Jay Dowling

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Bernard Jay Dowling, 60, of Swansea, IL, departed our lives on May 15, 2021.  He was born in Belleville, IL on October 31, 1960 – a true Halloween baby!

Jay graduated from Collinsville High School in 1978, Culver-Stockton College in 1982, the Illinois Department of Law Enforcement in 1983, and St. Louis University Law School in 1988.  He was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1988 and Missouri Bar in 1989.  His career took him down many paths, starting as a patrolman for the Fairview Heights Police Department from 1983-1985, then transitioned to the practice of law in 1988.  During his law career, Jay worked with the firms of Nelson & Bement; Heiligenstein & Badgley; Rich, Nalefski & Dowling; the majority of his time spent with Sterling & Dowling; and was currently a partner with Clayborne & Wagner.  He was held in very high regard within the legal community, authored multiple law publications, and was voted by his peers the past two years as a Leading Lawyer.  Jay was a bull-headed, stubborn workaholic who thrived on enforcing the rule of law.  He only knew one thing, and that was to give it his all – no excuses!  He will truly be missed.

Above all else, Jay’s devotion to his family and friends was fierce, and he would move mountains to do anything asked of him.  Jay enjoyed all activities involving his sons – sports, scouting, music – you name it.  He was their biggest fan!

Jay was truly blessed with wonderful people in his life.  Many wonderful friends (too many to count!), coworkers and of course his family whom he adored more than anything.  He married his wife of 33 years, Shelly (Easterley) Dowling on November 25, 1988, and was bursting with pride when his sons, Mason (Nikki) Dowling and Nolan (Sarah) Dowling were born.  Nothing surpassed his thrill and excitement when his grandson, William, came into the family.  In addition to his immediate family, Jay had many family members (whether by blood or by bonus) to grace his life – brother, Mead “Chuck” (Gailyn) Dowling; sisters, Cherie (Keith) Carlisle and Vernita (Paul) Palmer; fathers-in-law and mothers-in-law, Kenny and Carol Easterley, and Stephen and Sally Jay; sisters-in-law; Samantha (fiancé Garrick Roland) Easterley-Bierman and Julie Pait; nieces and nephews, Douglas Carlisle, Kaitlyn Carlisle, Lindsey Pait and Michael Pait; and last but certainly not least, his “bonus babies” Mary, Grace, Alex, and Robbie Schallert.

Jay was preceded in death by his parents, Wilbert LeRoy and Lois Jean (Frey) Dowling, and a niece, Jordan Carlisle.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Teresa Boy Scout Troop 19 or Belleville East Athletics. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.

 Visitation:  Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 21, 2021, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, and from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 22, 2021, at St. Teresa Catholic Church, Belleville, IL. Masks are required at both locations.

Funeral:  A Memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 22, 2021, at St. Teresa Catholic Church, Belleville, IL. Masks and check in will be required upon arrival.

According to Jay’s wishes, cremation services were held.

 

Condolences:

45 Comments on Jay Dowling

Sharon Minner said : Guest Report Jun 14, 2021 at 3:39 PM

I worked with Jay back in the 90's and reached out to him last year to help me with a case. I'm so saddened by the news of his passing and know your hearts are heavy. My deepest sympathy to all of his family.

  • Eureka Springs
  • AR
Margie Daniels said : Guest Report May 25, 2021 at 9:03 AM

To the Dowling Family, I am so sorry to hear of the sudden passing of Jay. He was a wonderful person! My thoughts and prayers are with the Dowling Family. Margie

  • Shiloh
  • IL
Angelete Mayer Mitchell said : Guest Report May 21, 2021 at 8:53 PM

God bless your family at this difficult time. I knew Jay in high school & I always think of him smiling. He was so kind.

  • Santa Rosa Beach
  • FL
Rhonda (Idoll) Miller said : Guest Report May 21, 2021 at 8:34 PM

Condolences to Mead and all the family on your loss. Our families grew up and went to school together.

  • Collinsville
  • Il
Randall Johnston said : Guest Report May 21, 2021 at 3:34 PM

To a good teammate and friend you will be sorely missed. Til we meet again on the gridiron I know you’ll be waiting on me. Love Randall Scott and family. Prayers to Shelley and family🙏

  • Columbia
  • IL
Jim Gallen said : Guest Report May 21, 2021 at 10:57 AM

You have my condolences. I would see Jay at workers’ compensation hearings. He was always a pleasant conversationalist and an honorable and worthy opponent. May he rest in peace.

  • St. Louis
  • MO
Barney and Sharon Johnson said : Guest Report May 21, 2021 at 10:45 AM

Shelly and family, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Jay was a very giving, cheerful and dedicated individual. It has been an honor to have been associated with him. He will be missed.

  • Chuckey
  • Tennessee
Art & Sharon Fahrner said : Guest Report May 21, 2021 at 8:34 AM

We were so shocked & saddened to hear about Jay’s passing. We will not be able to attend Jay’s visitation or funeral, but you & your family will be in our thoughts & prayers.

  • Swansea
  • IL
Mary Pado said : Guest Report May 20, 2021 at 5:53 PM

Deepest Sympathy and Love to all Jay’s Family from the entire Pado family. You are in our prayers and thoughts.

  • Collinsville
  • Illinois
Clarence and Dolores Dolley said : Guest Report May 20, 2021 at 5:31 PM

Mason, we are holding you and your family in our prayers. May God grant your mom, you, Nolan and the rest of you a calming spirit of love.

  • Maywood
  • IL
Steve Striegel said : Guest Report May 20, 2021 at 4:37 PM

What a friendly, happy guy Jay was! Taken way too early. I will miss him. My prayers for the entire Dowling family.

  • Corpus Christi
  • Tx
Eric Schultz said : Guest Report May 20, 2021 at 4:21 PM

We are so very sorry for your loss. Jay will be greatly missed.

  • ABQ
  • NM
Linda Italiano said : Guest Report May 20, 2021 at 2:53 PM

Shelly, so very sorry and saddened by this! Jay was one of a kind and a great friend to many who will be missed terribly! I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers!

  • BELLEVILLE
  • IL
Steve & Kathy Cimarolli said : Guest Report May 20, 2021 at 12:41 PM

We are so very sorry for your loss. Jay will be greatly missed.

  • Glen Carbon
  • Il
Mais & Mohammed Al-kadiri said : Guest Report May 20, 2021 at 12:32 PM

Shelly, Mason, Nolan we are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers with you during this difficult time, Jay will be missed but not forgotten, a great friend. Love Mais, Mohammed, Meena and Mejd

  • Arlington
  • VA
Terri Hoff said : Guest Report May 20, 2021 at 8:54 AM

Shelly, my deepest sympathy to you, Mason, Nolan and families. I pray that God will guide you each step of the way in your time of grief and sorrow. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Fairview Heights
  • IL
Chuck and Bridget Reeves family said : Guest Report May 20, 2021 at 7:59 AM

Shelly, Mason & Nolan, Our deepest sympathy to all of you. Jay was such a great guy, always smiling and always doing good for other people. His big smile and big heart will be missed. You are in our thoughts and prayers.❤️

  • Swansea
  • IL
Keith&Maria Holl said : Guest Report May 20, 2021 at 6:50 AM

We are so very sorry to hear of Jay’s passing. Always enjoyed talking WKU football with him during Nolan’s time On The Hill. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers. The Holl Family

  • Belleville
  • IL
Gwen Dasch said : Guest Report May 20, 2021 at 6:24 AM

My deepest condolences to Jay’s wife Shelly and family, Chuck and Gailyn and family. Sending prayers and hugs to all. Jay will be dearly missed by all who ever met him. I remember him as a handsome teenager on Weinel Ct and he was always smiling and so pleasant. RIP.

  • Homosassa
  • Florida
Jenn Brunworh said : Guest Report May 19, 2021 at 7:42 PM

Sending our deepest condolences for your losses. I pray that his memory will always be a blessing to your family.

  • Belleville
  • Il
John and Martha Dowling said : Guest Report May 19, 2021 at 4:17 PM

Shelley, Mason and Nolan, we are very sorry for your loss. God bless all of you and the rest of Jay's family.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Judy Costello said : Guest Report May 19, 2021 at 3:12 PM

Shelly and family I am so sorry for your loss. Jay was a great guy. I'll always remember him with his big smile and kind heart. My prayers are with you at this most difficult time.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Dairy haven said : Guest Report May 19, 2021 at 3:10 PM

I am beyond shocked. I am so sorry to hear this news. I truly loved seeing him was a joy to see his smiling face always. Dairy haven (susie) will miss you. Sorry for the families loss.

  • Caseyville
  • IL
melanie grimm said : Guest Report May 19, 2021 at 2:20 PM

Shelly and family, You are so lucky to have such a great angel to watch over all of you. We can't be at the visitation or service but please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Ron and Melanie Grimm and Family

  • swansea
  • IL
Philip Alfeld said : Guest Report May 19, 2021 at 12:23 PM

I'm saddened to lean of Jay's untimely death. We battled each other in many courtrooms over many years. He was always a professional, a gentleman and a pleasure to work with. Jay often stopped by to say hello and chat after I went on the bench. My sincerest condolences to the Dowling family.

