/ Obituaries / Dorothy Cullen Dowling

Dorothy Cullen Dowling


Dorothy Cullen Dowling, 89, of Beloit, died on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019 in her home.

She was born on Jan. 8, 1930 in Paterson, NJ to John and Mae (Geiser) Cullen. Dorothy attended Paterson State before marrying Harry Dowling on May 30, 1951. For 30 years she and Harry lived in Skillman, N.J., where they raised their four children. As a young mother she volunteered at the Rocky Hill Library and in her children’s classrooms. In her late 30s she returned to college and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Trenton State College at the age of 42. Dorothy then worked for 20 years as a math teacher for the Lawrence Township School District, teaching algebra and geometry at both the junior and high school level.

After she and Harry retired, they moved to northern Wisconsin. There they bought a home in Lac du Flambeau where their children and grandchildren could visit, swim, fish and enjoy spending time on the lake. They had 12 wonderful years entertaining friends and family at their home on Fence Lake. While living in Lac du Flambeau, Dorothy and Harry made lifelong friends and many wonderful memories. Dorothy volunteered as a teacher’s aide in the Lac du Flambeau Elementary School kindergarten and first grade classrooms and they were both active in the St. Anthony Catholic church community. Harry and Dorothy also volunteered at the Dr. Kate Hospice, Harry visiting patients and Dorothy doing clerical work. They traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and internationally, including trips to Europe, China, Russia, and Australia. Dorothy continued to travel into her 80s, traveling with family and friends to Costa Rica, Russia, Alaska and finally a cruise on the Danube when she was 87.

Following Harry’s death on Dec. 31, 2003, Dorothy moved to Beloit to be closer to family. She spent the last 14 years making friends, participating in a variety of book and social/friendship clubs, volunteering as a valet and escort at Beloit Memorial Hospital, providing clerical support at Beloit Regional Hospice, as a Friend at Beloit Library, and watching eight of her great-grandchildren grow up. Dorothy was a life-long learner and an active participant in the SLU classes offered in Beloit.

Dorothy had a wonderful life, full of travel, friends and family. She was glad that she was able to experience the joy of raising her children and having a full teaching career a little later in life where she was able to share her love of math as an educator. She was most proud of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Dorothy appreciated every opportunity to celebrate important milestones in the lives of her family, including birthdays, graduations and weddings. She attended nearly every one of her grandchildren’s graduations, watching them receive undergrad, graduate and doctoral degrees.

Dorothy will be remembered as a kind, wise and caring wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. Despite her diminutive size, she was incredibly resilient and an absolute rock for her family. She was an avid reader who consistently devoured four or more books weekly, a dedicated crossword puzzle solver, and a life-long democrat who cared deeply about our democracy. She never missed an election, in spite of the obstacles her numerous bouts of cancer and more recent health issues presented. 

Survivors include her four children, Matthew (Debbi Knox) Dowling, Leslie (Mike) Masterson, Holly (Todd Meurer) Dowling, and Megan (Jim) Miller; 10 grandchildren, Jason (Jessie) Masterson, Rhiannon Dowling, Andrea (Brett) Ehret, Jenelle (Cedar Mather-Winn) Dowling, Cauley Meurer, Haley Miller, Alex Miller, Zach Miller, Cullen Meurer, Olivia Miller and Dwayne Zabicki; eight wonderful great-grandchildren, Oliver, Lucy, Miles and Oscar Masterson, and Case, Tyce and Knox Ehret, and Lua Dowling; daughter-in-law, JoAnn Dowling; siblings, Mary (Harv) Hagedorn and Robert (Ellie) Cullen; numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Harry and two siblings, John E. Cullen Jr. and Rita Siedel. 

Dorothy was thankful for the extra, high quality years she was able to enjoy due in large part to Dr. Kushner and his wonderful team at UW Hospital-Gynecology Cancer Center, and for the recent support and care provided by the Beloit Regional Hospice team. 

A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019 in the Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, 2222 Shopiere Rd., Beloit, WI, with Fr. Michael Resop officiating. Visitation of remembrance will be from 12:30 p.m. until 2:15 p.m. Tuesday in the church. Inurnment will be in Roselawn Cemetery, Madison. Daley Murphy Wisch & Associates Funeral Home and Crematorium, 2355 Cranston Rd., Beloit, WI, assisted the family with arrangements.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be given in her name to Beloit Regional Hospice, 655 3rd St., Beloit, WI 53511.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.daleymurphywisch.com.

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