Dowling One Name Study

Dowling, John Edward

Dowling, John Edward

Male 1922 - 2004  (82 years)

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  • Name Dowling, John Edward  [1
    Born 16 Jan 1922  Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    • High Ridge
    Gender Male 
    Census 8 Apr 1930  Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Age: 8; Marital Status: Unmarried; Relation to Head: Son 
    Residence 8 Apr 1930  Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    High Ridge 
    Residence 1935  Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Census 18 Apr 1940  Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Age: 18; Marital Status: Unmarried; Relation to Head: Son 
    Award or Medal Medal: Combat Infantryman's Badge 
    Residence 18 Apr 1940  Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    323 Town 
    _MILT Between 1942 and 1945  [1
    Rank: PFC [Private First Class] 
    _MILT Between 1942 and 1945  [1
    Service: United States Army 
    _MILT 1942  Europe Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Unit: Infantry Anti-Tank Unit 
    Award or Medal 1944  Europe Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Medal: 1. Purple Heart 
    _MILT Dec 1944  Europe Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Battle of the Bulge, Ardennes Belgium and France 
    Award or Medal 1945  [1
    Medal: Soldiers Medal 
    Award or Medal Apr 1945  Europe Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Medal: 2. Purple Heart 
    Award or Medal 15 Apr 1945  Unter Gruppenbach, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster 
    Race White  [2
    Name Eddie Dowling  [1
    Name Edward Dauling  [2
    Name Edward Dowling  [2
    Name John Edward Dowling Sr  [1
    _MILT Jul 1945  USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Discharged 
    Occupation Aft 1945  Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent 
    Occupation Bef 1985  Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Attourney 
    Occupation 1985  Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Probate Judge 
    Reference Number 24508 
    Residence Bef 5 Feb 2004  Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Ridgefield Crossings on Route 7 
    Died 5 Feb 2004  Danbury, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • Danbury Hospital
    Buried Aft 5 Feb 2004  Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • St Mary's Cemetery; Central Block, SouthWest, Western Edge; 101092060
    Person ID I24508  Dowling-One-Name-Study
    Last Modified 23 Feb 2019 

    Father Dowling, Michael Joseph,   b. 5 Oct 1877, Mountrath, Laois, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. DECEASED  (Age > 75 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Kelly, Mary,   b. 8 Mar 1887, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 May 1972, Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F17165  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Malkiewicz, Regina Marie,   b. 24 Aug 1924, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Jan 1972, Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 47 years) 
    Children 
     1. Private  [natural]
     2. Private  [natural]
     3. Private  [natural]
     4. Private  [natural]
     5. Private  [natural]
     6. Private  [natural]
     7. Private  [natural]
     8. Private  [natural]
    Last Modified 23 Feb 2019 
    Family ID F17167  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 16 Jan 1922 - Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - Age: 8; Marital Status: Unmarried; Relation to Head: Son - 8 Apr 1930 - Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - High Ridge - 8 Apr 1930 - Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1935 - Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - Age: 18; Marital Status: Unmarried; Relation to Head: Son - 18 Apr 1940 - Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 323 Town - 18 Apr 1940 - Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent - Aft 1945 - Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Attourney - Bef 1985 - Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Probate Judge - 1985 - Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Ridgefield Crossings on Route 7 - Bef 5 Feb 2004 - Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 5 Feb 2004 - Danbury, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - Aft 5 Feb 2004 - Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos 6 Photos

  • Notes 
    • "Source: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/101092060/john-edward-dowling 27 Aug 2018

      John Edward Dowling, a popular Ridgefield attorney and raconteur who won two Purple Hearts in World War II, died Thursday, Feb. 5, at Danbury Hospital. He was 82 years old and had lived at Ridgefield Crossings on Route 7 for the past few years.
      "Eddie" Dowling, one of only a couple of Ridgefield natives to return to town to practice law, may also have been Ridgefield's favorite, and most entertaining, attorney. "He's the sweetest guy around," said Superior Court Judge Patricia Geen at a 1985 dinner in his honor. He's a "classic Irishman, a rare jewel," added Judge Howard J. Moraghan.
      At age 29, the former FBI agent was elected Ridgefield's probate judge, the first Democrat to hold that office in 70 years and the youngest probate judge in the state at the time.
      The son of Michael and Mary Kelly Dowling, he was born on Jan. 16, 1922, in a High Ridge house behind St. Mary's Church, where his father was the sexton for many years.
      As a boy, he earned money for the family delivering newspapers. One of his customers was Judge Joseph H. Donnelly, then the only lawyer in town. At a dinner honoring Judge Dowling some years ago, Judge Donnelly observed that the young Dowling had been a "skinny" paperboy. Judge Dowling replied: "Donnelly didn't tip too much either."
      Mr. Dowling graduated in 1939 from Ridgefield High School where the six-foot-four-inch student played basketball. He worked at the old Ridgefield Playhouse, clerked at a store, and drove a school bus to earn money while attending Danbury State Teachers College.
      Fought in Europe

