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Mar 13, 2009 I was Joan's treating doctor beginning in 1996. I have many, many memories of Joan. She was an incredibly sweet soul. She spoke kindly about everyone and was very compassionate and understanding of all. There was not a judgmental bone in her body. She was also very, very bright and recognized by everyone, including the Academy of Surveyors in Sacramento as having a wonderful grasp of the multitude of Federal and State Regulations that must be followed in Hospitals, Convalescent Homes, Out-Patient Surgery Centers and those centers regulated by the State. She was placed in charge of the State of California Department of Health, Licensing and Certification as the Department’s Regional Administrator of Southern California. This was a huge responsibility and she did it well until she retired. But, back to the human side.... Joan Dowling was a delightful soul. She and David just resonated in a love that transcends all time. They were soul-mates and had been devotedly in love since they met. Joan was very vigorous and strong. I was working with her through a number of traumas and very stressful situations which she handled with great skill. Her smile was her signature. It was enchanting. Her kindness was universal and encompassed everyone she knew. I would now focus on David's enduring love and devotion to his wife. I hold David in the highest esteem for his care-giving, love, and daily concerns for Joan's well being. I have so many stories that I could tell over these past 13 years..... Joan and David. David and Joan. I will be impressed forever with the devotion of Joan with David and with David with Joan. I will be ever impressed with Joan, David, and their love for one another. William C. Munn, II, M.D.

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Cheryl, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Your descriptions of your mother, during our years at Delta, made feel as if I knew her well. You were so loving, kind and caring with your mother. We hope you will find comfort and peace at this sad time.

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I didn't know Joan. In fact, I've never met Dave! I began emailing with Dave in 2004 after the death of my father, who was Dave's half-brother. Uncle Dave told me about his mother, my grandmother, whom I barely knew. But he also told me about Joan whom he adored. The story I remember most affectionately was of their first date. Joan, who was a student nurse, was under curfew, the standard practice of the time. If I recall, the curfew was 11 PM on Friday or Saturday night. Dave took Joan dancing. They danced the night away, then realized they had danced well past the time that Joan was due back at the Nurses' Residence. Somehow they managed to sneak her in without getting caught. Thus was the beginning of a long and productive relationship. Dave, as you grieve, tell your precious Joan stories often. And when it hurts, remember there are many people who love you and care about you, including me.

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John E. Galvin
13 years ago

Dear Cheryl and Dave--Although I didn't get to see Joan in the last few years, my memories of her are sweet and precious. I remember her singing "The Lord's Prayer" to me when I was just a little guy in my crib. I also remember watching her graduate from Nursing School. We were all so proud of her. I remember going to your wedding, Dave, and tying cans to the back of your car. She was such a good caring person, that sometimes when I was down on my luck in Oakland, she would give me dinner at the hospital. Frances says she never got the chance to meet Joan, but knows she would have been a good caring sister in law and friend. And Cheryl, this is from Auntie Fran. Sometimes Precious Memories are what we have to keep us going, and know that your Mom's eternal life is assured. Jesus knows our hearts, and we have to be thankful for His love. Take Care. Luv ya, Uncle John and Auntie Fran

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Tamara Pyper
13 years ago

Cheryl, We would like to say how sorry we are to hear of the passing of your mom.Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

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Mindy Bartell
13 years ago

Dear Cheryl, Some of my very happiest memories from my four years living in Concord centered around you and your loving, warm parents. Your beautiful mother always had a huge inviting smile on her face, and she welcomed me into your home and made me feel like I belonged there. You have always truly been her "beloved" daughter, and it is obvious that her legacy and her memory live on in you. She was blessed to have such a caring daughter. I want you to know that I am thinking of you, your dad, Chris, and Britt. Much love, Mindy

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Nikki Densley
13 years ago

Cheryl my heart goes out to you with the lost of your mother. I understand how hard it is to lose our mothers being an only child as well. But I also have peace knowing they are whole,happy, out of pain and remembering everything now. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your dad, Chris & Brittany for comfort and peace at this difficult time.

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Angela Eldredge
13 years ago

Cheryl, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your Mom. In the few weekend/day trips we have taken together I heard you speak of your mother often. I know that this is a very difficult time and I just wanted to pass along that my thoughts are with you, Brittany and Chris.

