Cover photo for Daniel Joseph Dougherty's Obituary
Daniel Joseph Dougherty Profile Photo
1927 Daniel 2015

Daniel Joseph Dougherty

November 2, 1927 — March 4, 2015

Daniel J. Dougherty age 87 of Detroit Lakes, MN died March 4, 2015 at Essentia Health - Oak Crossing in Detroit Lakes, MN. Daniel Joseph Dougherty had more jobs before 17 than some people have in a lifetime, jobs that paid in nickels and quarters, a boon in the Depression. At six he was running messages for the telephone operator in his hometown of Mohall, North Dakota. He and his brothers Thomas and Paul, carried water to the threshers in the fields and candled eggs for cash, which Danny often spent on licorice. When the circus came to town for three days, Danny got the job of filling the elephant's trough with water. At 12 he was racking balls at the pool hall, and in high school he was the usher at the Mohall Grand Theatre. His enthusiasm and work ethic also shown on high school athletic fields and courts. He played varsity basketball all four years for the Mohall Yellowjackets. He also played football and even tried pole vaulting. Following in his father Tom's and his uncle John's footsteps, he played baseball, first base, on a town team, which led to a short stint on a semi-pro team in Canada after high school. He briefly attended and played basketball for the University of North Dakota, for which he maintained an ardent loyalty, before being drafted to serve in the Korean War. His uncle John, who served in World War II, advised Danny to "return home a private," but he returned home a decorated Master Sergeant, receiving the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service in the infamous "Punchbowl." He returned to work that was familiar to his father and uncle, the implement business. A natural born salesman, Danny worked over the years for Case, International and Massey Ferguson. His brother Paul introduced him to Margaret LaRoque, whom he married in Grand Forks in 1953. They lived in Wadena, Minnesota, Mobridge, South Dakota, Bloomington, Minnesota and Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, raising four children, Maura, Daniel, Sean and Michelle, all of whom survive him. It was in Detroit Lakes that Danny got what he called "the best job of his life" as personnel director for Becker County, which he kept until his retirement at age 72. One of the greatest delights in his life was the arrival of his granddaughter, Frances Roisin O'Meara. His greatest life's challenge was laying to rest his wife of 54 years. After several health struggles, Danny entered Oak Crossing in Detroit Lakes, where he found a new, supportive community that offered him excellent care until his death on March 4th.
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