Francis W. Doherty
AGE: 88 • Wilmington
August 18, 1925 - February 12, 2014
Francis William Doherty, age 88, of Wilmington, Delaware died peacefully on Wednesday, February 12, 2014. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the eldest son of Francis M. Doherty and Mary E. McManus Doherty, and grew up in Medford, Massachusetts.
In 1942, Fran graduated from Medford High School and received a B. S. in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University in 1945. At the age of 20 he was a college graduate and a commissioned officer in the United States Navy
. He served as an Ensign on board the U. S. S. Burleigh and on the U. S. S. Avery Island, the electronics coordinating ship for Operation Crossroads, the Bikini atomic experiments of 1945-1946. He continued his naval service and was appointed Lieutenant (j.g.) in 1949.
Fran is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 62 years, Ethel J. Doherty, and by his daughter Mary E. Levine of Wilmington and her husband Irving M. Levine, by his sons John D. Doherty and Thomas E. Doherty, both of Wilmington, by his daughter Patricia A. Rooney of Easton, Maryland and her husband Kevin P. Rooney, by his daughter-in-law Mary Cushing Doherty of Horsham, Pennsylvania, and by five grandchildren: John F., Margaret R., and Colleen E. Doherty and Kevin J. and Suzanne M. Levine and Suzanne's fiance, Matthew Twadell. Fran is also survived by his sister-in-law, Winifred Doherty of Arlington, Massachusetts, and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his eldest son, James F. Doherty of Horsham, by his grandson Thomas R. Doherty, and by his brother, Daniel J. Doherty of Arlington.
After his naval service, Fran joined National Research Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts as an analytical chemist. In 1948, he entered the rubber industry with Heveatex Corporation. He joined the DuPont Company in 1951 at the Rubber Laboratory at Chambers Works, Deepwater, New Jersey, moving to the Akron (Ohio) Laboratory in 1952. Fran was transferred to Wilmington in 1960 and worked at the Elastomers Laboratory at Chestnut Run until his retirement in 1989.
He was a member of the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society, the Philadelphia Rubber Group, and technical committees of the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the American Society for Testing and Materials.
Fran was an active member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Liftwood, for over 53 years, serving as a lector, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, and catechist for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. As a member and some-time President of the Serra Club of Wilmington, he was a fervent promoter of priestly and religious vocations. He was also involved with the Christian Family Movement, Cursillo, and the Men of Malvern.
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and aides of the ICU at Christiana Hospital, Shipley Manor Nursing Home, and Delaware Hospice for their kind, caring, and devoted services.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 18 at 11:00 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 4701 Weldin Rd., Wilmington DE 19803. Friends and family are invited to a visitation from 10-11am in the church. Burial will follow the Mass at St. Joseph's on the Brandywine Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Immaculate Heart of Mary Church or Delaware Hospice, 16 Polly Drummond Center 2nd Floor, Newark DE 19711. MealeyFuneralHomes.com