Hugh Joseph Doogan was born March 11, 1930, to Irish immigrants Mary and Ted Doogan, from Donegal Co., Ireland. Hugh was the youngest of 13 children, who were all raised in Juneau/Douglas. He went to be with his Lord on March 3, 2014, with his devoted wife, Erma and granddaughter, Eilish by his side.|
Hugh was in the U.S. Navy from 1950-1954 and served in the Korean War. He attended Gonzaga University from 1954-1956. In 1957, he transferred to UAF and met the love of his life, Erma Ryan. They married in 1959 at Immaculate Conception Church. Together, they raised four daughters in Fairbanks. He was a constant and important fixture in the lives of his grandchildren and many friends his daughters brought home. He made sure they knew they could count on him for anything including, but not limited to meals, a bed, a smile, advice and love.
Hugh was very active in his community. He coached softball and attended as many events that included his daughters and grandchildren as he possibly could. He was a member of the Fairbanks Curling Club and spent many hours helping to plan and host the International Bonspiel. He was a charter member of the Knights of Columbus, achieving the status of fourth degree knight. He was a member of Pioneers of Alaska, Igloo No. 4.
He also was one of the early organizers and volunteers of Ice Alaska. Hugh was very involved as a volunteer at the Catholic Schools of Fairbanks and could be found helping students learn their math facts, doing janitorial and maintenance work, and helping the Monroe Foundation throughout the year.
He worked many places in Fairbanks, retiring from Fairbanks Distributors in 1976. He then went to work for GVEA and was a meter reader. He retired from IBEW in 1991. He enjoyed the relationships with the people that he met in both occupations. Those who met him had a friend for life.
Hugh is preceded in death by all of his 12 brothers and sisters, James, Ted, Neil, Frank, John, Rose, and Sisters of St. Anne, Anna Marie, Marjorie, Theresa, two infant brothers, and his infant son, Theodore.
Hugh is survived by his wife, Erma Doogan, and four daughters, Maxine, Kelley, Kerry and Molly, as well as grandchildren, Matthew, Jacob, and Madelyn Roderigues, Nicholas and Eilish Saunders, Teddy Clarendon, and Rakel Claire and Oliver Halvarson, and his son-in-law, Ivar Halvarson. There are numerous nieces and nephews throughout Alaska and the states, each of whom he considered his favorite.
The family would like to extend our most heartfelt gratitude to the staff at the Fairbanks Pioneers' Home. They treated Hugh with dignity and love the last five years of his life, bringing his family much comfort and peace knowing he had the best of care. Thank you for all that you do for the elderly of Alaska.
Rosary and funeral services will be held at 5 and 5:30 p.m., respectively, on Monday, March 10, at the Holy Family Chapel. The chapel is located at the Catholic Schools of Fairbanks, 615 Monroe St. A reception will immediately follow. Instead of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made in Hugh's name to the Monroe Foundation to assist the Catholic Schools of Fairbanks that he so dearly loved: 718 Betty St. Fairbanks, AK 99701.
Come join us to celebrate the life of this tough, Irishman who had a heart of gold. Share with us your memories of him over a cup of coffee and piece of apple pie.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Mar. 7, 2014