Helen Dowling, 100, Former real estate executive, volunteer

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Helen M. Dowling, 100, of River Forest died on Feb. 26, 2011 at her home. Born on Nov. 23, 1910 to Margaret and Patrick McCarthy in Chicago, she married Robert E. Dowling, an attorney, real estate investor, and decorated WWII Lt. Commander with the U.S. Navy, and together they had seven children.

Mrs. Dowling managed real estate until she retired at age 65. She drove from age 15 until she turned 95 and maintained a home in Lake Geneva where she enjoyed spending time with her family. She was an active member of St. Luke Church, the Boy Scouts, Infant Welfare, Zonta, the 19th Century Club and Nakama.

She volunteered with Meals on Wheels and at Oak Park Hospital. In her spare time, she loved to play bridge.

Helen Dowling is survived by her children, Don (Andree), Terence (Peggy), Diane O'Donnell, Owen (Ginny) and Kevin (Marti); her 15 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert; her sons, Robert and Brian; and her son-in-law, Philip O'Donnell.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, March 2, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St., Oak Park. Prayers will begin at 9:15 a.m. on Thursday, March 4. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. at St. Luke Church in River Forest, followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to a charity of your choice are appreciated.

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