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Father Paul, family, and friends,

 

It is a great pleasure to deliver our mother, LOD’s, eulogy.  Several weeks ago before her passing on March 9, she took me aside as she often did and in all seriousness said to me “I would like you to deliver my eulogy…but make it short and DON’T be funny.

 

I will do my best to follow her directions.  LOD was born 1/19/1919 in New Rochelle, NY where she was raised by her mother, our grandmother Helen Rogers.  In her early teens they moved to LA where she graduated from Marlborough School for Girls.  During this period of transition from East to West Coast grandmother Helen married Clarence Olmsted, affectionately called “Curly” even though we never observed not one single hair on his head.  Grandpa Curly was, and always will be Mom’s real father and grandfather to us all.

 

After graduating from Marlborough Mom returned to the East Coast and New York to complete her degrees at Bennett College and the Catherine Gibbs School.

 

She then returned to the West Coast where she met and fell in love with our Dad, Howard William Dougherty.  Their marital union lasted 43 years.  During that time they brought 6 children into the world, all baptized Catholic of course, who produced an additional 9 grandchildren plus 10 great grandchildren to date.

 

For the sake of brevity, I will not name them but I think you know who you are.  I would be remiss, however, to fail to mention my brother Bob, his son Francis, and my son William Jr. who have predeceased our Mom.

 

LOD, whom our family is proud to call Mom, Mother, or Lou Do, lived a full and rewarding life for 98 years before passing away peacefully at 2 am, March 9, having spent the last 70 years here in Pasadena. 

 

She was diagnosed with acute mitral valve problems over the 11 years ago and was told that unless her leaky valve was replaced surgically she would die within 2 years.  Of course, Mom knowing her body and will better than any doctor politely rejected their advice  and outlived  her diagnosis by 9 years due to her determination, diet, and exercise.  Finally, however, her heart could pump no more.

 

Our Mom, just like her favorite entertainer Frank Sinatra, did things “her way” which in retrospect was nearly always the right way, and by the way, we learned at an early age never to question “Mom’s Way”.

 

When it came to personal appearance hers was impeccable but ours was less so, but she would constantly remind us that to “do our best” we should “look our best”.  I don’t think anyone here today has ever seen our Mom with a hair out of place, at least her immediate family hasn’t.  When it came to clothes Nancy Reagan was her idol and sometimes “look-alike”.  Mom would be totally embarrassed by my sharing with you today that she was twice voted one of LA’s best dressed women.

 

However, behind this determined, and sometimes strict and rigid woman with her exceptional physical presence was a mother with a warm, kind, caring, generous-hearted volunteer and philanthropist best evidenced by her life- long support and involvement in many of her favorite charities throughout her lifetime.  Some of these are the Pasadena Guild of Children’s Hospital, the Pasadena Huntington Hospital, the Pasadena Center of the Arts and founding member, the LA Orphanage, and the Luminaries, all dedicated to helping others.  She was also a member of the Knights of Malta and the Order of the Holy Sepulchre as well as a long- time member of this congregation (St. Andrews) where all 6 children were baptized and received our first Holy Communion.

 

On a very personal note, Mom’s life of apparent privilege was shattered in 1982 when our father suddenly left her for what I like to call “Browner Pastures”.

 

Mom had dedicated her adult life to raising our 6 children while performing all the tasks a dutiful wife was supposed to perform.

 

She literally lived in our father’s world and his shadow.

 

When he turned her life up-side-down at the age of 62 she could have easily withdrawn from it immersing herself in self-pity.  Instead, she boldly chose to embrace herself with a new-found courage and resolution to be the best she could be and bring out and displaying for all to see all of her wonderful qualities that her marital relationship had repressed.  She developed an innate ability to view the world as it is, developing an acceptance of things without anger or resentment and enjoying her fellow human beings for their strengths and weaknesses without being judgmental.   She even developed a sense of humor and was able to poke fun at herself, however, she also  discouraged us from poking fun at her.  This was all accompanied by her great sense of generosity for which she never sought recognition or attention.  She learned to walk softly leaving in her path love and acceptance.

 

As David Bowie once said, my Mom would be mortified by my quoting him, “Aging is and extraordinary process where you become the person you should have been”.

 

In her 98th year Mom was still taking computer skills lessons 3 times a week from her wonderful friend and confidant Julie, working out with her beloved trainer Chris at the Valley Hunt Club 3 times a week, (she had the second oldest membership) , and traveling to Beverly Hills  2 times a week to have her hair coiffed (the famous “Lou Do”.

 

Along with Julie , Chris, and Suzie, we also thank Rosa and Martha all part of our extended family whom Mom loved, and who loved Mom back.

 

In closing let me just say, Mom we all love you and miss you terribly.  You were our rock and we your pebbles.  You took care of us until your end even though we should have been taking care of you.  Rest in Peace.

 

 

Our sincerest thanks to all of you who took the time today to join us in remembering and honoring our Mom, LOD.  

 

All images @ Michael F Dougherty

09/27/15