The Life of Dr. James G. Dowling

James Glenville (Glen) Dowling was born on December 19, 1925, in Brooklyn, New York. He died on June 2, 2020, from natural causes at home in South Burlington, Vermont with his loving wife Leora (Lee) by his side.

Glen lived a happy, interesting, and lucky life. His earliest years were spent in bucolic Callicoon, New York, where he had a carefree childhood despite being afflicted with polio. Glen spent his middle and high school years in Fairfield, CT, and it was there that he would later establish a dental practice and raise a family with his first wife, Marge McNamara, who died in 1988. Dr. Dowling married his second wife, Leora Sparapani, in 1990 and they traveled and enjoyed life together in Fairfield, CT; St. Augustine, FL; on their boat Allegro; and for the past 18 years in Vergennes and So. Burlington, Vermont.

Glen was part of the generation whose life was greatly affected by World War II. After attending Fordham for a few months, he turned 17 and took an exam to enter the military. The Navy put him in the V-12 Officer Training Program, and he received training and his B.S. at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. Glen proudly served in the U.S. Navy during the last year of WWII on an LST in the Pacific. While overseas he walked through the recently bombed city of Nagasaki with his Captain; he never spoke of that day with his second wife until they had been married for more than 25 years.

After the war, Glen went to Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. When the Korean War broke out, he served in the Navy Dental Corps in Coronado, CA, returning to live in Fairfield CT, where he had a successful dental practice for many years before retiring in 1987. Glen had a fine life raising his three children, spending summers playing tennis and sailing, and winters skiing at Mount Snow, VT. His formative years instilled a love of being on the water; the Delaware River had been his playground and sailing became his truest passion. He was a longtime member of the Pequot Yacht Club in Southport, CT and he sailed on Long Island Sound, in Florida, and on Lake Champlain in Vermont until he was in his 92nd year (the last few with the help of volunteer crew).

Glen had a lifelong love of reading, storytelling, and music, the latter in part because his father, James Gerald Dowling, an immigrant from Dublin, Ireland loved to sing and play at the piano. Glen was a charming, calm, and genuine man, a raconteur like his father, a nifty dancer, a loyal friend, and a proud Democrat.
Glen was also predeceased by his mother Kathleen and sister Patricia. Besides his wife he is survived by three children from his first marriage and their spouses: James Glenville Jr. of Wethersfield, CT; Cynthia Caligan of Guilford CT, and Nicolas of Mountain View, CA, nine grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. He also leaves nieces and nephews as well as family members in Ireland, and many dear friends closer to home.

The family would like to thank the caregivers of Bayada Hospice for their dedication to Glen and Lee over the past months. Donations in his name can be made to Northeast Disabled Athletic Association, 82 Killarney Dr. Burlington, VT 05408 or online at: A memorial service will be held in Vermont and online later this summer.

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