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May 25, 2022

4/25/2022 7:31:00 AM
Dougherty, Joseph 'Joe'

Joseph 'Joe' Dougherty, 70, of Avoca, passed peacefully into heaven on Thursday, April 21, 2022, while holding his daughter's hand and surrounded by family at the Milwaukee VA Hospital.

Joe was born on April 20, 1952, the only son, and last child of Francis and Viola (Fleming) Dougherty. He grew up in Avoca with his parents and two sisters. Joe graduated from Riverdale High School in 1970. He enlisted in the Army and honorably served from 1971 to 1973 during the Vietnam War. Following his service to the US he was employed as a Body Shop Technician at Jones Chevrolet in Richland Center.

In 1977, Joe fell in love with the new girl next door, Theresa (Hanson) Evans. They were united in marriage on July 12, 1980. In October 1981 they welcomed their first and only child, Nicole Marie, into the world. Six weeks after Nicole's birth, Joe was in a severe car accident that set a new course in life for their young family. Joe's most lasting injury from his accident was damage to his spinal cord that left him paralyzed from the waist down. To be closer to the hospitals, Joe and Theresa moved to Madison in 1982. Joe devoted his life to being a stay at home dad and raising Nicole. Joe and Nicole shared many adventures together and he never allowed his wheelchair to impact what they did, from sitting poolside and throwing in his keys for her to retrieve, to teaching her how to ice stake by having her push him in his chair on the frozen water at Tenny Park. They loved listening to Brewer games and share an extraordinary bond that will transcend time.

In 1993, Joe began babysitting a young toddler, Jess. He quickly grew close to her and continued to care for her throughout her entire childhood. Joe loved Jess like a daughter.

Later in life Joe found new love in being a 'Papa' to his grandchildren Cohen and Cora Healy. He loved and cherished every moment he spent with them. In 2019, Joe moved back to his hometown of Avoca, to be closer to Nicole, Cohen, and Cora. Jess also blessed Joe with two grandkids, Wari and Kashi, who he loved dearly. Joe had great love for all of his family, but especially his older sisters, Sue and Kate, who were extremely devoted to him.

Joe is survived by his beloved daughter Nicole (Troy) Welsh and grandkids Cohen and Cora Healy all of Highland; loving sisters: Suzanne (Dave) Mathews of Madison, Kathryn (Joe) Bailey of Muscoda; nieces and nephews: Kevin (Brenda) Bohan, Sean (Diana) Bohan, Shannon Kenitz, Jaren (Curtis) Washington, Jordan Bailey; several great-nieces and nephews; Jess (Sreenath) Pillai and their children Wari and Kashi; former wife Theresa Evans; very special friends Pat Davis, Bob Nechkash, and Wayne Conley.

Joe was preceded in death and now joined in heaven with his parents Francis and Viola Dougherty, aunt Frieda Kraus, close cousin Tom Post, and his cherished Golden Retriever Sugar.

The family would like to thank all of the home health nurses who came to Joe's home, the staff at the Milwaukee VA Intensive Care Unit, and the many staff members at the Milwaukee VA Spinal Cord Unit who served Joe over the years.

Life is fragile. Handle with prayer.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2022, at 11:00 AM at St. John's Lutheran Church in Avoca. Burial will follow in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Avoca, with military rites will be provided by the Avoca American Legion Post 335. Visitation will be held on Friday, April 29, 2022, from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Godager Pratt Funeral Home in Muscoda and again at St. John's Lutheran Church from 10:00 AM until the time of the service at 11:00 AM. The Pratt Funeral and Cremation Service is assisting the family with their arrangements.

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