- 48 years old
- Date of birth: Jul 30, 1966
- Place of birth:
Paterson, New Jersey, United States
- Date of passing: Oct 31, 2014
- Place of passing:
Norfolk, Virginia, United States
|Colonel Charlie Dowling's interment at Arlington Cemetery was certainly surreal but fitting for an amazing husband, father, son, friend and Marine. Thank you to all who came from near and far to share in this day.|
"Col Dowling, as a friend and a Mentor I just want to say Happy Birthday Marine! You are gone but NOT FORGOTTEN! Semper Fi Sir!!"
"Charlie, I pray for you everyday that you will find eternal rest. Semper Fidelis, Dano McGee"
"Happy Birthday Charlie, thinking of you especially today..."
"Happy Birthday Sir! We still talk about you from time to time. Things at Division and I MEF were better when you were around."
"Happy Birthday in heaven Charlie! Say Hello to Chesty for me."
"So hard to believe you are gone. Happy birthday in heaven."
"Thinking of you on this day.... everyday...."
"Here's to Col Charles "the standard" Dowling. Charlie JR, We will link up in Jan in Oceanside yeah?"
"Wow...I can't believe its been a year all ready since your passing. You are still missed and will always be remembered as such a nice person and strong individual. I am sure you are keeping everything in tip top shape up there. Continue looking over your family and guiding them. Continue to rest in peace Charlie!"
"Thinking of you extra today, Uncle Charlie. I love you so much ❤️ Happy birthday"
"Sir, just want you to know that everything you taught me, the leadership, mentorship, articulate accuracy and compassion is shared everyday with every one of my Marines. You are missed, yet I assure you Sir you live on in every Marine. Just wanted to say thank you and Semper FI"
"Thinking of Charles today. I hope to catch up to LT Dowling in a couple weeks in SoCal. What can I say.... Just as I told Corporal Jared Cox, in Cincinnati, after we led his father to Christ hours before his father's death, it says in Romans 10:9-10 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
"For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved." I told Jared, this guarantees you will see your father again. I believe very soon, crazy soon, the rapture of the church will happen. The most important decision of our life is waiting. Charles was part of the solution, never part of the problem. A real American, Marine, Father and Grandfather. Pretty good at hiding injuries too, so he could deploy to Africa as a Communications Officer and be selected as to LtCol to better take care of his family."
"Hope your with Ron and dad 143!!!"
"Each day at my desk I'm greeted with pictures of my family to include a picture of Charlie (the one from the memorial program). Kathy's note of March reminds me, as Charlie does daily, to be good to all, to love fully and try to make the world a little bit better with small unremarkable good deeds. Matt McLaughlin"
"20 March 2015
It is once again a little funny to use social media for a “life update”, but that’s what we essentially do every day, isn’t it? And it is truly a blessing to me to HAVE to use this medium, as I cannot possibly count the number of cities, states, and countries from which I have been touched by all of you.
It also seems a little cliché to include a music video with this note. Naturally there are thousands of songs and videos that can apply to any one of us at any given time in our lives. That’s the beauty of music. I lost my music for a while; no surprise. If you know me well, that’s a pretty big deal. I’ve gotten it back, mostly. I teach again. I dance again. I cook and clean and drive to music again. You have done that for me.
These last several months have brought so many things to the table for me, and all of us. Our own mortality, for one. Mine wasn’t so much mortality, but that my perfect world wasn’t so perfect anymore. But that’s just it, you see. I’ve also realized that it’s still perfect, just a different perfect now and not as much. And boy, have I learned a lot. A lot about Charlie (all ridiculously good, of course), a lot about my children (that they are better and stronger than a mother could ever imagine or hope for), and tons about myself naturally. And I learned that I have literally thousands of people who have blanketed me with their love and support. More importantly, my children, grandchildren and mother-in-law have all been surrounded as well.
Everyone always asks, “why does it take someone to die for something good to happen?”. Why do we wait to say the things we assume our loved ones already know, until it’s too late? No idea really. But it does. Good or bad, it does. Maybe it’s God’s way of helping us through the agony and heartbreak of our sudden loss. So I choose to embrace those good things...things like “I love you” and “I’ve missed you”, and “I’m sorry for that stupid thing I said or did”. Re-acquaintances, misunderstandings cleared up, and old hurts healed. What does it matter why they came about? Better late than never, right? Charlie is still “doing his thing.” Making us all just a little better because he’s still in our hearts.
And it is clear that I still have much to do in this big, beautiful world. Charlie was needed elsewhere, but I’m to do and learn and love and teach and see so much more right here. It’s certainly not the way I had planned or would have wanted, but it is His plan. I need all of you, and you all (at least some of you, I hope...) still need me.
I’m still heavy. I fear – and accept – that I will be heavy forever, but the heaviness will get lighter and a little less frequent. The sadness still bowls over me, at the most unexpected and inconvenient times, but it feels a little cleansing after it’s passed. You have done that for me. You’ve all supported and encouraged me each time a photo or comment has been posted, and your private notes have been most welcome.
The fog has cleared enough for me to take a few steps forward make some positive decisions for myself and my life. Again, that is thanks to you all. Many – if not most – of you know already that I am finally ready to leave VA. It’s time for me, and as much as I have a few folks here that I could never in my life be without, I need to start fresh and begin to heal, so that I may continue to be a good mom to my kids, a loyal friend to you all, and a rock star to my grandkids. On that note, as it is clearly no surprise to most of you, I will be heading back to southern California, in just a few short weeks actually. I’ve got a home, a job, friends, and a plan. I’m a little nervous, but not that much really. I’m definitely ready to breathe again.
After this I feel like I could write a book, unfortunately. Who knows...it might be fun.
