Longtime Ridgewood resident Mike "PopPop" Dougherty Sr, 94, passed away peacefully at home on 2/22/22 surrounded by his loved ones. Born in Palmerton, PA in 1927, he was the son of the late Michael and Ellen Dougherty. He was predeceased by his wife Marie, his sister Mary and his beloved granddaughter Katie.
He was raised in the rough and tumble coal mining town of Lansford, PA. attending St Annes grammar and High School. As the starting small (very small) forward, his basketball team won the 1945 Anthracite League championship. Upon graduating from St Annes he got a call from Uncle Sam that his services were required in Nazi Germany. He, like so many others of his generation, left his hometown to serve his country in the United States Army.
Upon returning to the states he took advantage of the GI Bill and attended John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. Missing his family, he transferred to Lafayette College in Easton, PA to be close to his ailing father. His proudest achievement was joining Zeta Psi fraternity where he could practice his well-honed skills of beer drinking, softball, and socializing. He made lifelong friends there that he stayed in touch with till his final days.
Unsure of his next step, PopPop enrolled in Georgetown Law School in Washington, DC. He completed his first year there and went home to Lansford looking for summer work. One of his buddies told him there were positions available at a Catholic women's summer camp in Pawling NY. He decided that being a camp counselor was a better choice than shoveling coal in a mine. All the campers were from New York City and were not familiar with the great outdoors.
Many of them asked him "how to drive a canoe" or "how to play archery". There was one particular hottie named Marie Morrissey from Rockway Beach, NY who took her archery lessons very seriously. Without PopPop and Marie knowing it, Cupid soon shot a bullseye into the two of them and they fell madly in love. That was the end of law school.
The two were married and settled in Forrest Hills, NY PopPop took a job at the Corn Exchange Bank in lower Manhattan. They were soon blessed with their daughter Mary Ellen in 1958. Cramped for space they moved to Ridgewood, NJ in 1960. In 1961 son Michael was born. In 1968 son Thomas was born to complete the Party of 5
He was a devout Catholic, an avid reader, and a terrible golfer. He attended the daily 6:30 mass religiously-is there any other way??
PopPop leaves behind an incredible legacy of laughter. The lives of many will miss his sense of humor, storytelling, kindness, and compassion. Throughout the years, he dealt with many obstacles with prayer and a firm knowledge that God will care and comfort us in times of affliction.
He is survived by his devoted daughter Mary Ellen, son Michael (Lisa), and son Thomas (Sherri). His cherished grandchildren, who were the loves of his life, Thomas, Heather, Michael, and Christina will miss their summers spent with him in Ocean City, NJ. and PopPop has now been reunited with his first grandchild and angel, Katie.
To quote Ecclesiastes (or was it the Byrds)
To everything, there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die: a time to weep, and a time to laugh: a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
Till we meet again- We love you and miss you PopPop
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