Reverend Thomas Martin Dowd passed away peacefully Monday, January 3, 2017 in Denver, Colorado.
Livingston-Sondermann Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. The family invites everyone to a light lunch after the service in the Parish Hall.
Rev. Thomas Martin Dowd was born in Spalding, Nebraska on March 16,1927 to Michael J. Dowd and Agatha Pritchard Dowd. He was one of seven children. His early education through high school was at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Grand Island, Nebraska. He proudly enlisted in the Navy in 1945, serving one year. After leaving the military, he was trained in St. Thomas Seminary (now St. John Vianney Theological Seminary) and was ordained May 1, 1954, in Grand Island, Nebraska. Father Dowd spent the beginning of his ministry as a pastor at parishes and a civilian chaplain for the Sioux Army Depot. He did missionary work in Peru from 1964 to 1970 where he became fluent in Spanish and became known for his love for Hispanics.
After returning for a short stint as a chaplain at a Nebraska hospital, Father Dowd ministered to migrant workers in Wattenberg and Fort Lupton, Colorado.
Father Tom may be most known for his work at St. Patrick Parish. Described as a “personable Irishman,” he was sent to begin restoring the church and its dwindling congregation in 1973. Father Dowd oversaw an interior and exterior restoration of the church and in 1997 the church achieved a landmark designation by the city. It was also placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Since leaving the parish in 1983, Father Dowd served as a facilitator between Latin America and the United States for four years. He became the director of Hispanic Ministry in Tulsa, Oklahoma, until his retirement in 1993. 1993 to the present found Father Tom ministering to many. At Stout Street Foundation he served those struggling with addiction, he celebrated Mass at Our Lady of the Canyon and reached out to any and all who needed him.
The family thanks all those parishioners and friends who lovingly took care of Father Tom in the later years of his life, allowing him to stay in Denver and view, from his window, the mountains he so loved. Father Tom was predeceased by his parents and siblings Frank, Dick, Jim, Jack, Mike and Eileen Dowd Ganser. He is survived by numerous cousins, nieces and nephews and the enormous amount of friends, parishioners and people he served, who were his lifetime family.
He told us to remember his favorite saying from the movie “Exotic Marigold Hotel” - “It all works out in the end- and if not, it’s not the end.” We know for Father Tom it is just the beginning.
Vigil Service/Rosary, Thursday, January 5, 2017, 7:00 PM, St. Patrick Catholic Church, 3325 Pecos St., Denver.
Memorial Mass (no viewing)
10:30 AM, Saturday January 7th at Spirit of Christ Church, 7400 W 80th Ave Arvada, CO 80005
Tues Jan 10th Visitation 5PM-7PM Vigil 7-8PM Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church 518 W State Street Grand Island, NE 68801.
Funeral Mass, Wed Jan 11 10:30 AM at St. Mary's Cathedral 112 S. Cedar Street Grand Island, NE 68801 followed by lunch in the Parish Hall then burial at 3:00 PM with Military honors.
Memorials are suggested to:
Priests Pensions Fund C/O Bishop of Grand Island 2708 Old Fair Road P.O. Box 1531
Grand Island, Nebraska 68802
Central Catholic High School 1200 Ruby Ave
Grand Island, NE 68802
Online condolences may be sent to www.livson.com