With all my love and gratitude,
"Charley was one of the best men I ever worked for, served with, and met. He lived his life with integrity, honor, humility, and humanity. I am proud to call him a friend. His family and the Nation have lost a great man."
"My wife and I would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family of Colonel Charles Dowling. Only yesterday we learned of his passing, and it took us both aback. We first met him in 2008 while on Marine Security Guard duty in Kigali, Rwanda where he came to into our home, played with our children, and expressed his sincere appreciation for the support of military families. Also, while visiting in Pretoria, South Africa he and his wife Kathy graciously hosted our family for dinner, where they spoke highly of their children and couldn’t wait to reunite with them – about how they were so proud of their accomplishments.
In my 18+ years in the Marine Corps, he was without a doubt THE best Commanding Officer I ever served with. He provided me guidance and mentorship on a number of levels, most importantly with regard to leadership and interaction between the officer and enlisted relationships. I credit him with much of my personal and professional development as a Marine leader. Overall, I cannot say enough positive things about the man. Unfortunately, the last time my wife and I saw him was at my re-enlistment ceremony in 2013, when I asked him to preside over the ceremony. As the best Commanding Officer I ever had, I couldn’t think of anyone I would have rather been there
We are proud to say we knew Charlie Dowling. He was a wonderful, hard-working, friendly, and genuine Marine leader, father, husband, and friend. And again, we would like to wish our most sincere condolences to the family of a man who will be missed and remembered fondly forever.
James & Anna Maxwell"
"My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Col. Charles Dowling. Word of his passing has only just reached me and my heart goes out to his family. Although our paths haven't crossed in many years, Charlie was the kind of person you knew you could always count on. Honest, loyal, respectful, humble, loving, kind.... he was a wonderful man and will be missed. I'd like to share something he wrote in 1984. "We are in the future with nothing but memories of the past, to carry us on till next we see each other again." Semper Fi my friend!"
"Remembering Charlie today on his internment at Arlington National Cemetery. RIP"
"Thinking of you all on this day honoring Colonel Dowling...."
"I am shocked and saddened to learn of Charlie's passing. I was fortunate to be a BCOC Classmate, IIIMEF/PACOM colleague, Samae San BOQ roommate, and fellow 4th MARDIV I&I, and I will always cherish my memories of Charlie. What a classy, humble, and fun-loving guy! He was the consummate Marine professional in perfect balance with being the loving father and husband we should all aspire to be. The world needs more Charlie Dowlings. God Bless the Dowling family."
"Col Dowling will be sorely missed. He had a profound impact on my career as 2ndLt and it continues to this day. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dowling family."
"Charlie, you will be missed. I truly enjoyed working through the Schneiops with you and the rest of our BCOC class. Your calm leadership and professionalism were something I will never forget. Semper Fi."
"Just heard. Still comprehending. Another damn good Marine reporting for duty upstairs. For all you U of R Marines: "Father" Dowling was an inspiration. One of the best men I have ever known. Our paths crossed again in Afghanistan..few years back...and it was if the years since rochester melted away. There was the same Marine I knew and respected. That same smile. That same chuckle. See you later Chuck..we got lots to share."
"Praying for the family. I went to Manchester High School with Charlie. He was a GREAT guy!!! I have not spoken to him since we left school but he is still part of our MRHA Class of '84 Family!!!! Semper Fi my friend."
"Col Dowling, Sir,
You mentored me and I wasn't even one of your comm Marines. That's just the kind of leader you were. I'll always remember you for that. Fair winds and following seas good sir, you are among Angels now.
"Chris and I were saddened to hear about Charlie's passing. While we only knew Charlie a short while, he embraced us like old friends. He will be greatly missed. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Kathy and their children."
"I had the pleasure of serving with Col Dowling on Okinawa when he was a Captian. I had a lot of respect for him. To the Dowling family, sorry for you loss. RIP brother, Semper Fi."
"November 15, 2014 (from Kathy)
Dear Friends and Family, new and old, near and far...and to those I haven’t met or actually remember...
As I sit here quietly in my home made lovingly for two and try to grasp and comprehend the last two weeks of my life, I am clearly unable to do either. I will not delve into my emptiness and heartbreak here in a public forum; some of you unfortunately know, and some of you will hopefully never know.
Rather I want to express my gratitude – which is an insufficient word – for all of you who have reached out with love and warmth and prayers, flowers and food and pumpkin decorations, cards and phone calls and stories (so many stories!). My children and I have been nourished by all of it and feel a tremendous comfort by you.
My husband, who was one of the most low-key and annoyingly humble people I know, would be floored and slightly mortified at this outpouring. Mind you, he would fully expect the care of me and my children, but the love and praise displayed for him would be overwhelming. I tried to tell him over and over that he wasn’t “just a guy”, but of course that didn’t go over well. I am biased, as you all know.
From grammar and high school friends, to family both distant and close who said he was “always the good one”, to civilians and active duty whose path he crossed, to the Marines all over this beautiful planet... Words like “I met him once”, “he gave me the best ass-chewing I ever got”, “he got ‘dad’ on me”, “mentor”, “father-figure”, “loyal friend”, “he made me want to be a better _____ (pick any word)”. These are what will help to carry me forward.
I am grateful to all of you for me and my children. I am grateful to you for Charlie’s mom. She has suffered something no mother should ever have to, with “her baby”, the good one. Most of all, though, I am eternally grateful to all of you, for my grandchildren. Many of you had to suffer through the stories and escapades of these two wee ones. Every time he got a new picture, you had to look at the proud grandfather. Thanks to you all, they will always know and always feel the scope of the man they call Poppy.
I am truly sorry for each and every one of you as well. My shattered heart goes out to you, who have also lost a friend, comrade, brother, mentor, uncle, cousin, father and son. You all struggle to grasp the same shock and disbelief as I do. I pray that your healing is swift, and secretly hope that some of you will continue to live by “what would Charlie do”. That’s pretty cool.
