He was born June 27, 1933, in Lilbourn, Mo., to John Henry and Geneva Copeland Dowling Sr.
Dowling was a graduate of Diehlstadt High School and the University of Missouri.
He and Beverly Jean Morrow were married July 11, 1959.
He was preceded in death by his wife; an infant son, Charles Copeland Dowling; and parents, John and Geneva Dowling.
Survivors include four children, Malette (Charles) Reed of Heath, Texas, Denise Dowling of Suwanee, Ga., Jay (Kelly) Dowling of Holly Springs, N.C., Michelle Dowling of Paducah, Ky.; five granddaughters, Stephanie and Elizabeth Reed of Heath, Ashley, Kathryn and Shannon Dowling of Holly Springs; a brother, Melvin (Karen) Dowling of Dyersburg, Tenn.; three nephews; and two nieces.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. today at McMikle Funeral Home.
The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home, with the Rev. Dr. Larry Potts officiating. Burial will be in IOOF Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to Mighty Rivers Regional Worship Center in Cairo, 227 11th St., Cairo, IL, or Cairo Public Library, 1609 Washington Ave., Cairo, IL 62914.
Online condolences may be shared at www.mcmiklefuneralhome.com.