Saturday, October 19, 2013

Michael's Father took the journey

In Memory of Raymond Joseph Dougherty~

Dr. Raymond Joseph Dougherty
Born: December 15, 1922
Died: October 12, 2103

Dr. Raymond Joseph Dougherty died suddenly after a short illness at the age of 90. Ray was born in Hinton, Oklahoma on December 15, 1922 to Grace (Etier) and Raymond Dougherty, the first son and one of 11 children raised on a farm east of town.

Ray is third from the right on the back row.
He attended Southwestern State University where he received a degree in Pharmacy. He had met Eileen Wilmeth, of Dill City, his sophomore year and they married in September of 1944. After they married, he began working his way through medical school, graduating with honors. He practiced medicine first in Perry, OK then as a military physician in both World War II and the Korean War.

Following his stint, he moved to Southern Pines, North Carolina, where he practiced medicine in both Southern Pines and Vass. While living in Southern Pines he was an avid golfer and member of the Southern Pines Golf and Country Club. He was a member of the Elk’s Club, St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, and was elected Southern Pines Mayor pro tem.

In 1967 he went back to school to study Advanced Medicine and became one of the first Pulmonary specialists in the nation. In 1969 he moved back to Oklahoma, where he was known as an innovator in his medical practice for the first use of penicillin to cure lung conditions. Throughout his practice, he tapped into his knowledge of pharmaceuticals and used body weight to gage dosage of medications.

He was the founder of the Pulmonary Departments in both Baptist and St. Anthony hospitals in Oklahoma City, where he was on the Board of Directors. He taught Pulmonary Science at the University of Oklahoma Medical School, was on the Pulmonary Board, and had numerous publications in the American Journal of Medicine. He was the medical expert for the Social Security Administration with his testimony deciding the 'factor of impairment' which granted benefits to hundreds who deserved them.

In 1987, after numerous requests from environmentally concerned business owners, he opened Dougherty Pulmonary Service, a van-based laboratory that visited manufacturing facilities to test the levels of toxicity among their workers. He used the van to make 'home calls' to test the oxygen levels of patients too ill to travel to his office.

At the age of 79, he was invited by the Harvard Medical School to participate in a selective study that presented little known medical conditions to a panel of physicians who were to deliver a prognosis without research. He passed with the highest honors; it was a highlight of his career and the highest honor a physician could achieve... his family considered it his 'Master Wizard Award'. He retired from his medical practice in 2006.  

While continuing to practice medicine, in 1975 he bought a farm in Hinton near his father’s and began ranching with his son Michael. Dougherty Angus Ranch produced Black Angus which were prized all over the state. In Oklahoma he was a member of the Oklahoma Cattleman’s Association, the Petroleum Club, Our Lady’s Cathedral, the Knights of Columbus, Twin Hills Golf and Country Club, and the Oklahoma City Arts Guild. In 2009, after 44 years in Oklahoma City, he moved to Chapel Hill North Carolina for retirement.

During his long life he had many hobbies, none more important than his farm. He took great pride in his Angus cattle and the quality of his wheat crop and enjoyed his time with his grandson Peter, who helped with the operation when Michael retired.

A serious gardener, Ray grew vegetables in his backyard, taking pride in his tomato crop, while meticulously maintaining his lawn well into his seventies. He began writing stories in his eighties and from a personal perspective recounted the experiences of his life. He wrote of his love for his wife, Eileen, his experiences as a country doctor, and also of boyhood adventures shared with his ten siblings. His descriptions of farm life during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl are singular and expressive of his faith, high morals, and work ethic. He was a prolific reader, absorbing up to five books a week his entire adult life.

He was preceded in death by his wife Eileen, who passed away in December of 2006 after 62 years of marriage. Surviving him are his children: Patrick Dougherty, and wife Linda, Chapel Hill, NC; Kate Farrell, and husband Robert, Brooklyn, NY; Dennis Dougherty, and wife Nancy, Durham, NC; Margaret Ann Springer, and husband Richard, Naples, FL and Michael Dougherty, and wife Catherine, Hinton, OK. Seventeen grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren survive, as do his brothers Kelly Dougherty of Oklahoma City and Patrick Dougherty of Columbia, Mo and his sisters Ruth Heatley of Mulvane, KS and Helen York of Robertsdale, Al. The family is deeply indebted to his caretaker Teresa Scheider             

Funeral Mass was held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Hinton on Friday, October 18, 2013 with burial in the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery.