Floral 14

Dolores T. Dowd-Dean

August 1, 1930 ~ November 14, 2022 (age 92) 92 Years Old
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Dolores T. Dowd-Dean of Holyoke, MA and Lake Sunapee, NH, passed away peacefully on Monday, November 14, 2022 at the age of 92. She was surrounded by her children, Kate, Ann, John, Beth, Clare, Deb, and Greg.

Dolores was born in Tarrytown, NY in 1930- the first child of Marcella and Louis Henderson. She married John E. Dowd of Holyoke, MA in 1953 and together raised seven children, creating lasting memories and infusing a deep sense of connection and love. She was the proud grandmother of 17 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

After the early death of her husband John (1974), Dolores raised her children independently until meeting the second love of her life, Dr. Philip Dean (2010), with whom she shared 29 wonderful years.  From that marriage she leaves nine stepchildren and 19 step-grandchildren.

Before raising her family, Dolores served as Secretary to the Principal at John J. Lynch Junior High School in Holyoke. Additionally, throughout her life she engaged in several endeavors that were important to her including serving as an interim foster parent to infants in critical need through Catholic Charities, volunteering as a docent at Mt. Holyoke College; providing patient support at Holyoke Hospital and child care at the Holyoke Day Nursery. She loved all children, especially babies, and in addition to holding her own, always found an extra arm to extend to a child (or parent) in need.

In her last years, Dolores lived part-time at The Residence at Riverbend, in Ipswich, MA where she met many new friends and enjoyed having three of her daughters nearby. Before Riverbend, she lived part-time at Providence Place in Holyoke, MA for four years near her son and two sisters.

Throughout her adult lifetime, Dolores delighted in spending time with her children, grandchildren and extended family at Lake Sunapee, NH. She created a warm and loving haven for her family where they shared many beautiful memories together.

In spite of her own recent chronic pain, she was highly attuned and responsive to the needs of others and shone with a generous and beautiful heart. People loved being around her and felt uplifted by her genuine interest in their lives. She embodied service, compassion, and an open and non-judgmental heart and lived a life of acceptance and grace. She never failed to delight in the beauty of this earth, the color of the leaves on the trees, the sky at sunset, the birds at the feeder, the lake water lapping, and the warmth of the sun.

She was moved by music from the core of her soul, and no matter where she was, or how she felt, a song could inspire her to get up and dance. Even in her last days, this was a tremendous source of joy. She had a great appreciation for art, music and literature, and an intuitive sense for aesthetics and beauty. In her prime, she enjoyed daily fast walks, tennis, water and snow skiing.

Every day of her life she expressed pride and immense gratitude for her seven children, whom she loved with all of her heart. She drew her strength and joy from a deep and abiding love of God and Catholic faith, which helped to carry her through difficult times. She was a humble, uncomplicated and benevolent person.  Kindness was at the core of her being.

She leaves her children: Kate, London, England; Ann (Larry), NYC; John (Linda), Longmeadow, MA; Elizabeth (Doug), Wenham, MA; Clare (Ed), Newburyport, MA; Deborah, Brookline, MA; Gregory (Emily) Arlington, VT; her grandchildren: Jack (Vanessa); Evan (Cate); Andrew; Liam; Kayla; Bronte; Cole; Lily; Eli; Emily; Sophie; Marty; Georgia; Trust; Sam; Charlie; and Isla; sister Louise Stapleton (James), her sister Deb McLaughlin (Owen) both of Holyoke, MA, brother Chris Clark; and she was predeceased by her brother Edward Clark and sister Cynthia Rowell. She was a beloved aunt to her many nieces and nephews. She also leaves her nine stepchildren: MaryJude; Philip; Anne; Tom; Carolyn; John (late); Margaret; Catherine; and Elizabeth.

Relatives and friends are invited to gather for a Mass of Christian Burial for Dolores on Saturday, November 19th at 11:00 am in Our Lady of the Cross Parish Church on Holy Cross Avenue in Holyoke, MA. There are no calling hours and burial is private. The Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home in Holyoke is handling arrangements. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Dolores’s memory to Providence Ministries, 51 Hamilton Street, Holyoke, MA 01040.

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Mass of Christian Burial
November 19, 2022

11:00 AM
Our Lady of the Cross Church
Holy Cross Avenue
Holyoke, MA 01040


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