Mary Yolanda Dowling

World Trade Center

The Voice of an Angel

Give Mary Yolanda Dowling an instrument — an accordion, a piano or a set of bagpipes — and she is likely to produce a foot-stomping tune. She may have spent her days as an administrator for Aon Corporation, on the 92nd floor of 2 World Trade Center, but Ms. Dowling's mind was often on her music.

The oldest of four children and deeply immersed in the Celtic culture she inherited from her father, Ms. Dowling, 46, spent much of her free time singing with a choir near her home in Floral Park, N.Y. Rosaleen Shea, her sister, said she received a standing ovation several years ago after singing the national anthem at a Mets game. "She had a voice like an angel and she shared it with everyone, in good times or bad," Ms. Shea said. "Our entire family is immersed in music, but Yolanda is the most gifted."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 16, 2001.

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