Edmund L. Downes was a huge Nascar fan. He loved watching it on television, and he used to have season tickets to the Dover International Speedway in Delaware, where he would take his family to watch his all-time favorite driver, the late Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Mr. Downes, a retired carpenter, died at home on Jesse Halsey Lane in Sag Harbor on May 4 at the age of 73. His family buried him with his favorite Nascar baseball hat and a hammer.
Mr. Downes had emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and debilitating back pain, his son, Edmund J. Downes of Sag Harbor, said.
Mr. Downes, a carpenter for the better part of his life, was a hard worker. “He worked so that we could do better,” his son said.
Born at Southampton Hospital on Dec. 7, 1940, Mr. Downes was a lifelong Sag Harbor resident. His parents were Edmund M. Downes, who worked at the old Bulova watchcase factory, and the former Genevieve Bruzdoski. He grew up on Green Street in the village and later moved to Fordham Street.
While attending Pierson High School, he met Marilyn Menaik. They were married for 51 years and built their house on Jesse Halsey Lane. She survives him.
He was employed by Joe Labrozzi and later Pat Trunzo Sr. A member of the Sag Harbor Fire Department for 17 years, he held the ranks of captain and warden.
Mr. Downes was especially close with his grandchildren, Frank Capozzola, who often went with his grandfather to the races, and R.J. Capozzola. They could often be found at Mr. Downes’s house, hanging out with Pop, as they called him.
In addition to his wife, son, and grandchildren, he is survived by two daughters, Catherine Capozzola and Lynn Politi, both of Sag Harbor.
A Mass was said at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Sag Harbor on May 7, followed by burial at St. Andrew’s Cemetery. His family recommended donations in his memory to the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps, of which his son is the president, P.O. Box 2725, Sag Harbor 11963, or East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach 11978.