Emily Dowd Tomaine peacefully passed away on Friday, June 17 at her home surrounded by her family. She was 80.
Known to her grandchildren as Mom-Mom, Emily grew up in Long Branch, NJ; the daughter of the late Hector B. Dowd and Bridget F. Darby, both Irish immigrants. Emily helped raise her 2 younger brothers, Charlie and Billy, while her older brothers, James and Hector continued with their schooling after the sudden passing of their beloved father. Emily adored her brothers and was so proud of all their accomplishments. Emily’s mother, Bridget opened her home to boarders to help support the family. Salvatore Olivia, one of the boarders, remained with the family for the rest of his life and served as a father figure, mentor and lifelong friend to Emily and her brothers. It was these early experiences that shaped Emily into the strong, loving, caring, nurturing, giving woman she became.
Emily graduated from Red Bank Catholic and soon after met Andrew Tomaine of Long Branch. They married and had three daughters, Marybridget, Kathleen, and Jennifer. Emily was a devoted wife and mother and step-mother to Andrew’s three daughters, Andrea, Joanne, and Carol. She loved nothing more than to spend time with family and neighbors in their Oceanport home, hosting all the holiday gatherings for 25 or more with all the trimmings, no details spared. Somehow she made it seem easy. Emily and Andrew remained married and in love until Andrew’s death in 2012. She missed him terribly when he passed.
Emily’s love for family reached epic heights when her three daughters and her brothers had their children. To say she loved her nieces and nephews and grandchildren would be an understatement. She became the caregiver for all of her grandchildren when their mothers returned to work after maternity leave. She would arrive at 7:30a.m. and make each day a loving adventure for the kids. When her daughters would return at the end of the work day the laundry would be done and folded, the dishes cleaned and put away, and there would be a delicious meal cooking on the stove. All of her grandchildren have precious memories of those days that will stay with them forever.
Emily was a devout Catholic. When not focused on her family, she was a devoted parishioner of Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Long Branch. Emily worked at the Dallas Apparel Mart, supporting her brothers’ clothing markets a few times a year; this was a labor of love. She also helped make ends meet by working as a real estate agent for many years, building a successful career through loyal clientele, word of mouth and repeat customers. She developed a reputation for being scrupulously honest, steering clients away from a house even if it might have meant a larger commission for her.
When Emily became ill, she was cared for in her home for several years by live-in aides. All of the aides and nurses who came in contact with her commented on how peaceful she was, how pleasant, calm, loving, and pure of heart. She would say, “I am blessed.” or, “We are so lucky.” In her last days while her daughters, grandchildren, brother Charlie and his wife, Susan, took over that care, the strong love and bonds she had fostered over her lifetime remained.
She is predeceased by her parents; her husband, Andrew “Andy” Tomaine; her infant son, Andrew; and her brothers, James, Hector and William Dowd. Surviving are her children, Marybridget Marra of Oceanport, Kathleen and her husband, T.J. Foderaro, of Fair Haven, and Jennifer Leuin of West Long Branch, and their sisters, Andrea Whitesell, Joanne Valance, and Carol Tomaine; her brother, Charlie Dowd, and his wife, Susan; grandchildren Lauren, Alex, and Brian Marra, Erin and Sarah Bayer, Emma and Griffin Leuin, and Julian, Francis and Faith Foderaro; nieces, Dr. Bridget Dowd Kiernan, daughter Darby and Lady Noelle Dowd Leitch, children, Kathleen, Alexander, and Hector, and nephew Hector Andre Dowd, children Annie and Ava; her loving husband Andy’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren, sons-in-law Harvey Leuin, Richard Bayer and Ralph Marra; sister-in-law Hedda Dowd; her loving neighbors and her large beloved family in Ireland.
Visitation Wednesday, June 22 from 6pm – 8pm at Woolley-Boglioli Funeral Home, 10 Morrell Street, Long Branch. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Thursday, June 23 at 10 am at Our Lady Star of the Sea, 101 Chelsea Avenue, Long Branch. Burial will follow at Mt. Carmel Cemetery, West Long Branch. In lieu of traditional remembrances, the family asks with gratitude that donations in Emily’s name be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital (www.stjude.org) or the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org).
For messages of condolence, or to share a favorite memory of Emily, please visit her page of tribute at www.woolleyboglioli.com.