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James Dowling, former real estate executive, 79

James D. Dowling, a Pinellas County real estate executive after World War II, died Monday (June 10, 1991) at his home in Flat Rock, N.C. He was 79. He died of cancer, said his wife, Mary.

A specialist in cooperative apartments, Mr. Dowling handled the sale of apartments in the massive Starlight Tower cooperative that Baltimore developer John K. Ruff completed at 7000 Beach Plaza in St. Petersburg Beach in 1958.

James Dexter Dowling was born in Sumter, S.C., and came to St. Petersburg in 1929 as a teen-ager. He graduated from St. Petersburg High School and St. Petersburg Junior College. He worked for a time in the county clerk's office.

For several years before World War II he managed Lovett stores, later operated by Winn Dixie, in Florida and managed a B. F. Goodrich outlet in Washington, D.C.

He returned to St. Petersburg in 1939 and went to work in the real estate office of his father, W. B. Dowling. A year later he joined the Army.

During the war years, he fought with the 45th Infantry Division as a sergeant in campaigns in Sicily and elsewhere in Italy and in France and Germany. He was among the first American soldiers to enter the liberated Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, Mrs. Dowling said.

After the war he rejoined the family real estate business operated in St. Petersburg by his father and an uncle, J. F. Dowling. He broke away to form his own agency in 1951 at 4138 Central Ave.

He closed his business in 1960 and moved to Hendersonville, N.C. From 1965 to 1973 he developed a 300-acre subdivision, his wife said.

Mr. Dowling was a member of Hendersonville VFW Post 5206 and American Legion Post 77.

Survivors in addition to his wife include two daughters, Linda Youth, East Patchogue, N.Y., and Melissa Dowling, Charlotte, N.C.; two sons, Jim D. II, Hendersonville, and Anthony, Charlotte; and three grandchildren.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday at Immaculate Conception Church, Hendersonville. Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors, Hendersonville, is in charge of arrangements.

The family suggested memorial contributions to Hospice Care Inc., 300 East Bay Drive, Largo, 34640-3716.