Vincent J. Dowling, Sr., VL '49

Vincent J. Dowling, Sr. of Vero Beach, FL, passed away peacefully on Monday, February 27th surrounded by his loving family. Born December 20, 1927, in Bayside, NY he was the fourth of seven children of Victor H. and Joan (Reardon) Dowling.

In 1930, he moved with his family to Hartford, CT and later West Hartford, CT, where he attended St. Augustine School, Plant Junior High and Hall High School, class of 1945. While at St. Augustine he was a member of the Boys Brigade and won several prizes for model airplane construction. For three years he started in every game on the Hall High School men’s varsity soccer team, which in 1945 was undefeated, untied, and never scored upon. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Society. Following graduation in May 1949 he began working at Veeder Root Industries in Hartford as Chief Operating Engineer. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in November 1950. Following basic training, he was assigned as an engineer to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. There he spent two years working on new ordnance designs, before being deployed to Korea. Assigned to the front lines as a combat engineer, he was awarded the Bronze Star, among other commendations. In September 1953, First Lieutenant Dowling was honorably discharged from active duty, and returned to West Hartford to study in the night program at the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Continuing his military service in the Army Reserve, he spent the next four years working at Veeder Root and studying law. Graduating and joining the Connecticut Bar in 1957, he practiced law with his brothers Victor & Donald at Dowling & Dowling on Lewis Street in Hartford, during which time he resigned from the Army Reserves with the rank of Captain. In 1962, he joined Cooney & Scully, later renamed Cooney, Scully, and Dowling, where he practiced law and tried cases in state and federal courts for more than 40 years.

Building on his background as an engineer, he developed an internationally respected practice in construction law, with an emphasis on defense of architects and related complex litigation. In addition to extensive pro bono case work, he spent more than two decades as legal counsel for the Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford. He joined the Florida Bar in 1986. He and his wife were founding parishioners at Saint Peter Claver Church in West Hartford, CT.

Having grown up spending his summers near the beach at Old Lyme Shores, in Old Lyme, CT he and his wife purchased a cottage there in 1965, where they and their sons enjoyed many summers. Their children grown, they purchased a summer home in Niantic, CT where his wife had spent youthful summers sailing and lifeguarding. They continued to return for summers in their native Connecticut.

An early member of Wampanoag Country Club, he later joined the Hartford Golf Club, where he loved playing golf with his wife, as well as with family and friends. He and his wife have been members of the Johns Island Club in Vero Beach, Florida since 1984, and have lived there full-time for the past 25 years. They loved socializing and playing golf there with his friends, children, and grandchildren.

He was an avid Red Sox and Patriots fan and looked forward to a recurring wager on the outcome of the annual Lehigh-Lafayette football game.

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 65 years, Jane Cooney Dowling; his four children, Vincent J. Dowling, Jr. and his wife, Veronica, of Vero Beach, FL, Douglas J. Dowling of Old Saybrook, CT, S. Colin Dowling and his wife, Nicola, of Vero Beach, FL, Joseph G. Dowling of Vero Beach, FL as well as by his brother Gregory F. Dowling of Old Lyme, CT. He was predeceased by his siblings, Donald H. Dowling, Esq. of Avon, CT, Gerard J. Dowling, Esq. of Old Lyme, CT, Kevin V. Dowling, M.D., Joan A. Dowling, Denise A. Dowling and Victor Dowling - all of West Hartford, CT. He will be greatly missed by his seven grandchildren, Vincent J. Dowling III, Alexanderson J. Bourdon, Porter R. Dowling, Colin P. Dowling, Nicholas C. Dowling, Claire M. Dowling, Grace Dowling and two great-grandchildren, Ava Jane and Peyton Amelie Bourdon.

Friends and family are invited to a Mass of Christian Burial Friday, March 10, 2023 at 10:00 AM at St. Peter Claver Church, 47 Pleasant St., West Hartford. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford.

This obituary was taken in part from Treasure Coast posted online March 4, 2023