Jean Dougherty

Jean Ann (Gavin) Dougherty of Elkader passed away peacefully at her home May 11, 2020. She was 87 years old. A family funeral mass was held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Elkader with a private interment at the cemetery. Memorials are preferred to the Clayton County Food Shelf, P.O. Box 48, St. Olaf, IA  52072.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe Dougherty, who passed away in December. They were married a lifetime, 66 years, having wed Valentine’s Day in 1953. Jean was also preceded in death by her parents, Helen and Francis Gavin; her sisters, Dorothy Collins and Jule Hermanson; her brothers, Joe Gavin and William Gavin; as well as an infant son, Gerald.

Jean is survived by seven children, Julie (Tom) Hurley, Janelle Moon, Leah (Scott) Rued, Ronald Dougherty, Lori Dolan, Mark (Erin) Dougherty and Daniel Dougherty; 14 grandchildren, Kathryn Hurley, Jacki (Hurley) Schiltz, Samantha (Hurley) Ness, Stephanie (Moon) Papka, Timothy Moon, Joseph Rued, Alex Rued, Mackenzie and Michael Dolan, and Hayley, Bryny, Kylie, Clare and Lucas Dougherty; and four great-grandchildren, Cameran and Emmett Schiltz, Aiden Moon and Wyatt Rued.

Jean was born March 26, 1933 in Hanover. Early years on the farm during the Great Depression and World War II, as well as the loss of her father at a young age, instilled in her bravery, a strong work ethic and sense of family that were absolute. In addition to being a wife, mother and homemaker, she was an invaluable partner in the family Culligan Water Conditioning business.

Family was Jean’s “true north” (as was she for her family) and her life was devoted to building and providing for the family. She modeled joy in the way she gathered family around the table, prepared for holidays and traveled. She modeled character in the way she overcame obstacles and lived her faith. She modeled love in the way she was present in every moment, always willing to lend an ear or give a hug. While early years were spent guiding her children, later years could be spent enjoying her grandchildren – she was the first to be there for a newborn and always ready for overnight visits, tea parties, recitals, graduations, ball games, confirmations, cross-stitch instruction, strawberry jam production, high praise and just being in the moment.

During her 57 years in Elkader, she enjoyed deep friendships, ladies golf and luncheons at the Elkader Golf Course, Bridge Club, her commitment to the St. Joseph Church community and her role as a RISE Ltd. Board member. Her legacy of love is immeasurable.

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