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Colleen Smith
13 years ago

Cheryl, Dad, Chris, & Britt, I was very saddened to hear about your loss. Words cannot express how deeply I feel. I know that your mom is so happy and can remember so much now. I know how hard it is to let her go, but remember she is always with you and is just a breath away. Cheryl and kids, I love you all and look forward to the time that I can meet your sweet dad. May God be with you and watch over you at this difficult time. i

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Robert Fraser Devin
13 years ago

My Aunt Joan has know me just about all my life. From the time my folks lived in Springfield ,Mass. till now. I was always 'Bobby'. She had a way with me that subtley impressed me how smart yet sweet she was. As a kid you really liked that. Latter as a Nurse, she worked for the State of California. She rescued thousands of elderly living in deplorable conditions in convalescent and nursing homes. I suspect there was a crowd of friends waiting for you ,opening the 'Pearly Gates". My Mom and Dad loved you and Uncle Dave alot. It was a family tradition to swing by Natick on our annual trip to Maine in August to see you guys. That was always fun. We're going to miss you Aunt Joan, With Love, Bobby,

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cindi dwyer
13 years ago

To the Dowling Family, Cheryl, many of my fondest memories are sign carrier practices and sleepovers at your family home. Both of your parents were so warm and inviting. When I look back in our lives we were not only blessed with wonderful friendships but all of the relationships that came along with our connections. I will never forget your Mom's smile and kindness regarding all of our antics during the teen years. Our love and prayers go out to all of you at this difficult time. Love, Dan and Cindi Dwyer

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Peggy Campbell
13 years ago

Some of the best times I had in high school happened over in the Dowling's back yard, swimming in their pool. Mrs. Dowling was always so inviting and so welcoming. I remember that we always made, and of course ate, lots of chocolate chip cookies! Cheryl, you have been my dear friend for a long time, since third grade! I have seen you be so diligent in caring for your mother. I know that you will be blessed for being so kind to her and how happy I was that you were able to get there in time to hold her hand at the end. What a precious experience, one that you will treasure. You are amazing, give my love to your dear father. Know that you are loved! Peggy

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Kathy Mortensen
13 years ago

Cheryl, your parents always welcomed me into your home on Chaban Drive. I was invited to join in on everything from family vacations to family dinners. Your parents put up with me on many, many, sleepovers. I remember your mother looking on with a smile on her face while your dad entertained us with magic tricks. I remember, and I know this sounds silly, her hands on the steering wheel as she drove us places. She had the most feminine hands I'd ever seen, she barely touched the steering wheel. I used to be facinated by them from the back seat. Joan Dowling was the first career women I had ever met. The other moms I knew stayed home in those days. I was so impressed with her work inspecting nursing homes.

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Kim and Stan Hanson
13 years ago

There were many wonderful times as teenage girls that we gathered at the Dowling's home in Concord. As crazy as we were, Mrs Dowling was always smiling at us and seemed to enjoy having us there. She was very sweet to us and seem to accept us as we were then (which is saying quite a lot!) Cheryl, you were your Mom's pride and joy and always will be. You have spent years caring for her and always concerned for her welfare. May God bless you for being such a kind and loving daughter. Mr Dowling, we are so sorry for your loss. You took such good care of Mrs Dowling for many years.which showed the great love you had for her. Please take time now for your own health. Chris and Britt ... your Nana will forever remain in your hearts. With Love, Kim & Stan Hanson

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karen proteau sur
13 years ago

Mr. Dowling, Cheryl, Britt & Chris ~ My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. Cheryl, you were so incredibly supportive when my Dad died four years ago ~ I wish that there was more I could do for you now .....If you need some respite, you know where to find us! Chris & Britt ~ I had the honor of driving your Nana's car amd feel blessed to have had that connection...I am so sorry for your loss. Mr. Dowling ~ I cannot even begin to imagine how you must feel. May God's loving arms surround you with his peace. My dear Angel Girl ~ What can I say? Your high school friends speak of a "cool mom" that welcomed them into her heart and home. Cherish your memories....and remember the angels...You WILL see her again someday, you know that. Remember my experience when I died on the operating table a few years ago....she is celebrating with her family and preparing a place for when you arrive. I love you like a sister ~ love, karen

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Michele Wallace
13 years ago