      In 1942, he joined the U.S. Army and fought with the infantry in the invasion of Europe. Around Christmas 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge, he rescued two injured comrades. Typically quiet about his war years, Judge Dowling would say little about the event, describing it tersely: "We were under attack and these fellows got wounded and I went out and got them out, back to a medic. It was under fire, but I got away with it."
      Private Dowling was wounded twice in the war, the more serious injury occurring in April 1945 during the invasion of Germany. "The war was rapidly ending," he said in a 2002 interview. "We were liberating towns. They were happy to see us and not the Russians."
      He was a member of an infantry anti-tank unit, which set up a 57-mm gun on a road near the town of Unter Gruppenbach. An approaching German tank blew up the gun. Private Dowling and two other men were hit, and a fourth man was killed. Injured seriously enough to have been given the Last Rites, Private Dowling was sent to Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C., to recover, and was discharged from the Army in July.
      Though he won the Soldiers Medal, two Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, and other commendations, Judge Dowling rarely talked of his war exploits and did not even receive his medals until 40 years after the war - and then, only because his son, Michael, researched and requested them from the Army.
      Asked once about his war record, he replied, "You want a war record? Go see Dom Bedini. He jumped at D-Day."
      As for himself, "I was in the service - period."

      Late in life, when efforts were being made to record the experiences of Ridgefield soldiers in World War II, Judge Dowling allowed Press editor Macklin Reid to interview him on his service. He spoke little of the battle exploits, and much of the lighter incidents in the war.
      "We never did hit a tank," he admitted with a gleam in his eye. "My first shot with the anti-tank gun, I missed the tank and hit a house and it went through the basement. And you know what came out? Four hundred chickens! So after that, everyone in my unit would say, ‘Hit another house!' They liked dead chicken meat."
      Probate victory
      After his discharge, Judge Dowling obtained a law degree from Fordham University, and spent three years as an FBI agent in Illinois and Texas. He returned to town in 1951 and accomplished the then incredible: As a Democrat he was elected judge of probate, defeating the well-known Republican attorney Michael Bruno in a largely Republican town. The last Democrat to hold that office had been in 1879, and none has held it since.
      "The response of townspeople to his candidacy must warm this young man's heart and give him renewed inspiration to pursue his career with vigor and enthusiasm," a Press editorial commented at the time. "During his school years here, Eddie Dowling worked hard. He clerked in a grocery store to earn money to continue his education in teachers college and later law school. Here is a local boy who has made good, a youth who, by diligent application to a program of study and work, has demonstrated that Ridgefield boys and girls need not necessarily go far afield to make their way in life."

      Judge Dowling continued to practice law here for most of the next half-century. Many young attorneys began their careers working in his office, including Joseph Egan, the current probate judge, Romeo Petroni and Sue Reynolds, both of whom later became Superior Court justices, George M. Cohan, and Jane Belote.
      Townie
      At Monday's funeral Judge Egan called Judge Dowling "one of the best known and beloved people in Ridgefield." Describing him as a "townie in the true sense of the word," he said "Ed was great to and for the town of Ridgefield."
      "His life had its ups and downs," he added. "He handled them all with class and dignity."
      Jane Belote said, "More than any other attorney I have ever known, John Dowling truly loved the law and enjoyed being a lawyer. As a summer intern in his office I discovered that, despite the roguish sense of humor and abundant Irish charm, he brought to his practice not only a keen analytic mind but also understanding, concern and tolerance for his often colorful clients.
      "Unusual things happened regularly in John Edward's life," Attorney Belote said. "Every day was an opportunity for adventure."
      Pam Allen, who had been his legal secretary on and off for more than 30 years, said "he was a great boss. He was a legend. There won't be another like him, ever."
      Many remember him also as a caring man, who often used his legal skills to assist people in need. "He's helped Ridgefield a lot," The Press once said in an editorial. "He's one of the nicest guys in town, and if somebody needs a lawyer and can't afford to pay, he's the one most apt to help."

