American Veteran 01

James "Red" Dowling

April 7, 1923 ~ May 26, 2022 (age 99)

Obituary

Father, husband, grandfather, American hero, WWII Veteran, community leader, and a host of other esteemed adjectives can be used to describe James E (Red) Dowling.
Whether he was sharing his awe-inspiring stories or simply being a natural community leader, we’re proud to call James E Dowling our local celebrity and hero.

James Dowling was drafted in 1943 and became a Bombardier/Navigator for the 703rd Squadron, 445th Bomb Group in the 8th Army Air Corps. Jim’s Flight Leader and fellow war veteran was the famous actor Jimmy Stewart.
James became an officer and earned the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. However one fateful day on September 27, 1944 during his 11th mission on a bombing run over Kassel, Germany; he was shot down and taken as a prisoner of war.
Eventually, 2nd Lieutenant Dowling returned home as a decorated war veteran. Jim Dowling is featured in the “Faces of War” video series and has an entire chapter written about him in Tom Brokaw’s Book – ‘The Greatest Generation’. 

When Lt. Dowling returned home as a POW, war veteran, and American hero, simply settling down to enjoy life was not good enough. He married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy, fathered eight children and continued to be the shining example of service and sacrifice for his grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchild and everyone else that knew him.

One of the first things he did when he returned home from the service was begin a construction business and started Red’s seafood. He delivered clams all over the tri-state area including Fulton Fish Market in downtown Manhattan.  
He started the St. James Little League for children in the neighborhood and continued to serve in the capacity of president for 18 years.
Continuing his legacy of service, Jim Dowling was elected as Smithtown Highway Superintendent from 1960 - 1998. By operating the office like the military, he successfully created 250 miles of permanent roads. In addition, he altered the way the municipality dealt with snow storms by making it more proactive, which set the precedent of a system that is implemented nationwide to this day.
Jim was an avid golfer and one heck of a Gin Rummy Player.  He was a member of St. George’s Golf and Country Club for over 50 years.  
Jim Dowling lived an amazing life and loved every minute of it. He will be greatly missed. 

He is loving reunited in heaven with his sweetheart the Late Dorothy Dowling. He will be Remembered as a Loving Dad to James Dowling Jr, Douglas & Jeanne Dowling, Jeffrey & Aniela Dowling, Janet & Brett Weingarten ,Jean Dowling, Elizabeth & Robert Elderkin, Gregory & Donna Dowling, William & Christine Dowling. An adored Pop of 25 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren & 1 great great grandchild.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Monday
May 30, 2022

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
St James Funeral Home, Inc
829 Middle Country Rd
St James, NY 11780

Visitation
Monday
May 30, 2022

7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
St James Funeral Home, Inc
829 Middle Country Rd
St James, NY 11780

Funeral Mass
Tuesday
May 31, 2022

11:00 AM
Sts. Philip & James RC Church
454 N. Country Rd.
St. James, NY 11780

Interment with Military Honors
Tuesday
May 31, 2022

Smithtown Landing Cemetery
Landing Ave.
Smithtown, NY 11787

Donations

VFW Post # 395
460 Lake Ave., St. James NY 11780

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