Jeanmarie Dowling, age 57, died on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at Overlook Hospital in Summit with her loving family by her side.
Jeanmarie was my love, my partner, my friend. I was blessed to have her for these past 40 years. Our mutual desire to be on the go, love for sports, and career in IT, was our initial attraction.
Jeanmarie could be my tough chick from Brooklyn, always aware, never to be taken advantage of, and confident. She was also my Catskills girl, owning a horse, working on an active farm, and riding three-wheelers. She always had the “I can do it” attitude. When her family transitioned from city to country, it was 13 year old Jeanmarie who climbed the multistory frame of their new house and built the roof with her father. This was my wife, a woman that adapted to any situation, accepted any challenge. Tack on her good heart, creativity, quick wit, and assortment of boisterous laughs and I was sold.
From a family of teachers, women scientists, and New York City firemen, Jeanmarie was able to operate in all sorts of professional, personal and geographic environments: her upstate college years, professional excellence as project and program manager for the top financial firms, and traveling the world.
Jeanmarie enjoyed being part of any game, activity, or organization to meet people and socialize. She played on her company’s softball team and in a soccer league. We teamed up together in tennis and on volleyball leagues, and together became members in the Hunterdon Sailing Club (Jeanmarie having a boating license). Although not a fan of golf, she would play to appease me. We played cards, bunco, and board games with friends and family. She was a member of The Newcomers Club of North Hunterdon (NCC), welcoming families having recently moved into our county. Being competitive and a good sport was my Jeanmarie.
Jeanmarie was family oriented, having spent holidays, vacations, and events with relatives and friends. She was a loving mother and provided for her two boys, Justen and Shawn. She was able to balance work and home while never missing her son’s events and milestones. She was the cool mom, who spent mother’s day each year riding the coasters at Dorney Park with her thrilled boys. As they grew up, she could listen and question and have respectful, thoughtful conversation and debate. Jeanmarie’s impact resulted in our boys being honest, hard-working, and thoughtful young men who are appreciative of their mother.
Her true love and calling was travel. From an early age, Jeanmarie’s family cross country camping trips had her hooked. Her passion for travel had us purchase a camper, tour up and down the east coast, visit Bermuda, Bahamas, Mexico, California, Las Vegas, Alaska, Italy, Ireland, and see Canada in a houseboat.
We loved and enjoyed every day of our life together and she lives on through the way she shaped myself and our boys.
She is survived by her parents, James and Patricia Durney, her beloved husband, Thomas, her two amazing boys, Justen and his wife, Maria Dowling and Shawn Dowling. Jeanmarie is also survived by her brothers, Frank Durney and Mark Durney and her sister, Kathleen O'Connell.
Jeanmarie was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer, a non-curable disease, in 2016. Our initial conversation with medical “professionals” would have had her cancer removed along with one lung. These “professionals” indicated that without his operation, Jeanmarie might survive a month (+/-) and indicated that their operation may extend her life for another 3 to 6 months. We were devastated.
Wisely, after calling friends and family, we contacted Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) who discarded the surgery recommendation and advised fighting our cancer with treatment. Confident that her cancer could be controlled, no drop-dead date was discussed. MSK’s treatment had reduced her tumors’ size and suppressed their growth. For four more precious years, Jeanmarie led a normal live (working, traveling, living). She was even able to participate in the lovely, outdoor, intimate wedding of her eldest son and new daughter-in-law in this time of COVID.
Please, trust only those organizations that specialize in cancer treatment and consider getting that 2nd and 3rd opinion. Reach out to MSK, Mount Sinai, or Robert Wood Johnson. DO NOT wait, address the issue, seek the experts, extend your life! MSK gave me my wife and our boys their mother.
Please honor our request to follow the Covid-19 social distancing rules that we have in place. Understanding that we may not agree on the transmission causes, we need to be considerate of those individuals that fear contracting this virus.
It is Jeanmarie’s family’s wishes that the viewing inside the funeral home will be limited to immediate family. Her family hopes to accept your condolences at the funeral home on Sunday, November 29, 2020 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM via a drive-thru, (the family will greet you outside) so you will not have to exit your vehicle, relaying your support and well wishes verbally only. The funeral home staff will be present to direct you.
A funeral mass will be celebrated on Monday, November 30, 2020 at 10:00 AM at Immaculate Conception Church, Annandale. All are welcome to attend.
In lieu of flowers the family has requested memorial donations be made through IN Memory Of at www.inmemof.org/jeanmarie-dowling for the benefit of Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital.