Donald Barth Dowling


Donald Barth Dowling, 72, lost his battle with Lewy body dementia on June 8, 2017.

Born in Eureka, Illinois, Don moved to Gulf Shores, Alabama in 1995. In 2001, he founded the Coastal Chorale, which he led from 2001 through 2009, then later formed The Dowling Singers, which was in its second year when the group disbanded due to his illness.

While residing in Illinois, Don formed the Peoria Area Civic Chorale, leading the organization from 1982 through 1994; the organization honored him during their 35th anniversary this spring. Employment during the 1970s and 1980s included directing church choirs and leading championship bands, orchestras and choruses at Morton and East Peoria high schools.

Don was awarded music degrees from Illinois Wesleyan University and Illinois State University. He was also a regionally competitive water skier and a national master driver for such events.

A celebration of life service was held June 12 in Gulf Shores.

Surviving are his wife of 30 years, Kayla; his two sons in Greenville, South Carolina, Mike (Lisa) and Matt (Holly); as well as five grandchildren, ages 9 to 18; and his two sisters, Julie (Tom) Grojean in Illinois and Marcia (Bill) Waller in Michigan.

The Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center has received Don's brain for use in dementia research.

To contribute to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, visit or send a check to 912 Killian Hill Road S.W., Lilburn, GA 30047. Memorials may also be made to the music ministry of Gulf Shores First Presbyterian Church, 309 E. 21st Ave., Gulf Shores, AL 36542.