01/18/1927 – 11/03/2021
Dorothy (Eichelberger) Dowling of Sunnyvale, California passed away quietly on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. She was 94 years old.
Born in San Jose and raised in Santa Barbara, California, Dorothy was the youngest child of Lela (Rubeck) Eichelberger and Roy Eichelberger. Her older siblings were Robert Eichelberger, and sisters Helen (Eichelberger) Barry and Alta Ruth (Eichelberger) Wallin Huntley.
Dorothy’s father, Roy, was the founding principal of Santa Barbara Junior High School. She earned a degree in Elementary Education because, as her father told his daughters, “You can always find work as a teacher.”
She graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 1948. During her time at the college, she was a member of Chi Alpha Delta, Kappa Delta Pi and Crown and Scepter. She went on to teach at Inglewood and Santa Barbara elementary schools.
At age 15, Dorothy met her future husband, Lescher Dowling, at a school dance. He was immediately smitten and did his best to win her affection, but it wasn’t until Lescher was drafted into the army during WW2 to serve overseas in the China Burma India (CBI) theater that Dorothy decided it was her patriotic duty to write to him regularly. It was during their wartime correspondence that their relationship really blossomed. They were married in Montecito on July 16, 1950.
During the early years of her marriage – besides being a teacher, homemaker, den mother, cookie-baker, pet wrangler, tutor, kid’s carpooler, part-time dental assistant, photographer and much more
Dorothy had a knack for writing poetry:
I met two ladies yesterday;
The first most wondrous fair,
The second somewhat wrinkled
And bent by time and care.
They walked beside two gentlemen,
And one bespoke his pride
Of having spent a lifetime at
That second lady’s side.
Once her children had left the nest, Dorothy expanded her horizons by traveling with her husband to Elderhostel programs and CBI Veteran reunions, enrolling in classes, studying Eastern philosophy, starting a meditation group, baking perfect apple pies, refinishing antiques, making hats, joining the P.E.O. Sisterhood women’s organization and later, a local Memoires Writing group. She also enjoyed working out at the YMCA, doing volunteer work, and playing the Tripoli & Mexican Train game with family and friends.
A collection of her whimsical verse was published in The Beastlies Alphabet, a humorous children’s book, and was illustrated by her daughter. In everything Dorothy did, she was thoughtful, creative, funny, loving and supportive. It is fair to say she lived a happy and fulfilled life.
Dorothy is survived by her beloved husband of 71 years, Lescher Dowling; her children, Richard Dowling and Lela (Dowling) Cirocco; grandchildren Sara and Skye; and great grandchildren Katheryne, Kimberly, Brielli, and Gianna, as well as numerous nephews and nieces.