Obituary of Dennis A. Dowling Jr.
Dennis Arnold Dowling Jr., born on February 6, 1939, died on August 29, 2021, at 82 years old after a short illness. As a life-long resident of Adrian, Mich., Dennis made an impact as a community leader and volunteer, civil servant at the Adrian Fire Department, building industry advisor and as a devoted family man.
Dennis was predeceased by his wife, Jacqueline Dowling in 2005 and two siblings, Jerry Dowling, and Karen Emero. Dennis is survived by his second wife, Janett Dowling; his children, Dennis Dowling III, Shawn Dowling (Beth), and Patrick Dowling (Tiffany); his stepchildren, Kristi Perez (Chris), Kari Economou (Adam) and Mat Petzold (Bridgette); his grandchildren, Kyle Dowling, Ellen Dowling, and Zach Dowling (Morgan); step grandchildren, Karley Schmidt, Jericha Schmidt, Brady Petzold and Kenzie Petzold, and great granddaughter, Rylin Dowling. He is also survived by his brother John Dowling (Mary) and sister, Mary Snyder (Gary).
A kind, humble man, who always made a difference in the lives of others, dedicated his life to service. It began with his mom and siblings. At an incredibly early age as the eldest son, he did household chores, watched over his brothers and sisters, and held a job to support his family. After marrying Jackie February 27, 1960, Dennis was determined to use the characteristics he proudly said he gained from his mom including unwavering patience, a strong work ethic and the ability to thrive no matter the difficulty.
Dennis had a strong work ethic, but he also was a life-long learner and a proud mentor. From the beginning of his career, he read everything he could about his field and provided opportunities for colleagues and young firefighters to do the same. He used his knowledge and volunteerism to increase the effectiveness of the fire department over his 32-year career and did the same in the trades industry through Beaubien Construction and Stevenson Lumber, where he worked on his off-firefighting days through the years and later after retiring from the fire department.
His passion for people, and his commitment to responsibility and safety culminated throughout his lifetime. Blessed with the ability and passion to use his hands in the construction trades, an economic downturn in the 1960s motivated him to seek an open position at the Adrian Fire Department where he ultimately retired as a Captain in January 1996. He is credited for bringing a greater focus on training, fire inspections, community programs and public education. He helped to build a more professional and prestigious department that aided in changing perceptions about the 1960s typical firefighter.
Although his work life was very full, he found time to volunteer at the Lenawee County Red Cross, volunteer and teach firefighting techniques and EMS classes for the Adrian Township Fire Department and volunteered for Call Someone Concerned, a community crisis hotline where Dennis and his wife Jackie answered calls at all hours of the night. In addition, he would be found in the parental ranks at baseball and softball games, wrestling matches, theatre performances and any other event his children participated in.
Dennis married Jan on January 26, 2008, and joyfully added to his family. Throughout the years, he worked to keep them connected through holiday events and gatherings and was even an avid texter and Facebook follower. His second retirement from his full-time position at Stevenson Lumber was in June of 2015. This afforded him an opportunity to travel, and he and Jan enjoyed many years at a second home in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida.
Visitation will be held at Anderson-Marry Funeral Home in Adrian on Thursday, September 2, 2021, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a scripture service held at 7 p.m. A funeral mass is scheduled on Friday, September 3, 2021, at Holy Family Parish, St. Mary Campus at 10:30 a.m. Visitation will be held prior to mass starting at 9:30 a.m. Burial will be held in Oakwood Cemetery.
You may send condolences to the family at www.andersonfuneralservices.com. In lieu of flowers, donations should go to the Michigan Red Cross at https://www.redcross.org/local/michigan/ways-to-donate.htm.
Vigil Prayer Service
Adrian Chapel - 3050 W. Beecher Rd. Adrian, Michigan 49221 517-265-3312
Tecumseh Chapel - 1448 Short St. Tecumseh, Michigan 49286 517-424-1848
Blissfield Chapel - 9205 E. U.S. Hwy. 223 Blissfield, Michigan 49228 517-486-4400
Hudson Chapel - 415 W. Main St. Hudson, Michigan 49247 517-448-3481
Morenci Chapel - 303 N. Summit St. Morenci, Michigan 49256 517-458-2311
Fayette Chapel - 412 W. Main St. Fayette, Ohio 43521 419-237-2564