Anton Community Newspapers  •  132 East 2nd Street  •  Mineola, NY 11501  •  Phone: 516-747-8282  •  FAX: 516-742-5867
Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

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.