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Shirley Alison Dowling

April 27th, 1930 - June 23rd, 2024

Shirley Alison Dowling, died June 23, 2024, in Clermont, FL.  A native Floridian, Shirley Dowling was born in 1930 to Scottish immigrants Robert Peacock and Annie Rowatt in Lakeland, FL.  When Robert was widowed, he married Grace Calvin who was a loving stepmother to the children.  The family spent time in several Florida towns before settling in St. Petersburg at the end of WWII, where Shirley spent the remainder of her life. She was 94.


Shirley was visiting Central FL from her home in St. Petersburg when was hospitalized in Clermont.  After a month-long fight to recover, she died with loving family present.


She graduated from St. Petersburg High School with honors in 1947, St. Petersburg College with honors in 1949, and attended Florida State University where she pledged Chi Omega. She married Cameron L. Dowling Jr. in 1950 and was widowed in 1971.  In 1964 she embarked on an advertising career, starting as an illustrator and copywriter before advancing to Director of Broadcasting for Belk-Lindsey Stores in FL. She was responsible for all aspects of Belk-Lindsey commercials, from writing copy, hiring models, and selecting merchandise to voice-overs.  Her voice was heard on Belk-Lindsey commercials for nearly twenty years.  She wrote many freelance articles for various print media in the Tampa Bay area.


In 1985 she became a published author for her work of fiction, Love Needs No Reason, and went on to publish two more works, Skyway Down and a children’s book, Scarlett Red. She also painted more than 400 portraits which graced numerous homes in the local area.  She volunteered for both the Junior League and in pet therapy programs, sharing her dog in local nursing homes.


She is survived by sister, Roberta Gamble (Arthur) of Greenville, AL; two daughters, Dr. Alison Spaulding of Defuniak Springs, FL and Robyn Rhoades of Winter Garden, FL; two granddaughters, Dr. Jenna Cleveland (Chris) and Paige Nethers (Tim); and three great-grandchildren.


Shirley was a wonderful friend to many, a loving and charismatic matriarch to her family, and a passionate supporter of her beloved town of St. Petersburg.  Her artistic and creative talent, along with her loving friends and family, are her legacy.  She was well loved and will always be missed.


Shirley’s Celebration of Life will be held at Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home on the 7th of July, 2024 at 12:30pm.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice. 

We Entrusted Shirley Dowling's Care To

Anderson McQueen Funeral Homes

Anderson McQueen Funeral Homes

At Anderson McQueen Funeral Homes, we take pride in being the foremost full-service funeral home, setting the gold standard in compassionate care, exemplary service, and state-of-the-art facilities. Since 1952, we have dedicated ourselves to offering customizable memorial services that truly reflect the individuality and spirit of your loved ones. Our commitment to personalized service options is not just about honoring memories; it's about creating a meaningful and healing experience for families during their time of need.

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Alison Spalding

RIP my Beloved Mother. I miss you every day. Love, Alison

Published June 27th, 2024

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