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Carla Dowben

January 22, 1932 January 9, 2024
Carla Dowben
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Obituary for Carla Dowben

Carla Dowben passed away peacefully on January 9th at age 91. She was pre-deceased by her husband Robert Dowben in 2019, after 69 years of loving marriage. She is survived by her three children (Peter, Jonathan and Susan) and six grandchildren. Born in Chicago, Carla was the daughter of Harold H and Gertrude Lurie. Carla was a trailblazer as one of the first female lawyers to teach and practice in the field of health law and administrative regulation. She received her undergraduate degree at the age of 18 from the University of Chicago and her JD from Temple University in 1955 where she was the only woman in her class, and also served as an Editor of the Temple Law Review.

Carla practiced law at Looper, Reed, Mark & McGraw (Dallas, TX) where she specialized in Health Care Law, State and Federal Health Law Compliance, Medicare Fraud and Abuse. Carla was also an Associate Professor of Health Law for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School from 1973 to 1993. Carla published multiple papers advocating for the rights of women, the mentally impaired and minorities. Over the years she was admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court in 1975 and various Federal Courts, and licensed to practice law in four states. She was a champion of women's rights and access to healthcare for all marginalized individuals.

Carla was an active member of the American Bar Association, the Texas Bar Association, the National Health Lawyers Association, the Hastings Institute of Ethics, the Texas Family Planning Association, the Providence Pension Board, the Providence Art Club, the Women of Brown, the Rhode Island Historical Society and several local groups involved in gardening, knitting and pottery.

Carla was very passionate in her beliefs and will be missed by many.

There will be a private family burial. A memorial service is being planned at the Providence Friends Meetinghouse in early March. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing in Carla's memory to Doctors Without Borders (

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