Marianne Maloney Dowling photo

Marianne Maloney Dowling

Marianne Maloney Dowling, formerly of Scarsdale, died Jan. 30. She was 79.

Born to Elmer and Mary Maloney of Scarsdale on Dec. 13, 1941, seven days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, she grew up in Scarsdale, and as an adult she resided in Tiburon, California; St. Petersburg, Florida; and Prospect Harbor, Maine.

An honors graduate of Annunciation School, The Ursuline School, Manhattanville College and Fordham University School of Law, she was the only woman in her graduating class and was invited to join the law review, which she politely declined because, “It didn’t sound like much fun,” according to her family.

She began her career at Mutual of New York (MONY) in Manhattan, after which she was recruited by the former governor of Georgia, Carl Sanders, to join his firm, Troutman, Sanders, Lockerman & Ashmore as its first female partner, and one of the first female law partners at a large law firm in Georgia. She later returned to MONY, where she ultimately retired as vice president of diversified operations, only to reemerge a few years later to help oversee an insurance firm and later a fabric design company called Town Toiles.

Mrs. Dowling’s family said she was known for her “quick wit, keen intelligence, easy laugh, unflappable balance and sense of adventure,” and was beloved by those who knew her. They said she possessed “an unmatched, indomitable spirit and zest for life, along with an uncanny ability to define every word in the English dictionary.” Mrs. Dowling’s dedication to her family and friends and her “abundant energy” were as impressive as her “savantlike knowledge of history,” her family said.

She is survived by her two daughters, Anne Dowling (Derek Hess) of St. Petersburg and Katherine Dowling (Marc Axelbaum) of Tiburon; five grandchildren (all of whom she taught to read), William, Oliver, Charles, Cameron and Phoebe; sister Carol Connors of Somers, New York; brother Raymond Maloney of Tucson, Arizona; and her former husband Roderick Dowling of Atlanta, with whom she remained lifelong friends. She was predeceased by her older brother Christopher Maloney.

Mrs. Dowling’s family and friends gathered virtually on Feb. 24 to commemorate her life. An in-person celebration will take place at a later date.

The family requests that contributions be made in Mrs. Dowling’s memory to a scholarship fund for women, which is being formed in her honor at Fordham Law School. Contributions can be made online at or by calling 212-636-6529. Additionally, checks may be mailed to: Development Office, Fordham Law School, 150 West 62nd St., New York, NY 10023.

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