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Peter Dougherty

Obituary Condolences

Peter Dougherty Obituary
DOUGHERTY, PETER B. Mr. Peter "Bud" Dougherty passed away at The Connecticut Hospice on January 5, 2013 at the age of 90. Born in Stony Creek, CT in 1922 to Peter F. and Daisy A. (Page) Dougherty, Pete was a "Creeker" for life and proprietor of Dougherty Oil Co., Inc. His parents and siblings Madeleine, Carroll, Francis, and Marion predeceased him. Pete is the father of Michael (Carol) and Bryan Dougherty of Stony Creek, CT, Peter Dougherty of Fairfax County, VA, and Colleen (Greg) Twomey of Madison, CT. Pete leaves his loving grandchildren Megan (Bryant) Vernon, Katie (Chris) Fitzpatrick, Erin Dougherty (Jeff Szymczak), Chrissy Keniston, Kailynn and Coulton Dougherty, and Jared, Patrick and Carolyn Twomey. Pete grew up during the Great Depression dropping out of the 8th grade to support his widowed mother by shoveling coal, delivering groceries, and working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Despite being deferment eligible as a "sole provider," Pete enlisted in the Navy in 1943, ultimately serving in the North African and Sicilian campaigns. After returning to the United States and completing boiler technician training, Pete was ordered to the USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (CV-42) as a member of her commissioning crew. Mr. Dougherty's Navy training as a boiler technician proved significant in shaping his future. After receiving an Honorable Discharge in 1945 and before establishing Dougherty Oil Company in 1949, Pete was hired as a boiler technician at the now defunct Atlantic Wire Mill in Branford. As an elected union steward and with coworkers' full support, Pete initiated a "wildcat" strike that ultimately garnered owner concessions for union workers. Shortly after the union members' return to work, and what proved fortuitous for him, the mill eliminated his position, putting him out of work. In lieu of exercising his privilege as an elected union official to take a coworker's position, Pete opted instead to expand his oil company. Pete, along with son Bryan in later years, built Dougherty Oil into one of the more successful family-run energy businesses along the shoreline. He never forgot his humble roots helping others in times of need with financial and/or food assistance. He was a benefactor to many local organizations including the Stony Creek Fife and Drum Corps, Stony Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Branford Land Trust, St. Therese's Church, and Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Mr. Dougherty long supported efforts to protect, preserve, and improve his beloved Stony Creek including being a lifelong member of the Stony Creek Volunteer Fire Dept. His efforts, alongside other "Creekers," were instrumental in preventing the town of Branford from relocating its dump to Stony Creek. Pete's poignant dedication of Stony Creek's Korean and Vietnam War Veteran's Memorial including his plea "Don't you forget them!" was chronicled in the New York Times' article "Memorial Day in Stony Creek, Conn" on May 30, 1977. The article's author identifies Pete as being instrumental in the creation of the monument as well as being "no politician." Those that knew him can appreciate the "no politician" reference. Pete, like many of his "greatest generation" brethren, did not mince words, shared his thoughts freely, and, seldom sugar coated them. In later years, Mr. Dougherty and Heidi, his German Shepherd, could be seen making the rounds thru Stony Creek in his old Ford pickup. Pete also enjoyed immensely tending to his tomato garden and sharing the fruits of his labor with friends and family. When asked once about life's successes and failures, Pete's response was quick and succinct: "All a man can do is his best." A beloved father, proud veteran, and successful entrepreneur, Pete Dougherty did.Mr Dougherty's family would like to express their gratitude to the Connecticut Hospice staff for providing quality care to Pete throughout his stay and to the Branford and Stony Creek Fire Departments for responding to Pete's needs on numerous occasions. Friends are invited to call Thursday evening from 4 - 8 pm at the W. S. Clancy Memorial Funeral Home, 244 North Main St., Branford. A Memorial Service will be held Friday morning at 11:00 in the Church of Christ Congregational, 192 Thimble Island Road, Stony Creek, with burial to follow in Stony Creek Cemetery. Contributions may be made to the Stony Creek Fire Rescue Co. 5, P. O. Box 3312, Stony Creek, 06405, or the Connecticut Children's Medical Center, 282 Washington St., Hartford, CT 06106. For directions and online memorial see www.wsclancy.com.

Published in The New Haven Register on Jan. 9, 2013
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