John was born in Darlington County, a son of the late J. Frank and Geraldine Gardner Dowling. He was a graduate of Kentucky School of Mortuary Science at Louisville. John began his funeral service career with Belk-King Funeral Home in Darlington, and served others over his career. He began working with Stoudenmire Funeral Home in the early eighties, and in 1988, he and his wife Wanda purchased the business. They changed the name to Stoudenmire-Dowling in 1990, and John served as President until his retirement in 2012. He was a member of the SC Funeral Directors’ Association, the National Funeral Directors’ Association and served as president of the SC State Board of Funeral Service from 1998-1999. John served his community with pride and compassion for others, having served on the board of the Pee Dee Mental Health Association, the board of Compassionate Friends of the Pee Dee, and others. He was a member of Hampton Lodge #204 AFM and was a Master Mason.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 32 years, Wanda Haynes Dowling; 4 children, Heather D. Burnham, Jessica Leigh Dowling, Keri Nicole Dowling (Reynolds Ivins, II), and John Christopher (Tiffany Whipple) Dowling; 1 brother, Sandy (Debra) Dowling; 2 sisters, Eileen D. Benton and Faye D. (John) Dexter; and 3 grandchildren, Jason and Karlee Burnham and Violet Marie Ivins.
Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 P.M. Saturday, October 1, 2016 at the Florence Baptist Temple. Interment will follow in Mount Hope Cemetery, directed by Stoudenmire-Dowling Funeral Home.
The family will begin greeting friends at 5:00 P.M. Friday at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions are requested to be made to two charities very close to John’s heart, The Frank Monroe Scholarship Fund of the Florence Baptist Temple, 2308 S. Irby St. Florence, SC 29505 or to McLeod Hospice of the Pee Dee, PO Box 100551, Florence, SC 29502.
Our family wishes to thank the staff of McLeod Hospice House for their love, kindness and care during a difficult time for us all.
Online Condolences: Stoudenmire-Dowling Funeral Home