J. Brian Dowling

July 15, 2022


J. Brian Dowling, age 74, of Pompton Lakes, and formerly of Wyckoff, peacefully entered his larger life on July 15, 2022.  Born in Brooklyn, NY, he grew up in many different locations, including Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands, Guam, Saipan, Hawaii, and California due to his father being a career Navy man.  Eventually his family moved to Oakland, NJ and he graduated from Ramapo Regional High School in 1965.  He entered the U.S. Navy in 1967 and became an air traffic controller, serving in Argentia, Newfoundland and Brunswick, Maine until 1970. 

After graduating from the University of Maine in 1973 with a BS in Zoology, Brian began a 40-year career in the medical industry in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and NJ.  In 2014 he began a new career as a “home inspector extraordinaire” with Insight 20/20 Home Inspections, the company he founded.  He loved this new part of his life and all of the people he interacted with in the course of their buying and selling homes.

In 1968, he married Ann Dowling, spending 54 memorable years of marriage together.  Over the years, they were blessed with four daughters, Kayti Lathrop (Sean), Elizabeth Steinke (Sean), Caroline Dowling, and Meghan Decker (Steve) as well as 10 grandchildren (Kaya, Tierra, Tupelo, Seneca, and Haven Lathrop, Shannon and Ryan Steinke, Evey Bea Sweet, and Autumn and Forrest Decker).  Brian’s motto was “teaghlach thar gach niele” – Gaelic for “family above all else.”  His family was his pride and joy.  He loved his wife, children, grandchildren, and sons-in-law and made sure they all knew how special he thought each of them were. 

Brian’s enthusiastic love of nature, sense of wonder and curiosity, and adventuresome spirit were infectious.  He loved scuba diving, snorkeling, fly fishing, camping, hiking, sailing, boating, white water rafting, all things nature-related, especially birds and ocean life, and Halloween!  He had a special place in his heart for New England, particularly his beloved Maine where he and Ann spent their early years.  He fell in love with Kauai, Hawaii, home of his oldest daughter and her family, where he spent as much time as he could…the island spoke to his soul. 

He loved good music, good wine and beer, and good fellowship.  Brian served as a consummate connector of people, both family and friends.  He was kind and generous with his time and talent, always willing to lend a hand to help others, whether it be helping fix something in their home or helping them build a business.  Taking the time to go out of his way for someone else was a common thing for Brian, and he didn’t ever expect anything in return. 

Being 100% Irish, he was an animated storyteller, constructing creative stories that got more elaborate every time he told them!  He also was an engaging teacher who was effective at explaining a fact, process, or the reason behind a given rule.  When asked about something, he didn’t just give an answer; he took the time to explain and help someone really understand.  Brian truly lived life to the fullest and encouraged others to do the same. 

Pre-deceased by his parents, James and Eileen Dowling, and his brother, Shawn Dowling, Brian is survived by his wife, Ann, his daughters and grandchildren, his brothers, Kevin, Dennis, and Rory Dowling, his beloved sister, Maureen Dowling Maioriello (Bill), and many, many cousins and their families, all of whom remember him with much love and admiration.  His was a life well lived, endearing both family and friends, and creating a legion of those who will miss him greatly and remember him fondly. 

The family will receive friends on Friday, August 5, 2022 from 3:00-7:00 PM at Vander Plaat Funeral Home, (, 257 Godwin Avenue, Wyckoff, NJ.

A memorial service will be celebrated on Saturday, August 6, 2022 at 11:00 AM at St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church, 169 Fairmount Road, Ridgewood, NJ.  Private interment for family members only in St. Elizabeth’s Memorial Garden will take place at 10:00 prior to the service.  A reception in St. Elizabeth’s Parish Hall will take place following the service.  For those who cannot attend in person, the service will also be livestreamed on the church’s website ( and its Facebook page and YouTube channel

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to:

Laurelwood Arboretum

725 Pines Lake Drive West

Wayne, NJ  07470  

(Mailing address:  P.O. Box 2433, Wayne, NJ  07474-2433)


Surfrider Foundation

P.O. Box 73550

San Clemente, CA  92673





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August 5, 2022

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Vander Plaat Funeral Home
257 Godwin Avenue
Wyckoff, NJ 07481

Funeral Service
August 6, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church
169 Fairmount Rd
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Video is available for this event


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