I still can't see straight, and breathing is still hard, and I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I know with all my heart that you all have been instrumental in keeping my family and me loved and comforted during this time. With a humbled and broken heart, as well as inept words...thank you.
It is impossible to believe that someone with so much life, energy and goodness has been taken away. Charlie left an indelible impression on us through his integrity, leadership and joy. We're sending love to you and the kids. Don and Liz Gips"
"Charlie touched a lot of lives. His mentorship, friendship, and professionalism can be seen in many young Marines that continue to grace our Corps today. His passing was untimely and all too short for the precious few years we have on this earth.
Cathy you held one of the precious gems of our time. Mary and I send you our most humble condolences...please know that you, your family, and Charlie are in our prayers."
""My sincere condolences during this very difficult time. I have thought of all of you since hearing about Charlie. Charlie and I grew up together in our small town until we graduated HS. I was fortunate to run into him again when he was recruiting and I was working in Paterson. That day I will hold close to my heart. He was an extraordinary human being filled with so much kindness. It breaks my heart to know he's gone, but feel blessed to have memories of him. My prayers will always be with you...Kathy, Shannon, Charlie Jr., Charlie's family and Charlie's Marine Family....God Bless""
"Charlie was a great Marine, leader and friend who I've known since TBS- 1991. He will be deeply missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the Dowling family and with the many Marines and families that Charlie touched & inspired along the way. Godspeed."
"I have been trying to figure out what to write here since I found out. I was/still am in shock. Since I met your family in Ohio (back in the awkward jr high/early high school years), you have all been one of the warmest, most caring families I have had the privilege of being around. I want you all to know that I am here if you ever need anything. Col Dowling was/still is a huge role model for me. He is the definition of what an officer should strive to be and more importantly what a man should be. I have had many great memories with him, be it in Cinci and him having to put up with the hurricane that was Charlie, Jordan and me; in Jordan's and my first trip to Europe and going to Garmish, which to this day is still one of the most memorable places I have ever been; or just a few months ago, when we all went fishing then sat around the fire and were coerced by some little girl to play songs from Frozen over and over on his iPad. I can tell he has made a huge impact in many people's lives and I am lucky to have had him and the rest of you in my life. Thank you for everything, he will be missed. Semper Fidelis."
"My sincere condolences to Kathy, Shannon and Charlie. I was truly shocked to hear the news of your husband/fathers passing. I am truly sorry for your family’s loss. I had the pleasure of serving with then LtCol Dowling in Pretoria, South Africa in 2009 and 2010 while serving as a Marine Security Guard. Charles was a great Marine and father and husband. I wish him nothing but peace. I wish your family nothing but love and comfort. God bless. Semper Fidelis, SSgt Kevin M Alfonso."
It’s taken me awhile to write something as every time I started it became obvious that words cannot begin to address Charlie’s loss. As I re-read the posts I realized that they’re not so much about loss as they are about celebrating a life cut short, but so full of love, so giving and so well lived. Charlie Junior and Shannon ~ I thought James Lucas summed your Dad up best when he said, simply, “He was the model of a man”, he was, no better way to say it. As we go through life, we have role models we try to emulate, and for the many of us who went to school with him, he was our role model. He taught us little things about the Marine Corps that seemed important at the time, but through his example he taught us more important life lessons; to be a good man, to look after others, to live and love fully and unconditionally. Beyond USMC memories, I’ll always remember his unbridled love for your mom, how he cradled Shannon in his strong arms in Rochester and his pride in both of you. Time will pass, the load of this seemingly unbearable loss will become part of who you are, who we are. We’ll honor him by trying to uphold his example. When you’re ready, when you can, don’t be afraid to live life like he would have wanted you to, with joy and passion. Your family of Rochester Marines will always be with you to share his laughter and memory. Semper Fidelis, Matt McLaughlin"
"We are truly saddened to learn about your son Charlie's passing. What an accomplished Marine he was serving his country with such honor and dedication. God Bless you and your beautiful family. With Love, Marian Salmanowitz and Family"
"I had the pleasure and privledge of serving under then 1st Lt Dowling at camp Lejeune in the early 1990's. He was the best platoon commander i ever had and taught me lessons that I still apply to my professional and personal life everyday. He took a personal interest in every Marine under his command and wanted you to be successful and that made you feel like a real part of the team. Fair winds and following seas devil dog......"
"I was Colonel Dowling's (Lt Dowling at the time) driver when he was my comm officer at HQ Co. 3rd Battalion, 10th Marines in 1993. He played a big role in shaping me as a young Marine at the time and left me with life long leadership skills that have served me well. The overwhelming response on this tribute page is no surprise. I want to say thank you for being such a great leader, Marine, and no doubt a great father and husband. My condolences go out to your family. I know you will be missed.
Sgt David Lovelace
USMC 1992 - 1997"
I had the pleasure of working closely with you and your team the past 18 months and I considered it a tremendous blessing. Thank you for allowing me to help you advance the state of our MOS and taking care of me like I was one of your Marines. I pray for your loved ones and all those you impacted, including me, during this time. S/F, Johnney
PS- If anyone knows if the family has any wishes for donations made in Charlie's honor, I would appreciate that info being sent my way."
"I only met Charlie after he joined Marine Forces Command. In that short period of time, I was impressed by his professionalism and love for the Marine Corps. I was also struck by his optimism, vigor and the sense that he had a happy, full heart. God bless and keep his family."
"I have very fond memories of Charlie from our school years in Haledon. Although, we lost touch after graduation, I have never forgotten about him. If you have been fortunate enough to have him touch your life, then, you already know this. It is apparent from those beautiful photos that Charlie went on to live his life as a testament to the person he was. My heart goes out to his family in their time of need. May God Bless You With Eternal Peace."