Mr. Dowling, Cheryl, Christopher, and Brittany: "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." Psalm 116:15 KJV The good Lord now has Mrs. Dowling in a place of warmth and comfort away from her infirmities and pain; in a place where she can watch over all of you (your special angel). Unfortunately I was not privileged to have met her, but recognize her beauty within each of you. I sincerely hope to hear stories about her as she continues to live in your hearts. You are all included in my prayers and I am available 24/7 if you need me. Love, Michele

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Cheryl, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this sad time. We hope you get comfort in knowing that there will be a special Guardian Angel at Britt's graduation and Chris's wedding this year. Much love to all of you, Debbie and Mike

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Cheryl, Chris, & Brit, You know we love you and our thoughts and prayers are with you always. You had an amazing mother and grandmother. Love you, Nick, Zoe, Nicky, Jaime, & Scott

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alan graham
13 years ago

sorry to here of your mother. if there is anything i can do let me know. ag

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Dear Cousin Cheryl and Uncle Dave, May the peace and love of God be upon you now and know that you both are in my thoughts and prayers. My mother, Aunt Joan's sister Janet, would always say that I reminded her of Joan. So it was appropriate that I was named after her - Kimberly Joan Estes. Aunt Joan will always be close to my heart and she is now in heaven with her sister Janet. and family. Please keep in touch to let me know how you and Uncle Dave are doing. KIm

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Jana
13 years ago

Cheryl, I never met your mother but we all feel like we know her through all your stories. Your mother created laughter, love and happiness for your family. You are also one of the most devoted daughters anyone could ever have. Your mother was lucky to have you. Please know my prayers are with you and your family.

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Myrna Courtney
13 years ago

Gerry and I spent some wonderful times with David and Joan. She and I used to just crack up together at the guys, as they tried to outdo each other with crazy antics. God bless you, David and Cheryl. I hope to see you one day soon. Myrna Courtney

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I'll remember Joan as a gentle soul, always smiling. As a friend of Cheryl I offer my prayers and support.

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Kevin C. Estes
13 years ago

Sandy & I were married just a couple of years when Joan & Dave came to Marion.We introduced them to the High Country of Western North Carolina,the Blue Ridge Parkway & the campus of Appalachian State Univ.where I went to college.Dave was Dave,but I learned how much a gentle soul Joan was.Mom & Joan had many aspects in common,along with Shirley,in life, & in passing.Cheryl & I have been able to grow closer in our time of loss.The Lord is gracious & good.

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CAngel888
13 years ago

I have so many wonderful memories, I don't know where to begin. My mom was the most loving, caring, and devoted mom there ever was. Growing up she was always there to fix my scraped elbows and boo-boos. She made the BEST apple pies and brownies ever! She was kind and compassionate to everyone - even the guy at the gas station she dialed by mistake and gave the pizza order to! She was only off one digit, but when the pizza wasn't delivered (I was starving!) and we realized she called the wrong number, she was still nice to the laughing guy at the gas station! She would do anything for me and especially her grandchildren that she loved more than anything. ~Cheryl

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Brittany
13 years ago

Nana was probably the best grandmother in the whole world. First of all, she always kept candy in her purse and she also gave the best back scratches ever. Like Chris said, she would let us steer the car when she drove (well, Chris got to steer more than me). Whenever we wanted something...we would always go to Nana. As young kids, she would even let us eat spoonfuls of sugar in the kitchen! No other grandmother I know has let her grandkids do that! She was nice to everyone she met and always had a smile on her face. Nana will always be a part of me, especially since we share the same middle name - May. I'll miss you Nana! Thanks for being a part of my life. :) -Brittany (granddaughter)

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karen proteau sur
13 years ago

Britt ~ Maile & I are so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you have some great memories ~ cherish them always. Love, Auntie Karen & Maile

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Chris
13 years ago

My Nana was a very kind and caring person. I doubt she fully realized how much her small gestures of kindness impacted other people! Cars have been a very big part of my life - and my Nana helped me start along this path! When I was just a kid, she was the first person to let me steer the car down the street while sitting on her lap. Maybe it wasn't a big deal to her, but when I turned 16, her old car became my very first car; a very big deal to me! She will definitely be missed. -Chris (grandson)

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karen proteau sur
13 years ago

Chris ~ Your mom often spoke of how devoted you have been to both your grandmother and grandfather since you moved to California to attend college. Thanks for giving me the pleasure of driving your special gift! Love, Auntie Karen & Maile

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