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John H. "Jack" Dowd Jr.

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DOWD, John H. "Jack", Jr. John H. "Jack" Dowd, Jr., of Hershey, PA, died Saturday, (April 17, 2004) in the M.S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA. He was born in Hartford, the son of the late John H., Sr. and Mary G. (Sullivan) Dowd. Mr. Dowd was a retired vice-president of the Hershey Chocolate Co.; a U.S. Army infantry veteran of World War II where he served in a platoon charged with conducting patrols behind enemy lines preceding his regiment's advance in order to make initial contact with the enemy to draw their fire which alerted US troops to the enemy's strength and location. He was wounded three times and was awarded the Purple Heart, a Silver Star, three Bronze Stars, and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was later transferred to Military Intelligence and discharged as a 1st Lieutenant. Jack returned to the University of Connecticut to complete his studies and later received an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Upon graduation he worked in the sales promotion and advertising departments of Standard Brands before moving on to an 18 years career with advertising agencies in New York and Boston. In 1966 he joined Hershey Chocolate Co. as a Product Manager and advanced to Vice President of New Business Development. During his career with Hershey, he helped to introduce the concepts of brands marketing and marketing plans and participated in the initiation of the first consumer advertising program in the company's history. In 1982, he negotiated a contract for Reese's Pieces to tie in with Steven Spielberg's movie "ET" for which he was profiled in PEOPLE and named "Consumer Products Man of the Year". His story was included in the book "Emperors of Chocolate" and in Readers Digest. Mr. Dowd served as chairman of the National Assn. of Advertisers and as a board member of the Advertising Council. His civic activities included service as a board member and Interim Executive Director of the Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross; Board Chairman of the Hershey Public Library and founding member of the Library Endowment Board. He was a member of the Country Club of Hershey; the Hershey Rotary Club where he was a past president and a Paul Harris Fellow; and a member of the Harvard Club of New York City. He also taught at Columbia University and the Penn State Capital Campus, and recently was elected to the University of Connecticut's School of Business Administration Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Hershey where he was a lector and member of the Parish Advisory Board. Surviving is his wife, since 1947, Mary Ann (Lihota) Dowd; a son, Dr. Brian J. Dowd of Duluth, GA; a daughter, Loisann White of Los Angeles, CA; and grandchildren, Trevor Dowd, Caitland White and Colleen White. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday, April 20, at 10:30 a.m. in his church. Visitation will be 7-8:30 p.m. TODAY, in the Hoover Funeral Home & Crematory, Route #422 and Lucy Ave., Hershey, PA, where the Rosary will be recited at 6:45 p.m. Interment will be in the Mt. St. Benedict Cemetery, Bloomfield at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the American Red Cross PA Capital Region Chapter, Hershey Public Library, Morningstar Pregnancy Service, or to the Heart of the Parish Fund of his church.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Apr. 19, 2004
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