John Joseph Dougherty
1934 - 2023
John Joseph (Jack) Dougherty, a cherished resident of Winston-Salem for over half a century, passed away on October 26, 2023, succumbing to complications of dementia.
A Celebration of Life Service will be 2:00PM Saturday, February 10, 2024 at Green Street United Methodist Church, 639 S. Green St. Winston-Salem, NC 27101. The family will receive friends immediately following the service at the church.
Born on August 10, 1934, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Jack was the youngest child of Julia Flint and James Dougherty.
Despite the challenges of dementia, Jack retained his kind, sweet, and charming nature until the end. He was predeceased by his brothers James and William, and sisters Belle Bates and Bettie Third. Jack is survived by his devoted wife of 38 years, Jane Tower Dougherty, his son John Joseph Dougherty, Jr, stepson Waylon Dudley, nephew Thomas Dougherty, and nieces Anne Dougherty, Nancy Matthews, and Joanne Lawson.
In his high school years, Jack discovered a talent for shooting pool and made spending money on payday at Fort Bragg. Transferring from his local school to Edwards Military Institute, he lettered in basketball, graduating from their high school program in 1955 and junior college in 1957. His educational journey continued at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where he graduated in 1959, sealing his lifelong Tar Heel devotion.
Post-graduation, Jack served in the Army as a private, relishing his assignment in Giessen, Germany. His love for travel and photography blossomed during this time, as he shared detailed letters with his mother describing the sights and food of Paris, ubiquitous canals of Amsterdam, a dreary day in London made better by an evening at the ballet, skiing in the Alps.
After his 3-year stint in the Army, Jack returned to North Carolina. In 1964 he embarked on his profession with the Pilot Life Group Field Department as a service representative. Always ready for adventure, his back seat was usually filled with sports equipment, a fishing pole and camera equipment.
Jack’s life took a significant turn in 1966 with the birth of his son, John Jr. A devoted father, Jack obtained full custody when John was a teenager. Their bond was immortalized in numerous photographs, earning Jack second-place honors in the Greensboro Record newspaper competition.
In 1969, he transitioned into IT at Pilot Life ultimately rising to 2nd VP of Information Services. Jane came to Pilot in 1975 and by 1980 they were an item. Married in 1985, Jack and Jane celebrated their union with a beautiful meal at La Chaudière in Reynolda Village conjuring the beauty of Paris.
Jack’s charm and warmth endeared him to many, and his retirement in 1997 marked the beginning of a new chapter filled with diverse projects, volunteer work, and extensive travel. From working for the 1980 Census, to volunteering at the RiverRun Film Festival, the Samaritan Soup Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, Friends of the Library and Ashley Elementary, and as an interviewer at Crisis Control, Jack’s commitment to his Winston Sale community was unwavering.
His love for music evolved from a college appreciation course to a lifelong love of jazz. That same love for jazz led the couple to Green Street United Methodist Church, where they were active and beloved members.
An intrepid travel team, Jack and Jane explored destinations worldwide, from Costa Rica to Morocco, Turkey, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, New Zealand, and more. To escape the NC winter cold, they spent 6 months in Australia one winter, and in Thailand two years later. His last adventure was aboard a UNC alumni cruise on the Rhine River.
Jack Dougherty will be remembered for his charm, sweetness, and genuine connections with people. He dedicated time to others, prioritizing the journey over goals, leaving an enduring impact on those fortunate enough to have known him.