William T. Downs Fire Station dedication

Bunny Downs, center, the widow of former Fire Chief William T. Downs, cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of the new fire station named in her husband’s honor.

Dozens of Andover residents gathered recently at the newly named William T. Downs Fire Station in Ballardvale.

“He would have liked to be here a lot,” said Reginald “Buzz” Stapczynski, the former town manager Downs worked for. Downs died in 2019.

Stapczynski recalled Downs was always happy to take part in any town festivity and event, including the annual Santa Claus Parade, which Downs created with two other firefighters.

The fire station was named for Downs because of his commitment to the town, serving as a professional firefighter and volunteering in numerous capacities, said Town Manager Andrew Flanagan.

Downs’ family has also been an integral part of Andover, with his wife Bunny and two of his three daughters also working for the town, Stapczynski said, thanking them for their service as well.

Downs was a firefighter for 31 years, and was one of the first certified EMTs for the town. He served as chief from 1977 to 1986. He then became a Select Board member for 12 years after his retirement.

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