John Eric Dooley

September 21, 1956 - December 23, 2023
John Eric Dooley

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Pastor John Eric Dooley went home to glory and was able to see his Savior, Jesus Christ, face-to-face on December 23, 2023. After a long struggle with health and pain, he was able to joyfully celebrate the first coming of Christ to our world upon his own arrival to eternity.

Pastor John was born in Dayton, Ohio on September 21, 1956 to Robert and Helen Dooley. He graduated from Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio and married the love of his life, Cathy Jean Dooley. 

He owned and was running his own pharmacy in Kenton, Ohio when he felt God’s strong call to enter into ministry as a pastor. Being always sensitive and responsive to God’s voice, he obeyed and attended Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. He took the ministerial call to Trinity Lutheran Church in Convoy, Ohio where he served with great joy and was well loved by his congregational family.

However, God continued to have evolving plans for John and called him into military service as a Navy Chaplain. After serving in Desert Storm, he and the family (which had long before expanded to include Erin Kate and John Robert) were stationed in San Diego, California and he enjoyed a very sweet period in family life and San Diego quickly and unexpectedly became one of his favorite places to live.

After serving his term of service, he felt called back to pastoral ministry and was Honorably Discharged from Active Duty prior to taking a call to Apostles Lutheran Church in Chesapeake, Virginia where he served for more than 25 years. It was in Chesapeake that he formed some of his strongest brotherhood-friendships with other pastors and preachers and teachers of the Word which was instrumental in support and prayer and ministry during the difficult times of life.

In his later life and career, he went on to obtain his Doctorate in Practical Theology, teach as a professor at the collegiate level, and write several books and projects that were being prepared for publication.

Pastor John was and will always be a most dearly loved husband, father, grandfather, mentor, friend, and Child of God. There is no doubt in the minds of any of us still waiting to join him in eternity, that Christ gathered this Lamb to His bosom and said, “Well done, My good and faithful servant. Come home and rest in Me.”

John was pre-deceased by his parents, Harold and Helen Dooley, and his sister, Susan Candace Greene. He is survived by his dearly loved and devoted wife, Cathy Jean Dooley; his beloved children, Erin Kate and Jonathan McGuire and John and Jennifer Dooley, his cherished sisters, Diane Dooley and Victoria Sanders; and his grandchildren who were the apples of his eye, Carwyn and Carys Dooley and Liam and Megan McGuire. He was a life-long Lutheran but enjoyed the fellowship of the Anglican Church of the Messiah in Chesapeake, Virginia and Incarnation Church in Williamsburg, Virginia.


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