"To the Dowling Family and all others touched in one way or another by “Charlie” : You have my deepest and sincere condolences.
The world is a lesser place without you. Thank you for your service. "Non sibi sed patriae", God’s Speed. With Much Respect and Love, Your cousin: Tim"
""Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Everything remains as it was.
The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no sorrow in your tone.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again."
May there be peace in your hearts knowing that Col. Dowling knew the Lord and impacted the lives of so many of us with his bear hugs and belly laughter."
"Thank you Charlie for your dedicated service to our country. You were a great soldier, husband and father. Just the few times we have met, I knew you were a special person. I pray for your family that God will see them through this ordeal. Heaven is a better place since God called you home. Semper Fi !"
"Sincere condolences to Charlie's wife, children, grandchildren, and family. Charlie and I went to grammar and high school together. He was a sweet, funny guy! Reading through all of these tributes, it's clear to see what an exemplary man and Marine he was. Thank you for your service Colonel Dowling!"
"My sincere condolences to Kathy, Charlie and Shannon. I was saddened to hear the news about Charlie. I graduated High School with Charlie and often wondered about him. May you somehow find peace and comfort in the days ahead. May God wrap his arms around you and your family. Please know that Charlie was loved by many. Lisa Bacon (Van Dolan)"
"My deepest condolences to Kathy and the family. Charlie was a rare breed of Mustang & Gentleman. A true professional who could always be counted on to accomplish whatever mission came his way. He is already missed by those of us who served with him. Semper Fidelis"
"To the family of Charles - I'm an old friend of Charles and we were both MSG's in Pretoria back in 1986-87 and just learned and am very sorry for your loss and back in those days he was a new and young Cpl and was just picked up for the officer program and didn't stay with our detachment very long but I knew he'd do great things and from the comments above, influenced a many people. We only recently became reacquainted and am sorry I won't have the opportunity to shake his hand again. A great man and he'll be missed."
"Thank you Charlie for being a great mentor and a great Marine. You will be missed."
"I first met Charlie in 1997 when he was the Platoon Commander for Command and Control Systems School Support Platoon. Charlie played a pivotal role in the leadership I would develop and the Marine I would become. He thrust responsibility on me, and would encourage me to apply for Marine Security Guard School when I had my heart set on becoming a D.I. After graduation from MSG school and regularly throughout the rest of my career, I would write Charlie and thank him for his guidance and encouragement, working in the embassies would greatly form the Marine I would become as well as decisions and career paths that I continue to make. I will miss you Sir, and will visit on my next trip to Arlington. Semper Fidelis."
"Kathy and family, may this song offer you strength and hope.
THE HURT AND THE HEALER by Mercy me
(audio posted also)
The question that is never far away
The healing doesn't come from being explained
Jesus please don't let this go in vain
You're all I have, all that remains
So here I am, what's left of me
Where glory meets my suffering
I'm alive, even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I fall into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide
Sometimes I feel it's all that I can do
Pain so deep that I can hardly move
Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You
Lord take hold and pull me through
So here I am, what's left of me
Where glory meets my suffering
I'm alive, even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I fall into your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide"
"Dear Charlie, It is with sadness in our hearts that we say goodbye to you, a fine man, loving husband and father and special soldier. We admired your strength and perseverance and were proud to know you. You and your family will always have a special place in our hearts. Until we meet again."
"There Goes My Hero...
Being the step-child in the family was not easy, but, for some reason, the "Two Charlie's" looked out for me. That meant Uncle Charlie, who also left us too soon, and my cousin Charlie, our uncle's namesake. You're lucky to have just one angel on your shoulder. I had two.
My cousin was my hero when I was a kid. He had a motorcycle! What's more, he exposed me to amazing music, like Queen, Elton John and KISS (I'd forgive him for the latter, later;). I'll never forget sneaking downstairs to watch "Don Kirschner's Rock Concert" on Saturday nights, when we were supposed to be asleep.
I'll never forget the weekends I spent with Ronnie, Maryanne, Charlie, Julie and Cathy, when my parents weren't getting along. The fact that they took me in during those times speaks volumes for the quality of their mettle.
I'll never forget Charlie speaking at his father's funeral, because I could not figure out how he pulled it off. He was so strong, even then. And he managed to be hilarious, all while keeping it together. He killed, comedically, while he must've been hurting beyond belief inside. To say he was a rock would be to undersell him.
Unfortunately, we fell out of touch, as we grew older. Recently, I started to try to reconnect with him and then received news of his passing. All I can offer is that, when someone that special arrives in your life, hold on as long as you can and don't take it for granted.
"Brother Charlie, May God's angel speed you to heaven. Prayers for you and your family from Chaplain Watters Council and Rappahannock Assembly."
"It was a pleasure to have known such a great warrior. Col. Dowling was there for my family with the passing of my father. He was such a great mentor, and had such a wonderful spirit. We always looked up to you. We know your looking down on all of your Marines, and all the people whom your helped along the way. Thank you for everything!! You will be missed."
"The biggest smile, the bestest hugs..... an inner spirit and strength that leaves footprints on so many of us. I will salute you with a glass of 'tea' and pray for comfort that will be hard to find to those you leave behind. Gone too soon, but never ever forgotten. We love you."
"To the extended Dowling family,
We will always know Charlie as a great Marine, a great CommO and a great example of how to live life.
We pray for your solace and comfort in this difficult time.
LtCol Brian O'Keefe, USMC (ret) and family"
"I’m incredibly saddened to hear about the loss of this great Marine. Col Dowling was the single biggest reason I was commissioned. He and my wife pinned on my 2ndLt bars back in 1998 and he’s been a mentor an inspiration for me throughout my career. I feel lucky to have known him. My thoughts and prayers are with Kathy and the family."
