Thomas Walter Dowling (1940 - 2018)

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Thomas Walter Dowling, Jr., 77, passed away Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
A native of Springfield, he was born March 8, 1940, to the late Thomas Walter, Sr. and Katherine Gooch Dowling. He was a graduate of Springfield High School where he was an outstanding athlete, lettering in football, basketball, baseball and track.
Coach Dowling was a graduate of Georgetown College, a member of Phi Kappa Alpha fraternity, tri-captain of the football team, won the shot-put KIAC Championship and was a former member of the Georgetown College Board of Trustees. He began his coaching career at Newport Public High School in Newport, Kentucky as an assistant football coach and head track coach. He enjoyed six years as the head football and track coach at Glen Este High School in Cincinnati before returning to his alma mater as an assistant football coach. Three years later he was named head football coach at Georgetown, restoring the football program to a place of prominence in the NAIA. He served seven years as the head football coach at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia taking the Flames from no affiliation to NAIA and NCAA membership. He built the foundation for future teams. Coach Dowling then returned to Kentucky to begin the football program at Cumberland College, now the University of the Cumberlands, coaching the Indians to an undefeated season in 1988. He retired from coaching to become the first commissioner of the Mid South Conference.
Coach Dowling was an ordained deacon, a member of Georgetown Baptist Church where he taught the Fields Sunday School Class, and a member of the American Football Coaches' Association where he served on the Foundation Committee. He was inducted into the Georgetown College, University of the Cumberlands, and the Glen Este High School Athletic Halls of Fame.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary Ann Garnett Dowling; two sisters, Marian Chamberlain of Daytona Beach, Florida and Martha (Bob) Durbin of Danville, Kentucky; four special nieces, Robin Pomeroy of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Lesley Littlejohn of Atlanta, Georgia, Helen (Ted) Williams of Kensington, Maryland and Christy Conner of Franklin, North Carolina; several cousins, and numerous friends, coaches and former players.
The funeral service will be Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, at 10 a.m., at the John L. Hill Chapel on the campus of Georgetown College with Rev. Alan Redditt, Rev. Ken Holden, Coach Mike Ayers and Coach Charlie Persson officiating. Interment will be in the Georgetown Cemetery to be followed by a luncheon/reception at the Georgetown College Conference Center by Toyota Stadium.
Serving as pallbearers will be Dr. Robert Ballou, Jim Carty, Gene Dyson, Ron Manning, Ray Graham, Flash Williams, Bill Cronin and Jerry Chadwell. Honorary bearers will be Phillip Giles, Coach Bob Davis and Coach Bobby Barlow.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Georgetown College Football, On The Right Track Scholarship at The University of the Cumberlands, Georgetown College, Georgetown Baptist Church or The Pancreatic Cancer Society.
Johnson's Funeral Home in Georgetown, Kentucky provides funeral arrangements.
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Johnson's Funeral Home Inc
641 S Broadway St
Georgetown, KY 40324
(502) 863-3550
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Published in The Springfield Sun on Jan. 10, 2018