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Mary Yolanda Dowling
Age: 46
Occupation: Administrative worker
Worked for: Aon Corp
Originally from: Rosedale, NY
Resided in: Rosedale, NY
Submitted by: Irish Tribute ()

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I have a tape at home entitled "Yolanda Dowling Sings Irish Selections." I'd like to quote the "blurb" on the tape to let you know a little bit more about her.

"From Queens, NY, Yolanda received her formal music training from Westminster Choir College and is best known for her renditions of Irish songs due to the influence of her Co. Offaly-born father, Chris, also a fine musician. First prize winner of Irish song competitions, Yolanda has performed at Carnegie Recital Hall, on radio, and frequently entertains for local Irish community events."

We lost many fine people on September 11. They were loved by family and friends and were an asset to the New York City community.

Ar dheis DC) go raibh a hanam.

-- Eibhlmn (Friend)
09 Oct 2001

From NY Times Sep 16

'The Voice of an Angel'

Give Mary Yolanda Dowling an instrument B an accordion, a piano or a set of bagpipes B and she is likely to produce a foot-stomping tune. She may have spent her days as an administrator for Aon Corporation, on the 92nd floor of 2 World Trade Center, but Ms. Dowling's mind was often on her music.

The oldest of four children and deeply immersed in the Celtic culture she inherited from her father, Ms. Dowling, 46, spent much of her free time singing with a choir near her home in Floral Park, N.Y. Rosaleen Shea, her sister, said she received a standing ovation several years ago after singing the national anthem at a Mets game. "She had a voice like an angel and she shared it with everyone, in good times or bad," Ms. Shea said. "Our entire family is immersed in music, but Yolanda is the most gifted."
-- Anon (Friend)
23 Oct 2001

Dear Yolanda,

Your beautiful voice is now being heard in heaven. I will always remember you.

-- Barbara (Co-worker)
06 Oct 2001

Yolanda cared so much about people. She was so forthright and real. She gave glory to God in life and in death. She sang many beautiful songs, but the one that touched me the most was "O Holy Night". I and so many others will miss her... but we will see her again.
-- Gail Giustozzi ()
05 Nov 2001

We remember Aunt Yolanda singing the "Leprechaun and fairy" song for St. Patrick's Day at our school, St. Anastasia's in Douglaston, Queens. She sounded great and all of the teachers complimented her singing. All of our classmates clapped alot - we really enjoyed her singing that day. Grandpa Chris played the bagpipes too and he was great! We love Aunt Yolanda and we miss her alot! Love, Kristina and Devin
-- Kristina and Devin Dowling (nieces)
13 Nov 2001

I knew Yo for 24 years. We first met at Westminster Choir College in 1977 and she was an instant friend. Though some years we didn't have the opportunity to see each other, I always knew that she cared through her cards, letters, and phone calls. I miss her sweet smile, cheery disposition, and beautiful voice. I love you, Yo!
-- Pat ()
16 Nov 2001

I knew the moment I lost my sister as I watched the second airplane hit 2 WTC - I waited and waited throught that silent night when no phone call came - we all thought we heard her footsteps walking up our driveway through the night - every rustle of the leaves, every sigh in the air - but only silence. Relief that my brother Andrew who eyewitnessed the attack on the ground below and went to his building to help evacuate his staff and friends that very same morning, survived the evacuation of a nearby building. I along with my husband, Bob, brothers, Andrew and Chris, my Dad and countless relatives and friends searched for Yolanda in every way we could. The pain of losing her was so unbelievable to face on Septmber 12th - to tell our young children who witnessed it on television and had to be told the truth. The thing that has lingered with me most is the loss of the quality of the people who died that day - they were all loving, hard working and citizens of our great and free nation. Freedom is not free. In particular regarding my sister, the loss of her tremendous singing talent has hit me the hardest of all my memories of her. Her voice was unusual - she trained as a mezzo-soprano but could sing soprano, alto - you name it - she was comfortable in any octave or key. Yolanda had such a repertoire, classical, religious and of course, Celtic/Irish. My Dad, Christy Dowling from Tullamore, Offaly, Ierland now in Rosedale, NY, a musician himself (bagpipes)raised us as babies on the music of John McCormack, Mary O'Hara etc. While other kids were listening to the Beatles (we sneaked it of course) - we listened to Macuschla, My Dark Rosaleen, Dear Little Town in the Olde County Down, Ireland Mother Ireland, Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms, The Spinning Wheel, My Lagan Love - shall I go on? Yolanda spoke gaelic, step-danced, ceili-danced, and embraced our Irish heritage with class and dignity always. She made us younger siblings enthusiatic about it too. Yolanda was so proud of her Irish heritage and family in Tullamore. She especially loved our Granny Dowling (nee Annie Cummins)whom she lived with on summer vacation as a young girl. Yolanda was my personal connection to my Irish heritage, second to Dad, and was going to teach my children how to sing and play the piano in a few years. We were so exited about that. Yolanda and I had the opportunity to attend three concerts together this year, evenings I will cherish always: they were Irish Tenors: Anthony Kearns, Patchogue, March 24th, John McDermott, Lehman Center, June 2nd and The Irish Tenors, radi City, June 21st (my birthday). We had plans to see them all again. In one morning, our dreams and plans came crashing down. In my sister's memory, I plan to go on with our dreams and plans without her because I and my children will embrace our Irish heritage which I love so well. Yolanda's talent will never be matched - people like Yolanda are rare and it took her death to see it so clearly. Of course, she being my sister, I took her for granted thinking she'd always be there for me. I take nothing for granted anyomore. I am blessed because I have video tapes and audio tapes of her performances through the years - Dad is listening to them and carefully perserving them as I write this. The Irish community lost a great American/Irish patriot on September 11 but we have Yolanda's legacy of music that will live on for future generations. God Bless You "Yo" - Pray For Us.

Love, your sister, "Dark" Rosaleen

If anyone is interested in hearing her sing, please contact me at 516-358-0445 or email me at Shea_Robert@msn.com. Thank you for reading.
-- Rosaleen Shea (nee Dowling) ()
01 Dec 2001

To the Dowlings

I clearly recall being an altar boy for funeral masses at St Clare's (early to mid 70's) and listening to her angelic voice, taking my mind off the bereavement of the involved families and providing me comfort... countless times, countless memories.

Now we weep for you.

My deepest condolences to you and yours.
-- John (Friend {})
11 Sep 2002

Dear Yolanda, beautiful sister,

Aunt Esther, Aunt Daisy and I visited you at Ground Zero yesterday, September 12th. We cried, we laughed and we prayed. We went to St. Elizbeth Seton's Shrine, St. Peter's where you went to mass during your lunch break and finally, St. Patrick's Cathedral. We hope you heard our laughter, our prayers to you, Mom, Uncle John and Aunt Kitty in heaven. We hope you ease our tears of sorrow for missing you, macushla. Today's Mom's anniversary in heaven - I take comfort in knowing you are together praying for us and watching over us - until we are all reunited again....

All my love, your sister,
-- Rosaleen Shea (Sister {})
13 Sep 2002

I am a poor person and was a friend of Yolandas.
She used to have me clean her apartment and she
was always very generous when it came to paying me. It was her love of people that I remember.
Everyone talks about her musical tallent, which is good, because she was talented, but only a few knew how giving and loving she was to those in trouble. I will never forget her. She is my personal hero.
-- Thomas N. Grasso (Friend {})
12 Sep 2003

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