  • Godfrey
  • IL
Rosrmary heinen said : Guest Report May 19, 2021 at 11:15 AM

So sorry shelly, mason, and nolan and families. He was a great dad and husband. My heart goes out to you

  • Belleville
  • Il
Chris & Courtney Hoffman said : Guest Report May 19, 2021 at 10:11 AM

Shelley, Mason & Nolan, our hearts are with you during this incredibly difficult time. Jay was such a devoted father and the first to lend a helping hand at a moment's notice. Sending many prayers and all our love. Chris, Courtney & Harper Hoffman

  • Lexington
  • KY
Jim Fields said : Guest Report May 19, 2021 at 8:12 AM

I am very sorry for your loss. I truly enjoyed standing in the corner at the ice rink watching the boys play Lancer hockey. Jay and I solved a lot of the world’s problems from that spot.

  • Swansea
  • Illinois
Marcia Ashcroft said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 10:29 PM

My childhood was filled with wonderful memories of the entire Dowling family. Jay’s legal expertise helped me out a few times. Chuck, Cheri and Vernita, my heartfelt sympathy. To his wife and children may the Lord bless you🙏

  • Collinsville
  • IL
Ken Moench said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 9:42 PM

I am so sorry for your loss. I last spent time with Jay when we were both in HS but his passing leaves me deeply saddened. 💔

  • Austin
  • Texas
Angie Baron said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 9:12 PM

Shelly, Nolan and Mason, I am so sorry for your loss.Whenever I saw you both, you were arm in arm and so sweet. You will be in our prayers. We are sending love to you and your family. Angie Baron & son AJ Vassen

  • Shiloh
  • IL
Donna&Jim keefe said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 9:11 PM

We are so sorry to hear about Jay.What a great husband dad and friend. Hoping all the good times and memories will help you through this difficult time.You will always carry him in your heart.thoughts and prayers being sent your way. Jim & Donna Keefe

  • Belleville
  • Il
Anita and Jim Roush said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 8:56 PM

Words can’t express our shock of Jays sudden death. I am glad we got to see the both of you at Jake’s wedding. Everyone looked great and we were all happy together again. We will always remember Jay for his kindness and extreme love for his family. We are praying for the entire family. WKU tailgate days will always be a special memory with you all as a part of that family. Love and prayers.....

  • Louisville
  • Ky
Gene and Theresa Diemet said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 7:24 PM

Shelly, Nolan and Mason, we are holding you all so close in prayer. Our deepest condolences to you. We love you guys!

  • Adams
  • TN
Susan Markle said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 6:50 PM

Shelly, Mason and Nolan, Our hearts are heavy! Jay did so much for our family! He was a blessing! We will treasure the memories!

  • O Fallon
  • IL
Edward J. Blake, Jr. said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 6:42 PM

Jay was a good person and an outstanding attorney. He was the first person to arrive at his office every morning. He was a formidable opposing counsel on cases. Condolences to the Dowling family.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Jeff brohm said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 6:13 PM

Nolan and family, We are very saddened to hear the news of your father. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time. Jay was a wonderful man and will be greatly missed.

  • West lafayette
  • Indiana
Jayne Graves said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 5:57 PM

Such Saddness. He will be so missed but never gone. Always in your/ and our hearts and memories. Such an amazing person. Never to be forgotten. Love and prayers to you and your family. 💕

  • O’fallon
  • Il.
Brian Brown said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 3:54 PM

Shelly, Mason & Nolan we are sorry for your loss. Jay was always ready to help a friend. We are thinking of you.

  • Belleville
  • ILLINOIS
Brent & Erin Wilhelm said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 3:20 PM

Shelly, our thoughts & prayers are with you and your family. I always enjoyed chatting with Jay whether after church or just around town. Such a nice man and he will be missed so very much.

  • Swansea
  • IL
Rick and barbara & dominic cruz said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 3:17 PM

Unbeleivable you were just at jake and torie collins wedding with us 2 weeks ago and we had a great night and alot of laughs and fun. Our thoughs and prayers are with you and your family. With all our love the cruz’s

  • Louisville
  • Ky
William Niehoff said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 2:03 PM

Deepest condolences to Jay's family. I worked with and against Jay and always enjoyed seeing him at the court house. He was always upbeat and we usually talked about his family and how proud he was. We will keep you in our prayers.

  • Saint Louis
  • MO
Mary Kay Pritchett said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 2:02 PM

So sorry about Jay. What a shock for everyone. Am praying for all of you!

  • Mascoutah
  • IL
Debbie & Kent Larkin said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 11:55 AM

Shelley and family, our prayers are with you during this very difficult time . Jay was a great guy and we will always have fond memories of him .

  • Fairview Heights
  • IL
Kevin & Val Beyersdorfer said : Guest Report May 18, 2021 at 10:21 AM

Shelly, Mason, and Nolan, We are very sorry for your loss. Our love, thoughts, and prayers will be with all of you. Love, Kevin, Val, and the girls

  • Belleville
  • Illinois

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