William P. Dougherty | AspenTimes.com

William P. Dougherty

Former Aspenite William P. Dougherty died July 30 in California.

Former Aspenite William P. Dougherty died Saturday, July 30, in Sacramento, Calif., from injuries suffered in a vehicle accident on Father’s Day. He was 79 years old.

Bill was born Oct. 11, 1925, in New York City to Nelson Dougherty of New York City and Rachel Pinkerton of Monterey County, Calif. He grew up in Los Angeles and Carmel, and he attended Carmel High School. He graduated as a second lieutenant from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1948. He served in the U.S. Air Force and was a decorated fighter pilot in Korea, serving thereafter in Cape Cod and Thule, Greenland. In 1948 he married Carol Dougherty of Woodland, Calif.After resigning his commission as a captain, William joined his father-in-law, Neil Dougherty, farming in Sutter Basin near Woodland, Calif., where Neil had played a key role in developing the basin as agricultural land. When two of Bill’s sons entered the family business, he began growing tomatoes commercially. He continued to do so until his retirement in the mid-1990s.

The Dougherty family would spend their winters in various ski resorts while farming was at a lull. In the fall of 1968 they fell in love with Aspen and made it their second home. They built a home on Red Mountain and spent fall, winter and springs in Aspen until 1976. Their two younger boys, Neil and Drew, attended the Aspen schools and both were Aspen High School graduates.Bill was a devoted family man and avid pilot, and he enjoyed many years of skiing, golf and duck hunting with his family. He was also an accomplished amateur golfer who competed in many state and national events, and an enthusiastic spectator of his children’s and grandchildren’s athletic and academic endeavors. He will be remembered for his honesty and integrity, and his garrulous and fun-loving nature.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Carol; his four children, Dan and Neil of Woodland, Calif., Devin of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Drew of San Diego; their spouses Jamie, Becky and Heidi; and nine grandchildren, Dillon, Ian, Graham, Logan, Devin, Mia, Brooks, Skyler and Galen.