Patrick Allen Dowling M.D.

PORTLAND – Patrick Allen Dowling, M.D., died June 22, 2023 at Maine Medical Center. He was born July 25, 1941 in Chicago, Ill. to Gretchen (Hastings) Dowling, a schoolteacher, and Allen Vincent Dowling, an insurance executive. He grew up in Nebraska and Springfield, Ill., where he developed early interests in golf and fast cars and met his high school sweetheart and future wife, Linda “Bonnie” Bonjean.

After graduating from Springfield High School in 1958 and acing the SATs, he headed East to attend Dartmouth College (Class of ’62), where he was a Rufus Choate Scholar, then Dartmouth Medical School and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

After internships in Manhattan, Portland, and Pittsburgh, Pa., he served as lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy stationed at Chelsea Naval Hospital from 1969 through 1972.

He and Bonnie, who had also travelled East for school, were married in Hanover, N.H. in 1962. Together they raised three sons and a daughter. In 1973, Pat and Bonnie moved their young family to Cape Elizabeth where they would maintain a home on Ocean View Road that hosted family and friends for 30 years before relocating the family base-camp to Cumberland Foreside in 2005.

For 30 years after completing his medical officer service with the Navy, Patrick was a prominent orthopedic surgeon. He introduced arthroscopy to Maine, teaching the procedure at annual physician clinics, and held physician leadership positions at Maine Medical Center and Mercy Hospital.

In 1978, he and a small group of fellow doctors founded Medical Mutual Insurance Company of Maine. Pat served as Chairman of the Board from the organization’s inception until 2002, when he retired from his orthopedics practice to assume full-time duties as chief executive officer of MMIC.

While practicing medicine, he served as U.S. Delegate to FIS, the international governing body of competitive skiing, from 1982 through 1994, representing the United States and Freestyle Skiing at FIS Congresses across six continents. His tenure as FIS Delegate saw the introduction of Freestyle skiing to the Olympics, which he attended in official capacity at Calgary, Albertville, and Lillehammer. During this time, he also served as team doctor to the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team and was instrumental in establishing the team’s current Physician Pool Program.

Skiing was the mistress that tempted him from the Midwest when, as a 16 year-old high school senior, he saw the movie, “Winter Carnival”, set in Hanover and starring Ann Sheridan, and decided that was worth exploring. But golf was his first and true love. He carried his clubs on most travel and played courses from Kapalua and Pebble Beach, the Broadmoor, Augusta, and Pinehurst, to Mid-Ocean and Mingo Springs. He played a round with Arnold Palmer at Cape Arundel and served on the Board of Governors of Portland Country Club and as Chairman of its Golf Committee. If it was summer in Maine and you were looking for Dr. Dowling, one of your first calls should have been to the pro shop at Portland Country Club to find out what hole he was on. If he wasn’t there, you might try the pro shop at Prouts Neck.

During their 60 years of marriage, Pat and Bonnie developed dear and lifelong friendships, from their high school years in Springfield, Ill., college and medical school years in Hanover and Manhattan, their adopted homes in Maine, and decades in skiing and in travel across oceans and continents. They were fond of local haunts and local friends in such places as Maui, Jackson Hole, and, of course, Sugarloaf, where they had maintained a mountain home and presence since the 1970s. News of Pat’s passing spread quickly on Facebook and by telephone, letter, and email and brought an outpouring of warm remembrances and anectdotes from friends across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Mexico.

Beyond his accomplishments and lasting imprint in medicine, business, and the world of sport, he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, and brother.

He was predeceased by his parents; and by his wife, Bonnie.

He is survived by children, Christoper Allen Dowling of Newton, Mass., John MacBride Dowling (Lara) of Edwards, Colo., Anthony Hastings Dowling (Laurilyn) of Falmouth, and Anne Bonjean Dowling Buck (Kenny) of Breckenridge, Colo.; grandchildren Wyatt and Quinn Dowling of Lakewood, Colo. and Cincinnati, Ohio, Teagan Large of San Diego, Calif., Kaitlyn, Alexandra, Sophia, and Isabella Dowling of Falmouth, and Finn Buck of Breckenridge, Colo.; sisters Mary Gilliland of Nellysford, Va., and Martha Hughes of Santa Cruz, Calif.; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

A celebration of life memorial for Pat and Bonnie, who passed away June 7, 2022, will be Friday, Sept. 21, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at Portland Country Club, in Falmouth.

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