Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Posts tagged ‘Robert Edwin Dougherty’

52 Ancestors #29 Walter Lyle Dougherty 1919- 2010

My mother had two brothers Robert Edwin Dougherty who I wrote about in week 23 and Walter Lyle Dougherty.

Walter Lyle Dougherty

Walter Lyle Dougherty

Walter was the youngest, being born on 24 November 1919 in Davis, California to J. E. and Ada (Heap)Dougherty. When Walter was born the family was still living on ‘A’ Street across from the university. Soon after the ranch off Russell Blvd was built by his dad. Walter grew up mostly knowing the ranch as his home. His father was a Poultry Husbandry professor at UC Davis and his mother was very active in the community. His mother, Ada taught piano and Walter was one of her star pupils. He also loved building and flying his model planes along with his brother.

Walters model plan

Walters model plane

When the family went to Madison Wisconsin for J. E.’s sabbatical to work on his PHD, Walter was only about 10. Then the banks closed and they had to make the trip back to California and the ranch in the middle of winter. It was probably a little scary suddenly being uprooted again and the news and talk about loss of money, jobs and all their savings.

Back in Davis things sort of got back to normal. He was most likely the class clown.

Walter Dougherty circa. 1930

Walter Dougherty
circa. 1930

 

Walter continued to developed his talent with the piano. As a young man he tried his hand at writing music and published one of his compositions.

He attended Davis schools were he was active in many clubs including journalism, choir, and the yearbook. Upon graduation he attended San Francisco State in 1939 where he was active in the Little Theater.

1940 US Census

1940 US Census

The 1940 Census finds him on the Davis Ranch with his bother and sister-in law. Their parents were living in San Francisco at the time. Walter transferred to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. He was quite the man on campus. Active in the Men’s Glee Club, Swordsmen, Gamma Phi Delta, Poultry Club and Student Government.

Cal Poly Fencing Team Walter Dougherty third from the right

Cal Poly  Mustang Swordsmen 1941
Harvey Hutton, Walt Porter, Tom Galli, Doc Bowls, Walter Dougherty, Jack Aboudara, Warren Gin

In 1941-42 he was student body president.

Then World War II came along and instead of completing his college education he enlisted in the Army, and was attached to the Signal Corps.

Walter Dougherty Dec. 1943

Walter Dougherty
Dec. 1943

His father was not happy with either of his sons for going off to war when he felt they were more valuable at home on the poultry ranch. Walter recounted that most of his time was spent in New Guinea.

Native Village \New Guinea Jan. 1945

Native Village \New Guinea
Jan. 1945

Upon the close of the war Walter met and married Aimee Kesterson,  on 27 December 1947 in Woodland California.

Water and Aimee Dougherty

Water and Aimee Dougherty

Aimee had two daughters from an earlier marriage. I always thought they were twins because Madeleine and I often got their hand-me-downs. They were really cute outfits that were exactly alike accept in color.
In 1948 Walter and Aimee welcomed their son.

12 July 1957 Walter married Iris G. (Croft) Dickey. Iris had two daughters from an earlier marriage to Robert Dickey.

Iris and Walter Dougherty

Iris and Walter Dougherty

Walter had many talents one of his talents was inventing equipment. He had built an egg cleaning machine for the family poultry ranch. While working for George Croft, his father-in-law, he developed several parts for the family (Croft Trailers) industry. He managed the production and shop half of the family business in Kansas City, eventually Iris’ younger daughter went to work along side Walter being groomed to take the helm of the business.
One of Walters passions was playing the organ. He would have loved to have had his musical compositions published. An active Shriner, he was also a drum major for the Shriners for many years.

Walter Dougherty  Shriner Drum Major Kansas City, MO

Walter Dougherty
Shriner Drum Major
Kansas City, MO

As Walter aged he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, but he remained active. He was an avid reader, fiction and non fiction alike. He continued to play the organ and piano on occasion. His wife Iris died in 2000.

