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Obituary: Remembering Brookville’s Harold Dougherty

A celebration of his 95 years from Halloween 1916 to Easter Sunday 2012

Caroline Z. Bazzini, Village of Brookville mayor spoke at the Christ Church funeral Mass for Harold Dougherty, on April  14, saying, “Born on Halloween [Oct. 31, 1916], Harold M. Dougherty of Brookville, passed away peacefully at his home on Easter Sunday [April 8, 2012]. He was 95 years old. As a young boy, Harold Jr. often passed the Belt Parkway stables and so it came to be that he dreamed of owning a horse one day.  Little did he imagine that eventually he would own eight horses, play polo and be the master of the hunt.”

After a long and varied career including serving in the Navy, Mr. Dougherty, who owned his own plumbing business joined the staff of the Village of Brookville. Mayor Bazzini said, “In the early ’60s, he was appointed plumbing inspector under Brookville Mayor Kevin Waite. In 1969, when LeRoy Newell, the building inspector retired, Harold took his place. He continued to work in that position for the next 43 years – sharing that workload with his son, Tim, after he graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology [class of 1984] with an engineering degree. As of earlier this year, Harold was still participating in village board meetings.

“He was a founding member and great supporter of St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church when it was built at the southern end of Brookville in the late ’60s.

“In 1992, Harold met Laura Varrichio. He was instantly smitten, but it took seven years before he was able to convince Laura to marry him. He often joked that it was his longest project. They lived happily together until this past Easter Sunday.”

Mayor Bazzini said Mr. Dougherty was a gentleman to the end and always a good friend to Brookville. “His tireless service as a village official will always be appreciated and remembered by the residents of this village whom he served so faithfully.” When asked to recall memories of Harold, she said, besides his love for wife, family and village, it was his loyalty, kindness, affability and quick sense of humor that those who knew him will remember best.

At the funeral, the speakers included two past Brookville mayors, the Honorable Richard P. Goodwin and the Honorable Michael P. Galgano. Timothy Dougherty, Harold’s son, also did a remembrance — for which the congregation applauded.

The Rev. Peter Casparian gave a homily and co-celebrated the mass with the Rev. Bruce D. Griffith, pastor emeritus of Christ Church. The closing song, sung solo, by Christopher Judd, was “Danny Boy.”

The 60-car funeral cortege headed up by an Old Brookville police escort, left Christ Church and headed west on Northern Blvd then went south on Cedar Swamp Road. It first passed by the Dougherty’s home and then stopped at St. Paul the Apostle RC  for a blessing by Father Clerkin before heading to Holy Rood Cemetery for interment in a crypt inside the chapel. There were full military honors as well as a bagpiper playing in the chapel.

Harold’s wife, Laura Dougherty, said that their dog, Erin, was with her at the funeral home, in the church and at the interment. Erin was certified as Mr. Dougherty’s support animal and spent much time with him in hospitals this past year. “She is a wonderful little poodle who is very smart and very well mannered. Erin also makes visits to the Life Enrichment Center and brings joy to the seniors who lunch there,” said Ms. Dougherty.

Harold M. Dougherty is survived by his wife Laura K. Varrichio Dougherty, and his three children, Timothy M. Dougherty, of Brookville, Jill Dougherty Warga, of Brookville and Amy Dougherty Cinque, of Orlando, Florida; plus his grandchildren, Kimberly and Christopher Warga and Joseph and Natalie Cinque.

News

“Visitation is up 300 percent,” said Harriet Gerard Clark, Raynham Hall Museum director.

“Two-thirds of them come because of reading the book by Brian Kilmeade, George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution, and seeing the series ‘Turn’ on A&E,” added Tom Valentine, docent, who keeps the list of visitors. Soon the series will include the story of Robert Townsend of Oyster Bay who was known as Culper, Jr. when he was a spy for George Washington.

Alex Sutherland, director of education, nailed his definition. “He was the most important spy for George Washington because he had the perfect cover. He was pretending to be a Loyalist and writing for a Loyalist newspaper and befriending British officers at his coffee shop in downtown New York while secretly collecting information.

As a fitness coach and a mother, Melissa Monteforte of Locust Valley knows how important it is to stay healthy, and how difficult it can be for women to make themselves, and their health, a priority. Wanting to help women take charge and feel more in control, she organized the Fit & Healthy Mamas Annual 5K run, now in its third year, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

“I felt like running was the best outlet when I became a mother; it’s such a great way to get fit and feel healthy and I wanted to share that with other moms,” says Monteforte, 31. “I wanted women to feel celebrated, no matter their fitness level, and to put their health first.”


Sports

Hard work paid off for local athletes Christine Grippo of Locust Valley, Kelly Pickard of Oyster Bay, Bernadette Winnubst of Locust Valley, Steven Quigley of Bayville, Catherine Soler of Oyster Bay, Maria Elinger of Oyster Bay, and Armand D’Amato of Oyster Bay Cove, each of whom won awards in a field of some of the best triathletes from all of Long Island and beyond in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon, held in and around Oyster Bay’s Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park on Saturday morning, Aug. 23.

Grippo earned top honors in the women’s 30-34 age group with a time of 1 hour, 17 minutes, 36 seconds. Pickard (1:17:39) scored first among the women in the 35-39 age group. Winnubst scored in 1:38:48 to earn third place honors in the Masters Athena Weight Division. Quigley earned the second place award in the Masters Clydesdale Weight Division in 1:23:23. Soler (1:29:12) scored 5th among the women in the 20-24 age group. Ehlinger (1:39:23) was the 4th place award winner in the women’s 55-59 age group. D’Amato (1:42:44) earned top honors in the 70-74 age group.

Ice Dreams, an Olympic Ice Show starring 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist Jason Brown and aspiring local skaters, is coming to Twin Rinks Ice Center at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow on Sept. 20.

Isabella Skvarla, 13, Julia Tauter, 12, and Chiara Vlacich, 12, all of Oyster Bay, Julia Forte, 12, of Locust Valley and Riley Stein, 11, of Bayville will be skating in the world class show to celebrate the opening of the best figure skating facility Long Island has ever seen.


Calendar

Art In A Meadow

Saturday, Sept. 13

Bayville Oktoberfest

Saturday, Sept. 13 - Sunday, Sept. 14

Hurricane Preparedness

Tuesday, Sept. 16



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com