Dougherty, Stephen

DOUGHERTY, Stephen Carter

A native Ohioan who graduated from the University of Dayton, and father of four with a five-decade connection to

Kentucky born of his marriage to Janet Hillenmeyer, died in Louisville on March 10. He was 79 years old.

By time he passed, Dougherty had lived in Louisville for 20 years, and worked as a teacher and for the University of Louisville's medical school and served as a commissioner of a small Louisville suburb. To his last, Dougherty raised chickens in his backyard. He could often be found at peace, sitting in a chair dozing, hens scurrying around him.

Born to Bernard and Magdalen Dougherty of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio on Nov. 28, 1942, the gangly, youthful Dougherty roamed the neighborhood with siblings – he had four brothers and one sister – and friends from Archbishop Hoban High School that he would remain in touch with for life. His own father, born in the last year of the 19th century, was a role model who built and maintained the family house himself.

He would later enroll in the University of Dayton, a continuation of his Catholic education. Dougherty never expected to attend college and seeing him graduate left his father proud as can be. Finishing college entailed, one semester, avoiding rent by pitching his tent each day to sleep, and borrowing money from a friend's father. Studying communications, he was involved with the university's radio station, WVUD, and the newspaper, The Flyer News.

In the end, he had his degree. More importantly, he had a fiancée, Janet Susan Hillenmeyer, who grew up in Louisville. He started his professional life in radio – disc jockey, ad sales, and general manager – and later worked in the cable television industry in Dayton, where he lived for over 20 years.

After Ohio, the Dougherty family moved to Detroit, Michigan, to Littleton, Colorado, to São Paulo, Brazil, and then finally Louisville.

Dougherty chose to donate his body to science, in the hope that his mortal remains can help ease the suffering of others. He is survived by his wife, four children, and eight grandchildren.

In his memory, the family asks for donations to Humanity & Inclusion, a global nonprofit that supports people with


Sign the guestbook at