I was stunned by the news of the loss of your wonderful husband. Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
May you be sustained by the memory of Charlie during this incomprehensible time.
love, Susan and John"
You were a father figure to me in Okinawa growing up. I regret not seeing you more and staying in your company. You influenced my career decisions and were a role model I looked up to and greatly respected. I will miss you Dad."
Linda and I send our deepest condolences at Charlie's sudden passing, and we thank you for sharing him with the family of Marines that you both have so richly blessed, particularly the Blue Diamond team where we were fortunate enough to meet, serve with, and call you friends.
The consummate professional Officer of Marines - that is Charlie's legacy - his passion for the mission and for his Marines evident in everything he undertook. Hopefully all Marines can say they had a leader who invested in them, cared for them, pushed them to their potential like I witnessed Charlie do with his exceptional team at the Blue Diamond G-6!
I also witnessed how much Charlie loved and adored you and your beautiful family. Everyone should have the blessing of someone who loves them as fiercely as Charlie loved you all.
I struggle to understand how someone so fit, strong, and meticulous can pass this suddenly and my heart breaks for you. But, I am comforted that in all of this - God is with us, perhaps never moreso than we are broken hearted. 'The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.' Psalm 34:18.
We love you and your family, Kathy, and we pray God's peace and comfort for you in this time.
Bob and Linda Hagan"
You were truly a great Marine and person heavens gates are fearlessly guarded by a true Marine'. Semper Fi and rest in peace."
"REST IN PEACE, BROTHER
It's with an incredible feeling of loss for our Marine Corps family that I learned the news that a fellow Parris Island mustang died suddenly. Like me he was a radio tech who became a CommO. He also had Marine Security Guard time as both enlisted and officer.
He was an incredible man and a Marine of great character. In the brief time we served together at 10th Marines he taught me volumes about how to be a fair, level-headed platoon commander who got his hands dirty.
While a Marine through and through, I don't think he'd be angry for me to say that the iconic leader in the series Band of Brothers, Army MAJ Richard Winters, reminded me of Charlie Dowling in his speech, leadership style, and care for his men.
Please keep his wonderful bride Kathy Gibson Dowling and his children in your prayers.
Charlie, you made a difference...Semper Fi, and 7 for 1!
Saipan 10 sends...
John Payne, Jr.
U.S. Marine Corps"
"More than just a battle buddy, Charlie was a friend in faith to me in Afghanistan. Saturday evening mass with Fr. Kevin, Jeff, and Pig Pen was the highlight of my week. I am terribly sad that he is gone and am very, very sorry for your loss."
I wanted to offer you my deep condolences, but also to share a story about Charlie that will stay with me all the days of my life.
Last year, he told several members of the Division staff how he came to your WHBM store in his Dress Blue Alpha uniform, shouting out to all your customers, "there she is...that's my wife!" and then presented you a bouquet of flowers on bended knee.
I know this story brings back both memories of happiness and profound sadness, but I wanted to tell you about the enduring impact it had on me. It spoke to me about Charlie's love for you, as well as his nobility as a man. Ever since I first heard him tell it, that story has served as a reminder about how I need to show love for my wife and children.
Charlie will forever be a role model to me in so many ways. He was not only the omni-competent Marine Corps officer and leader, he was also someone that I greatly admired.
I am still in shock on hearing the news of his passing. Please be assured of our prayers, and know that Charlie will never be forgotten.
With deep sorrow and prayer,
I MEF Chaplain
(formerly served with Charlie on the 1st Marine Division Staff)"
"inspiration to so many and a freind to so many.
Semper Fi, MGunns Wesseler - Cincinnati"
"Charlie is one of the very best Marines I have ever known and had the pleasure with which to serve. He took care of his Marines, always. He cared about people and treated them with utmost respect, always. He knew his CommO trade cold, always. I was privileged to be on the same team with him three different times during our careers first, when he took over his first platoon in 10th Marines, later in Comm Squadron 18 and finally with the G6 staff of 1st MAW. Charlie is one of those Marines you never forget and use as a yardstick to measure others. Our prayers and condolences go out to Kathy and the family. Lyle M. Cross, Col USMC (Ret) and Linda"
"I only met Charlie once as I really only knew his wife Kathy. I. Felt so sad because I knew of the loving bond between her and Charlie. I often heard them on the phone when he was away and felt the love as I overheard. He was the love of her life and she never wanted more. She called her Charlie's her Boys! I only wish I could have know her longer as they were always on the move. I wish I could be with her now. You find that kind of love so seldom. Your blessed Kathy, that you had your moment with Charlie. Love you ... Jacki"
"I had the pleasure of serving with Col Dowling at the 1st Marine Division. He was an amazing mentor and doubly served as a father figure for me. He knew every one of his Marines to the 'T' and would always find time to shoot the bull or give you some rudder steer, be it in life or the Marine Corps. Makes me reflect on my own mortality... RIP sir. Thank you for everything. You will be missed. - CWO Patrick Wire"
"I was then "Major" Dowling's First Sergeant in Cincinnati. We hit it off immediately. He is the most professional Officer I have ever served under. Very personable, my wife, Beth, claims he is the best "hugger" and immediately loved him and Cathy. He became a family friend, not just a boss. He hit it off with my father in law, a WWII vet. We worked out together at the "Y", ran in the frigid cold of Cincinnati winters together, and ran the staff together. He is a model of a man, and a Marine who garnered respect, because he set the example, not mention he was also former enlisted. Most importantly he was a model father. He modeled what I could and should expect in a leader as a 1st Sgt and SgtMajor later. The Colonel was as down to Earth as he was professional. We both raised our children congruently and talked often of family matters, and many things unrelated to work. He is one of the few I keep in touch with after our career took us different routes and places. I was honored that Cathy and he attended my daughter's wedding, as we all are part of the Marine family also. He will be sorely missed, and this Earth will be shades darker without him. As for Colonel Dowling, where do we get such men? God only knows. Semper Fi, and may the Lord's favor shine on the Dowling family forever. We'll always have a room in our house in Oceanside for the Dowlings if needed. James Lucas, Sergeant Major, USMC, (ret)."
