Joseph Emmet Dougherty shed his earthly shoes and entered the house of his Creator on December 15, 2019. He was 87. “Joe” to everyone who knew him, he passed peacefully in the Elkader home he shared with his wife of 66 years, Jean Dougherty. Joe and Jean were married on Valentine’s Day in 1953. A respected business man, Joe’s life was defined by his service to country and family. He was a decorated war veteran who saw tours of duty in Inchon during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army as a Sergeant on July 20, 1954. He was a long-term member of the American Legion and the Knights of Columbus.
After returning to Northeast Iowa following the war, Joe and Jean were blessed with family. In addition to his wife, Joe is survived by seven children, Julie Hurley (Thomas Hurley), Janelle Moon, Leah Rued (Scott Rued), Ronald Dougherty, Lori Dolan, Mark Dougherty (Erin Dougherty) and Daniel Dougherty; fourteen grandchildren, Kathryn Hurley, Jacalyn (Hurley) Schlitz, Samantha (Hurley) Ness, Timothy Moon, Stephanie (Moon) Papka, Joseph Rued, Alex Rued, Mackenzie Dolan, Michael Dolan, Hayley Dougherty, Bryn Dougherty, Kylie Dougherty, Clare Dougherty and Lucas Dougherty; and four great-grandchildren: Aiden Moon, Wyatt Rued, Cameran Schlitz and Emmett Schlitz. Joe was preceded in death by an infant son, Gerald.
Born on March 8, 1932 in Waukon to Emmet Dougherty (World War I; Purple Heart) and Irene (Bresnahan) Dougherty, Joe is also survived by his sister, Alice Johnson, and brothers John Dougherty and Jim Dougherty. Joe’s experiences as a child following the Great Depression informed his upbringing and his commitment to the education of his children. The sacrifices that Joe and Jean made for their family cannot be overstated and they can never be fully repaid. He enjoyed a grilled steak on Men’s Night at the Elkader Golf & Country Club, and he loved nothing more than garden fresh tomatoes. Joe continued to be of service to his family throughout his life and he remained responsible for the care of his wife and son, Ron, until his last days. His final thoughts were of them. You were generous, and we miss you, but your work here is done. Rest in eternal peace.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 21 at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Elkader with Rev. John Haugen as Celebrant.
A private ceremony for family will follow at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.
There will not be any visitation prior to services.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been has been established.
Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elkader is assisting the family.