ELIZABETH A. DAUGHERTY
Long-time Juneau resident Elizabeth Ashe Daugherty (Betty) passed away February 22, 2020, at the age of 98 surrounded by her family at the Juneau Pioneer Home.
Betty was born November 6, 1921, at her grandparent's ranch and was raised on the family farm in the Old River District south of Bakersfield, California, and attended school in that area.
Betty graduated from high school with honors and received a full scholarship to Mills College in Oakland, California, graduating in 1943 with a degree in zoology and biology. After graduating, she returned to Bakersfield where she was employed as a secretary for a petroleum geologist writing a book on foraminifera in petroleum exploration. She was able to use her education in micro paleontology in her position and was very proud to have been credited by the author of the resulting book. She kept a copy of it with her most treasured possessions until the end of her life.
Following in the footsteps of her beloved Uncle Rob, J.R. Heckman, who had moved to Ketchikan in 1886, Betty moved to Juneau in 1948 where she worked at Juneau Spruce Company and then at the Territorial Department of Health.
While in Juneau, Betty met the love of her life, John Daugherty. They were married June 4, 1949, at the Shrine of St. Therese.
Betty and John had six children, Christine, Thomas, Brien, Robert (Kerrigan), Richard, and Todd. They started their family at Pt. Louisa before moving into town, first to a little duplex on Dixon Avenue and then to Kennedy Street in the Starr Hill neighborhood.
As their family grew, Betty continued working as a reporter for the Legislative Reporting Services and as the lobbyist for Alaska Association of School Boards. She also continued her education and in 1968 received a master's degree from the University of Alaska Southeast. She worked as a naturalist on the Alaska State Ferries for several summers and produced slide shows for the ferries on the littoral regions of Southeast Alaska that were used for many years after she left the system. Betty taught biology and oceanography at Juneau Douglas High School from 1969 to 1975. She was a lifelong naturalist.
After retiring, Betty and John split their time between Morro Bay, California, and Juneau.
Betty loved science and she loved educating people. For many years, until her eyesight began to fail, she would read numerous newspapers and magazines and clipped pertinent articles for each of her children. Every few weeks one could expect to receive a large envelope from her containing news she felt that child should know about. Even when she had to read with a magnifying glass, she looked forward to the Wednesday edition of the New York Times because it had the science section. She also loved Japanese art and ceramics; in particular the artwork of Hiroshige. Chris has fond memories of going to the Frye Art Museum in Seattle with Mom and her dear friend Rie Munoz to see exhibitions, as well as to other art museums in California. When living in Morro Bay she volunteered for many years as a docent for the local parks department and wrote several pamphlets on the geology of the area. When she was more mobile, a trip to the beach with her was always a lesson on geology, fossils, and the littoral area of the beach.
Betty was a woman born ahead of her time – a true Renaissance woman and early feminist. She loved to hike and hunt and was well known on Starr Hill as an amazing shot with a rifle. She was a good carpenter and electrician, remodeling and rewiring their entire house on Kennedy Street.
Betty knew the meaning of health maintenance throughout her life, from running in her earlier years to a stationary bike at the Pioneer Home. She was a fencing champion at Mills College, a badminton enthusiast, and taught women's gym class at St. Ann's school.
Betty exemplified extreme thoughtfulness in her life with her family, friends, those in need, and ultimately those who cared for her.
Her love and fondness for the excellent staff at the Juneau Pioneer Home was evident. They became a part of her family and she loved and appreciated their care. The Daugherty family would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Juneau Pioneer home staff for the care and friendship they provided our mother.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband, John; her parents Roy and Ann Loudon and her brother Bob. She is survived by her six children, Christine (Robert Chandler ), Thomas, Brien (Laura), Robert Kerrigan (Barbee), Richard (Susan), Todd (Debbie) Daugherty, grandchildren, Colin, (Yasmine) Ava, Atlin (Lisa), Monica, Elias (Sonja), Eric, Brendan (Kristen) Daugherty, Matt (Carly) and Chris Montez, and great grandchildren Ayla Montez; Huck, Hans, Keltah, Dane, and Cason Daugherty.
A celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date when travel and large gatherings are safe for all.
Published in Juneau Empire from Jun. 29 to Jul. 28, 2020.