"I went to school with Charlie and always will remember him as a sincere and nice person. He was a true gentleman. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family...God bless."
"So sad to hear. Shocking really. Col Dowling was my Captain OIC at Quantico. He taught me a lot and was a good man! He will be missed.
At ease Marine, Area all secure Sir!
Cpl. J. Dragich"
"Col Dowling was one of my instructors in the Basic Comm Officer Course 18 years ago. He was very enthusiastic and passionate about the Comm field; I remember him telling us as student "you got to want to communicate with every fiber of your body to be successful in the Fleet" as a Communications Officer". He was a great Marine and person to be around. My heart goes out to his family in their time of need! He will be missed!
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother. And u are our brother. Fair winds..."
"To the Dowling Family, I was saddened and shocked when I heard of the Col's (as I knew him) passing. Lean on your faith and know that God will comfort you. From the first time he and I spoke, I knew he would challenge me professionally and I would benefit from knowing him on a personal level. No matter where we were, we always found time to talk about our kids. I thank you for sharing a great American with us! The doors of the Stone home will forever be open on hinges of welcome to the Dowlings!"
"Charlie was the Marine, Friend, Father, Husband and Man that we all aspired to be. He served as a role model and inspiration to three generations. I know that when I get to the gates of heaven, Charlie will be standing post there.
Kathy, Charlie & Shannon: Our prayers are with you now and always. Charlie was loved by so many and so are you! God Bless You and Keep You.
"I was very shocked and saddened to hear about Charlie's passing this weekend. We served together as Captains, Instructors, and workout partners at Comm Officers School back in the mid 90's. While we went our separate ways after that and lost touch, I've always fondly thought of Charlie as an outstanding Marine, gentleman and father. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kathy and the rest of the family."
I'm so sorry to hear this sad news. My heart goes out to you and your children. You and Chuck were the "grown ups" for us at U of R...with the patience and laughter to be in that role. You were also very clearly loving and good together. I hope you have so many happy memories of your life together and somehow they ease his absence. Warmest condolences and hugs, Monica (Arnow) Greenwood"
"Kathy and family, our family's thoughts and prayers are with you all... we are very sad to hear about your loss."
"It is an honor to have served with him. He left the Corps a better fighting force. My condolences go to his wife and family, having been so supportive over the years. What a wonderful chapter in our lives. "Oh Ra" Devil Dog"
"I am without words, as this gentleman had so greatly influenced my life and career that had he not taken the time to be of such influence I would not be what I am today. We have lost a great man, a great leader and mentor. My families deepest condolences and prayers to you and yours, and thank you so much as I will continue to reverberate that extraordinary example that you have set in my heart to that of every Marine in my command. Semper Fi Sir, you are forever remembered."
"Charlie touched my life and that of my family over the 19 years I had the honor to call him my friend. I am sorrowful for his sudden passing.
From my initial encounter with Charlie when he was a First Lieutenant at Edson Hall in Quantico, to our last farewell as he pinned on Colonel at I MEF, Charlie was the embodiment of a Marine Officer. He personified Gen Lejeune’s message:
“The relation between officers and enlisted men should in no sense be that of superior and inferior nor that of master and servant, but rather that of teacher and scholar. In fact, it should partake of the nature of the relation between father and son…”
He loved his Marines as though they were family, and always treated them that way. The ability to be truly happy and successful in life requires a supportive family at home. Kathy forever opened her house to entertain their extended ‘Marine Family.’
Charlie was admired not just for his success as a Marine; he was also looked up to for his devotion to his family. I respect the love he shared with Kathy, Shannon, and young Charlie. He was the man he was because of his family.
I’m left with the indelible memory of Charlie’s hearty laugh, while he maintained that look in his eye that you knew he’s got your back, and would never let you down.
Charlie, my brother, Fair Winds and Following Seas – until we meet again."
"I wish I could think of something eloquent to write but my heart is broken. Charlie and I knew each other since the seventh grade. Growing up, I think I spent more time at his house than my own. He was the best man at my wedding and was like a brother to me. Whenever life gets hard I always ask myself, "What would Charlie do?".
I'm amazed by the extent of Charlie's influence and reputation as a leader of men. Having shared the news of his passing with friends from our grade school days, I learned that one had made a comment in passing to a Marine he worked with while in Vegas about losing a childhood friend who was in the corps. This marine immediately piped up and asked if that marine was Col. Dowling. He went on to say, "Colonel Dowling was a great leader, family man and an overall caring person who cared for his marines."
Rest in peace, buddy. You stand relieved."
"To Col Dowling's family my condolences, my prayers and thoughts are with you in this time of great sadness. I worked for him many years ago in Okinawa. He was a mentor to many Marines and a great leader. “When I ask you what time it is, tell me the time; don’t teach me how to build the watch.” One of his sayings that has stuck with me since he told it to me. Semper Fidelis Sir!"
"Shocking news... I never worked directly with Charlie, but as a fellow G6/Commo was always struck by his professionalism, leadership and the sense of pride he inspired in his Marines. My prayers are with your family Charlie. You will be missed. Semper Fidelis and God Bless my friend..."
"Man this is such sad news!!!!! Col. Dowling you will be missed - what an Officer and a Gentleman you were while serving in Pretoria South Africa. I have yet to seen any other Officer treat his marines the way Col Dowling treated his men - he treated them like they were his family!!! RIP Col Dowling!!! I salute you Sir!!!"
