H.; friends and extended family.

ARRANGEMENTS: A traditional cremation visitation will be held at the Davis Funeral Home, 1 Lock St., Nashua, NH, 03064, on Tuesday, May 14 from 5 to 7 p.m., with a prayer service being held at 6 p.m. Friends and family are invited to attend. There will be a mercy dinner, at the Santos residence, to follow. An online guest-book is available at www.davisfuneralhomenh.com. Call 603-883-3401. “One memory lights another.”