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Peter Hansen Dougherty

Sep 24, 2021

Peter Hansen Dougherty, 68, died Sept. 12, 2021, at his home in Sarasota, Florida. Unlike most events in his life, his death was completely unexpected and came as a shock to all who knew and loved him.

Pete was born on Jan. 19, 1953, in Bronx, New York. He grew up and attended school in West Patterson, New Jersey, where he began forming lifelong friendships from kindergarten through his high school graduation. He pursued his college education at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia, where he served as class president and a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He also served on their Board of Trustees and was a founding member of the National Alumni Council.

Pete was married to Sandy (Helsel) on Aug. 17, 1974 until her death in 2006. He then reconnected with a childhood friend, Jan and they were married on June 30, 2007 until his death. He was blessed to have two women who loved him fiercely and supported him in all of his passions. We only wish they could have convinced him to stop wearing socks with sandals. But alas, they did their best!

Pete was the father to Megen Boyle (husband David), Bryan Dougherty (wife Emily), and Elizabeth Dougherty and stepfather to Dan Stewart. He was the grandfather to Gavan McDaniel, Adam Artzer V, Olivia Boyle and Addison Boyle. Let’s not forget the love he had for his cats Beans and Leah. In addition to being survived by his wife Jan, children and grandchildren, he is survived by his sisters Susan and Margaret and numerous nieces and nephews.

Pete lived the majority of his adult life in Charles Town, WV where was a constant contributor to the community. He began his career in Jefferson County where he worked in the parole and probation offices before serving as a magistrate from 1977-1983. He then worked serving former Congressman Harley Staggers, Senator Jay Rockefeller IV until transitioning to the Department of Veterans Affairs where he served as the first national director of Homeless Veterans programs and the interim director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and acting deputy assistant secretary of government affairs. He also was a member of the Jefferson County Board of Education for 25 years, including 21 years as president.

It is fitting that he ended his career in the same place it began, serving as Sheriff of Jefferson County from 2013 to 2020. Pete was selfless in his desire to serve his community and made it his lifelong dream to always contribute wherever he could.

What a mark he left behind to the causes he was able to be a part of. The Charles Town Kiwanis Club, local Boy Scout troops, Asbury United Methodist Church, Jefferson Community Ministries, multiple Homeless Veterans organizations, D&E College, the WV promise advisory board are just a few of the causes he volunteered for. He took great honor in sponsoring the Jefferson County Teacher of the Year so they could participate in Leadership Jefferson. Pete led by example his entire life. He led with grace, compassion, and unwavering love and support of which his wife, children and family could not be more proud.

There was a service at Asbury United Methodist Church in Charles Town, WV at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 19, 2021. Following the service, attendees were invited to attend a celebration of his life at 5 p.m. at Breaux Vineyards in Purcellville, Virginia.

In lieu of flowers and donations, please volunteer for a cause, help a neighbor, lend a hand. Donations can also be made for the Pete Dougherty Scholarship Fund which will provide educational scholarships for post secondary education at Davis & Elkins College for Jefferson County students. c/o Bryan Dougherty, 128 Baltusrol Dr. Charles Town, WV 25414.