"I had the honor of meeting and working with Major Dowling as member of the I&I Staff for Communication Company , HQBN, 4th MARDIV Cincinnati, OH.
When I first check into the unit, Major Dowling was forwarded deployed to South Africa, all I kept hearing from everyone on the staff was wait until the Major get back, he doesn't play, he has high standards.
All I can say after meeting him is this,and anyone who has had both the honor and opportunity to know him, will know this to be true, He was a true Marine, he worked hard, he demanded the best of you, and no matter the situation or time of day, he did everything within his power to take care of you.
Major Dowling led his Marines from the front, he did this with grace, honor and unlimited commitment. I cannot find the words to convey the sorrow that I feel for Cathy and the Dowling family at this time. All I can say is rest in peace, you will be missed."
"When I heard the news I felt like someone sucked all the air out of my chest. Charlie way my OPSO when I was CO MWCS-18 in 2000. He was the best OPSO I ever had and one of the best Marine officers I ever had the pleasure of serving with! He was a Marine's Marine and a family man! He will be missed and this is a great loss for the Corps! Heaven's Gates now have another fine Marine on watch! Rest in peace Charlie and Semper Fidelis! Deb Beutel LtCol USMC, Retired"
"When I found out about Mr. Dowling’s passing, I sat in my room for a good couple of minutes in silence before reaching out. I had a scare with my own family a year prior, and it is so cruel that something so sudden can tear hearts and take someone so kind, important and loved away from us.
I, unfortunately, had only a mere moment of getting to know Mr. Dowling. However, knowing his son very well, I can say that a moment was all I needed to understand the kind of person he was and will continue to be in our hearts. Charlie Jr. constantly had a sense of pride about him regarding his father. Someone who I knew, as soon as I looked at him when he was talking about his dad, made him who he is today: a loyal, strong-willed, confident man who would do anything for his country and his loved ones. Mr. Dowling, you raised such an amazingly strong family and a wonderful son.
Rest in peace, sir."
"I met Charlie as a Captain while being stationed in Okinawa with MWCS-18. What I remembered the most about him was how down to earth he was towards his enlisted under his charge. He was very patient with me in particular, knowing that I was a young and developing Marine and I will forever be appreciative of him and his guidance that he gave me. He was a great man and leader. Semper Fi Sir!! May he rest in peace"
"Col dowling will be greatly missed by anyone who has served or crossed paths with him, he always made sure he knew his marines and took care of them. Your wisdom and words will live on forever.
"Colonel Dowling..... Thank You for being a Mentor, The Boss, and most of all a Friend. You gave me the knowledge and confidence to do the job you hired me for. I am forever Grateful!
Kathy, Shannon, and Charlie our hearts and prayers are with you!
Semper Fi Sir, you will never be forgotten!!"
"Col Dowling will be remembered as a great man for many reasons....for me, it was his genuine concern for his Marines and their family. Now, my thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends...RIP Sir."
"Colonel Charles Dowling is and was a true patriot. His mentorship and comradery will be missed, but never forgotten. Among many places, his legacy will be preserved in the professionalism of Marines who had the privilege to be led by him. My prayers go out to the Dowling family."
"He was my platoon commander at Quantico, Comm Officer School. He was a Captain then and right after he took over I had some health issues and ended up at Bethesda. He came and visited me and made sure I was getting proper treatment. He wanted to know who had to go and talk to, to make sure it would happen. It was much more than just a command visit to a sick Marine, he cared about his Marines. RIP Sir."
I only knew you for a short while and never had too many lengthy conversations with you, so alas I did not know you well. BUT what I DO know is that you have always been a solid leader. From these countless tributes to what your Marines have always told me about you and from what little I already knew you were a true inspiration to us all!! I still read some of your excerpts that reside within the 1st Marine Division G6 building and look at them as guiding stones along my own path to do the best and be the best I can be, and to train my Marines like you trained yours. Fair winds and following seas, Semper Fidelis, and Rest in Piece. I will be praying for your Family and all the countless lives you touched. Rest Peacefully Colonel!"
"I only knew him for a short time while at III MEF in 2003, but then Maj Dowling showed a lot of patience for a Gunny coming off recruiting duty. He helped me understand a lot about MEF communications in a very short time. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Semper Fidelis and RIP, Sir."
"Sleep steady sir. SEMPER FI"
"Charlie was a great Marine. We went to TBS together, Delta Company '91. I want to offer my deepest condolences."
"Colonel Dowling was such an inspiration! From the way he worked out, to the way he performed as a Commo and Marine.... To his love of family and his love of Kathy and the kids... To the way he chewed my ass and the way he saw the future and vision of the future value of C4 systems on the future battlefield... He will forever be a man I remember, admire, and love! His loss was a crushing blow to me, a remberance to always do the right thing and balance the love of our Corps and the love of family. A fine balance, but one Charlie managed with presumed ease!!! We will all miss you sir"
"Colonel Charles Dowling....... words cannot explain the impact that you had In the 1st Marine Division G6 let alone the impact you had as a
communications officer across the Marine Corps. You ate, slept, drank, and bled Marine. You were the epitome of what it meant to be a great Marine Officer, husband, brother, Son, father and Grandfather. You definitely were one of the best commissioned officers, leader, mentor, and father figure that I have ever met while serving in country and in garrison. I was always hopping that I would get the chance to work under your charge as a SNCO one day. My heart and prayers go out to your wife Kathy, your family, friends, and fellow Marines. You may
be gone but your legacy still remains and you will NEVER be
"I just heard this awful news. I've known Charlie since 2002 when we met on Okinawa and I'd become very good friends with this great Marine, father and husband. He is gone way too early and will be greatly missed by the USMC community and his dear family. May he rest in peace and our heartfelt prayers are extended to his wonderful family. God Bless him and his family. Semper Fi."
