Obituaries » Lawrence F. Dowd
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A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Thursday, June 22, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 150 East Summit Ave., Muskegon, MI 49444, with the Rev. Fr. Lou Anderson as celebrant. Friends may visit with the family at the church one hour prior to the mass, beginning at 10:00 AM. Interment will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Muskegon. Memorial contributions may be given to Vineyard Assisted Living Employee Recognition Program, 8170 Vineyard Parkway, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49009 or www.MidMichiganHonorFlight.org.
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DOWD, Lawrence “Larry” F.
Formerly of Muskegon & Traverse City
Age 90, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 3, 2023. Larry was born in Muskegon, Michigan on May 1, 1933, the son of the late James and Mary Ann (Pointer) Dowd. He lost his mother when he was only three years old and his father at age 16. Larry was the youngest of nine children and was preceded in death by his eight siblings, Edward, Mabel, Kathleen, James, Dorothy, Ralph, Norma and Thomas. Larry quit school at the age of 17 to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. During boot camp, he excelled as a marksman and because of his age, he was too young to be sent to an active combat zone. As a result, he remained at Parris Island in South Carolina where he was a Marksmanship Instructor. After two years he was shipped out to the Koran War combat zone. Larry served with honor earning a Bronze Star during his tour, but he never spoke much about his time at war. The Marine Corps was an important part of his life, and he was a firm believer in once a Marine, always a Marine. Upon his return from Korea in 1953, he transferred to the Marine Reserves, where he served for nearly 30 years, retiring with the rank of Sergeant Major. It was important to Larry that he complete high school and so, once he was back from war, he attended Muskegon Catholic Central, graduating at the age of 25. He was well respected among his classmates, was elected class president and was endearingly called “dad” or “the old man of the class” because of his age. On August 17, 1958, he married the loved of his life, Mary Jean Langlois. They lived a happy life together and enjoyed dancing, camping, celebrating family events and raising their three children. Mary Jean passed away from breast cancer in 1982. Larry was a hardworking handyman’s handyman. He built his family home from the ground up, taking several years to finish. In 1984, he married his longtime co-worker at Neway/Lear Siegler, Darlene K. Witt, and they enjoyed 38 years of happy marriage, with much humor and many trips. Darlene passed away on April 23, 2023. Later in life, Larry began working for Brunswick Corporation in Muskegon. Larry and Darlene moved to Traverse City in 1992 as he neared retirement, where they lived for 29 years before moving to Vineyard Assisted Living in Kalamazoo where he was cared for by the staff like family and became a beloved resident. Larry was a life-long faithful and devout Catholic. He was a long-time member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Muskegon where he was baptized as an infant. Larry also attended Immaculate Conception Church in Traverse City. Larry exemplified service to his family and his fellow man, providing well for his children, including 12 years of Catholic School education and college. He volunteered as a Eucharist Minister, sang in the choir, worked at the food pantry and participated in construction mission trips. He was also a well-respected volunteer at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, specifically in the Oncology Ward. Larry enjoyed serving others who suffered from cancer like his wife, Mary Jean. At Munson, he would restock patient rooms with supplies, chat with patients, offer them a little sunshine through humor and encouragement and would often pray with them. Larry was a well-known jokester, always making people laugh and brightening their day. He loved people and he loved life. Larry will be remembered as proud Catholic, proud Marine and a proud Irishman. He will be missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his children, Larry (Nancy) Dowd, Susan (John) Hagenbarth and Jeffrey (Karen) Dowd; grandchildren, Troy Dowd, Zachary Dowd, Brendan Dowd, Rachael Gotstein, Bryan Hagenbarth, Brenna Hagenbarth, Scott Hagenbarth and Marcia Hune; six great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Thursday, June 22, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 150 East Summit Ave., Muskegon, MI 49444, with the Rev. Fr. Lou Anderson as celebrant. Friends may visit with the family at the church one hour prior to the mass, beginning at 10:00 AM. Interment will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Muskegon. Memorial contributions may be given to Vineyard Assisted Living Employee Recognition Program, 8170 Vineyard Parkway, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49009 or www.MidMichiganHonorFlight.org.