      Judge Dowling served the community as a member of the Board of Finance in the 1960s and the Veterans Park School Building Committee in the 1950s. He was appointed town attorney, both in the 1950s and in the late 1960s, and was frequently a moderator of town meetings. From 1959 to 1961, he was chief prosecutor in the Danbury Circuit Court, now the Superior Court.
      He was one of the founders and a director of the Village Bank and Trust Company.
      Judge Dowling was a longtime member of the Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department, and had served as a trustee for many years. At one point, he acquired an antique Seagraves fire engine, which he outfitted with church pews and used to haul fans to football games at Immaculate High School in Danbury. He later gave the truck to the Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department, which used it for parts in restoring and maintaining its 1931 Seagraves, which is used in parades.
      He had been active at St. Mary's Church where, in 1962, he chaired the committee that helped persuade voters to provide school bus transportation to St. Mary's School in the days before state law required public busing of private school children.
      In 2002, the Ridgefield Old Timers honored him at its annual awards banquet. Last May, he was a grand marshal of the Memorial Day Parade.

      He enjoyed golf, and played frequently with other leaders of the business and professional community. He was a member of the Silver Spring Country Club for many years.
      Famed for his sharp, wry wit, Judge Dowling regaled many with tales from his long career. Some described his FBI days, such as the time, in a Midwestern field, he stalked a criminal who turned out to be a scarecrow. Some told of unusual legal cases, such as the Bethel woman who left her sizable estate to a name she discovered using a Ouija board. And many were about life in Ridgefield, such as the time a well-known clergyman, who had been complaining for weeks about a pothole at a local gas station, grabbed a pole and went "fishing" in it to emphasize his point.
      When he was in his 70s, Judge Dowling lived for a number of years at Ballard Green, which he called "Geritol Gardens" and where he was still practicing law. One of the few single men living at the senior citizen community, he used to quip, "I never lock my door because there are 50 women watching it at all times."
      He had been a member of the Ridgefield Housing Authority for several years while at Ballard Green.
      Judge Dowling's wife, the former Regina Marie Malkiewicz, died in 1972. They met when he was an FBI agent in Chicago.

      He is survived by eight children and their spouses: Mary and Carl Marino of Scottsdale, Ariz., Michael and Susan Dowling of Fairfield, Claire and Nick Deane of Montauk, N.Y., Margaret and Rick Thurston of Wellington, Fla., Theresa and Brian Phillips of Wilton, Joseph Dowling of Ridgefield, Anthony and Kristie Dowling of Raleigh, N.C., and John Jr. and Joanne Dowling of Fairfield; 12 grandchildren; and a sister, Mary Zandri of Rapid City, S.D.
      A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday in St. Mary's Church.
      Contributions in his memory may be made to the Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department, 6 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield.
      The Kane Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. -Jack Sanders, The Ridgefield Press February 2004

      Son, Joseph Dowling () says, "He [John Edward Dowling] recieved several prestigeous medals for saving badly wounded soldiers while being shot at. Unfortunately he was blown up badly twice and pronounced dead on the battlefield by a preist. He had several impressive careers after that but always suffered from severe PTSD and bi polar mood swings despite being brilliant and charming during the day time. "

  • Sources 
    1. [S864] U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, Ancestry.com, (Name: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2012;).
      Record for Michael J. Dowling

    2. [S743] 1940 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, (Name: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2012;), Year: 1940; Census Place: Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut; Roll: m-t0627-00498; Page: 62B; Enumeration District: 1-126.
      Record for Michael Dauling & Levis Zandri
      1940 United States Federal Census - Michael Dowling
      1940 United States Federal Census - Michael Dowling
      Year: 1940; Census Place: Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut; Roll: m-t0627-00498; Page: 62B; Enumeration District: 1-126


    3. [S992] 1930 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, (Name: Ancestry.com Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2002;), Year: 1930; Census Place: Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0174; FHL microfilm: 2339994.
      Record for Michael J Dowling
      1930 United States Federal Census - Michael Dowling
      1930 United States Federal Census - Michael Dowling
      Year: 1930; Census Place: Ridgefield, Fairfield, Connecticut; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0174; FHL microfilm: 2339994