"A true gentleman, a great leader and a good friend. Charlie, I will miss the fine example of a man and Marine you emulate as well as your fellowship. God bless you and your family, you are already missed."
"Charlie was my faculty advisor at Comm Officer School 18 years ago. An awesome mentor, leader, and communicator who I feel very fortunate to have crossed paths with over the years. Prayers to Kathy and the family, he is missed. Semper Fidelis."
To early for you to leave this earth and your family and friends. May God hold you in His loving palm for all eternity. I remain, Semper Fidelis, Dan McGee LtCol USMC (Ret)"
"To know him was to love him. He will be sorely missed. The world is a better place because of everything he did and the way he lived his life."
"Charlie - In every family there is one special someone that everyone looks to with respect and appreciation for having dedicated their life so the rest of us can enjoy the freedoms that we seldom appreciate.
I remember the day you came and told Kathy and I of your intentions - with that same excitement that you brought each and every time we saw you - whether it was Rochester, Lejune, Ohio, Quantico or Newport!
You and Kathy truly lived your mission with the zeal and energy and excitement that few of us bring to the table.
My memories extend from the funny little kid who we yelled at for making faces in our wedding photos back in 1980 to the proud and deserving Colonel who received those accolades with Kathy and Mom in Newport last year.
Your passing leaves a giant size hole in the hearts of the entire Peragallo, Dowling, Hunt and Koning families. You will be missed!
Your brother in law and friend...
"Our thoughts and prayers are with you.in this difficult time. Charlie was the epitome of a Marine. He taught all of us young midshipman at UR how to lead by example. Loved, Respected and admired by all. God bless!"
"His loss is strongly felt by so many. He will be missed"
"Charlie was an incredible man and a Marine of great character. In the brief time we served together at 10th Marines he taught me volumes about how to be a fair, level-headed platoon commander who got his hands dirty. While a Marine through and through, I don't think he'd be angry for me to say that the iconic leader in the series Band of Brothers, Army MAJ Richard Winters, reminded me of Charlie Dowling in his speech, leadership style, and care for his men. Please keep his wonderful bride Kathy Gibson Dowling and his children in your prayers.
Semper Fidelis, Charlie. We have the watch.
John Payne, Jr.
U.S. Marine Corps"
"I feel honored to have known such an amazing personl. Sending LOVE and ALOHA to the Dowling family. Your smile and positive attitude will always be remembered!"
"Col Dowling...a fine man who left us too soon. He leaves a legacy of professionalism and innovation for the rest of us to build upon. Semper Fidelis."
"Charlie, you will truly be missed. It was great working with you at MWCS-48 and getting to know Kathy and the family. Jenn and I have you and your family in our prayers. Thinking of you my friend."
"Charlie Dowling was my friend. He was the kind of guy who was everybody’s friend. But he inspired me to be better in ways that I already thought I was complete. Charlie was the kind of man who you wanted to be like, more importantly for your sons to be like. He loved his wife in a way that was so much more than show, but you can see it in every picture of them together. He may be gone but he touched so many lives while he was here that he will not be forgotten.
You inspire me today, Charlie Dowling, to live a life worthy of our friendship."
"I had the privilege of working with Charlie during my last tour. Outstanding communicator! You will be missed. Semper Fidelis, Sir ..."
"Semper Fidelis to a great man, father, grandfather, and Marine. The Corps will miss your leadership."
"To the entire Dowling Family and the United States Marine Corp. I am so sorry to hear about Charlie. Though I haven't seen him in a number of years, I have always felt protected by his service to our nation. I'm very proud of him amd all he has done for our country and his family. Love your cousin Bob"
"We love you sir! Thank you for everything you have done for this country. You taught me so much.... not only about what kind of Marine I would love to be but also the type of person and parent. Words cannot explain my grattitude. Kathy, and your family are in my prayers. He will never be forgotten!"
"Rest in Peace, Sir. Semper Fi! May your family and friends be comforted by God."
"May God carry you all in the hull of his hand. The loss of this great man will leave a whole in the hearts of many. I know my words will have no comfort but know Charlie is now in the great Heaven and is watching from there protecting you as always. Semper Fi Mr. Dowling"
"Charlie......a great man, husband, father, grandfather, and Marine. You set the example for all to emulate. Your legacy will live on through those you knew and worked with through the years. Rest in peace. - Doug and Nancy Fairfield"
"Sending all the Dowlings healing hugs during this heartbreaking time. My prayers are with you, Kathy. xo"
"Rest in peace"
"Wishing your family peace and comfort during this difficult time. We will forever remember you as a wonderful, caring and fun neighbor in Monte Verde. Dave & Anne"
"I met Charlie in South Africa when he was there commanding Region 6. He always impressed me and the others as the consummate professional never missing the small details yet always having the big picture. I appreciated his friendship and mentorship while there. Wendy and I are deeply saddened at his passing. As he now walks streets of gold we ask God to bless and keep his whole family!"
"Thank You For All You& Kathy did for our sons Kyle & Sean It was Greatly Appreciated You Both are the Best You were like Kyle & Seans parents away from home .You will be Greatly Missed By All Rip Col. "I Believe God ONLY takes the Good Ones"!!"
"Praying for peace for your family, your Marine Corps family and for your friends! Thanks for your service and all that your family contributed to the Marine Corps!"
"Thank you sir, for all of your wisdom, mentorship, and friendship for the past sixteen years. I will never forget all that you have taught me and the guidance that you have given me. You will be sorely missed.
"Thank you Charlie for being such an amazing friend and Marine. You've been an inspiration to so many who needed it and to those who just wanted it! I will miss you. Fair winds and following seas my friend."
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