Walter then married Helen (Dumphey) O’Donnell, a women he had meet when he was going through his training during WWII. They had each moved on and married others. Helen had raised 5 children.  After Walter and Helen married, Walter ended up moving to Springfield, Mass. where Helen had lived for much of her adult life. Helen died in 2009.  After Helen’s passing her adult children continued to provide loving care for Walt. I truly appreciate all they did for him.

Walter L. Dougherty 2007

Walter L. Dougherty
2007

I really miss my Uncle Walt. He was tall and slim like his father. He had a very expressive face. When ever I was around he was always easy going.   He loved to read, and he played the organ to relax. His interest were varied and I found him easy to talk with. He was a happy reminder of my mother. Walter died April 1, 2010?

 

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52 Ancestors # 23 Robert Edwin Dougherty – I Wish I Had Known You

I hope I can call you Uncle Bob, it’s what my brother and sister referred to you as but I was only 2 when you died so all I ever had where stories and your photos.

Robert Edwin Dougherty

Robert Edwin Dougherty (1936)

Grandma Dougherty was obsessed with keeping in contact with you after you died. What I remembered is sitting in the living room at grandma’s watching Mrs. Jacobson and grandma Dougherty working the Ouija board. Okay maybe you were not there and it was all just their overwhelming desire manifesting itself in the movement of the Ouija. But tell me, was it my imagination when I felt some one put their arm around my shoulders, and when I turned expecting to see grandpa, there was no one there!
Your life had started on March 5, 1917. The second child for professor J.E. Dougherty and Ada Richmal (Heap). Your sister (Dorothy) was so excited to have a baby brother.

J.E. Dougherty, Dorothy Ada, Robert Edwin, and Ada (Heap) Dougherty

J.E. Dougherty, Dorothy Ada, Robert Edwin, and Ada (Heap) Dougherty

She always spoke of you with such love and pride. You attended school in Davis. Growing up as the son of Professor Dougherty. Mom talked of the dinner table as being a word challenge. I imagine your vocabulary was as extensive as hers from the tutelage in words during the dinner meals.

Was it you or your younger brother Walt that broke their arm jumping off the barn with an umbrella as a parachute. Such a great story, Mom said that the three of you were ready to fly. Was the first one off the one who broke their arm, I sort of forgotten, and now, Mom and Uncle Walt are gone too, so no one to ask. In spite of your adventures you survived childhood and grew up to marry the lovely Emily Hislop from Woodland on March 25, 1937.

Emily Hislop

Emily Hislop

You worked on your fathers poultry ranch.

 

Dougherty House  circ. 1950

Dougherty House circ. 1950

 

I know he must have been tough to work for. Even as a child I knew what was expected from grandpa and I really tried to be good there. When he wasn’t happy with something you did you had to “face the music”, often at the dining room table. Being his son, probably was worse.
So you were married and living on the ranch. Oct 2, 1937 saw the birth of your first child. In Jan 1941 your second son was born.

Robert , sister Dorothy, and Emily with baby Ronald

Robert , sister Dorothy, and Emily with baby Ronald

Then the United States became involved in World War II.
You wanted to go, you and your father argued about your enlisting. Did you enlist first then tell him you were going? However you left the ranch and joined the Army on June 5, 1943.

Your younger brother had enlisted the summer before.

Oh you both  looked so dashing in your uniforms.

Robert and Walter Dougherty

Robert and Walter Dougherty

 

Your training  put you into the army engineers. You spent time in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. Your sister believed that you were at the “Battle of the Bulge”, you never spoke about it.

Bastone "Battle of the Bulge" monument  1969

Bastone “Battle of the Bulge” monument
1969

From this press clipping it looks like your unit also spent time in the Pacific Theatre.

WWII press clipping

WWII press clipping

The war ended and you were discharged in 1945. It was back to the Ranch for you but you were never the same. You had quite a struggle with Hodgkin disease. You were in Presidio of San Francisco Letterman Hospital  ( http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/wwIIbayarea/pre.htm) about a year.

Presidio of San Francisco Letterman Hospital

Presidio of San Francisco
Letterman Hospital Photo by City Birds.com

You died there Feb. 20, 1949. I am so sorry you died so young. I know you would have been proud of your children.

 

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