Father Paul, family, and
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
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
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
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,