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Robert A. Dougherty, Jr.
April 17, 1962 ~ October 6, 2022 (age 60) 60 Years Old
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Robert A. Dougherty, Jr., age 60 of Knoxville PA, passed away at UPMC Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital in Wellsboro on Thursday October 6th 2022. Born April 17th 1962 in Niagara Falls NY, he was the son of Robert “Bob” and Mary (Bacon) Dougherty.
Robert was only five years old when diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus – an autoimmune disease that significantly impacted his health and caused struggles throughout his life. Despite this, Robert was known for his resiliency, creativity, mischievous sense of humor, and kind nature.
As family and friends all remember, Robert enjoyed puns and double entendres – he would happily riposte for hours with any who dared to engage in a duel of words. He was an irreverent free-spirit and loved to play practical jokes! Once, at a Disney water park, he used fake blood to evoke reactions from fellow park-goers, pretending to have been bloodied on the waterslide. When the distressed visitors realized he was pranking them, everyone had a good laugh.
Next to Halloween, his favorite holiday was the annual Gasparilla Parade of Pirates. He would appear in full swashbuckling attire and home-made buccaneer boots, with a flair that only Robert could pull off. Sometimes he brought one or more of his cast bronze cannons and replica firearms. While the pirate ship and flotilla sailed Tampa Bay, he would answer the pirate krewe’s cannon blasts with his own “Arrrggs”, followed by black powder booms and thick smoke plumes – at least until such activities were discouraged.
Robert was an artist who loved working with his hands, especially larger than life-sized sculptures. His fascination with lost wax casting brought him to the Seward Johnson Atelier in Princeton, NJ. Starting as an intern in 1989, he quickly learned how to create molds, chase wax forms, and build the ceramic shells for casting. Most of all, Robert enjoyed the artistic, physical, and technical challenges in the foundry. In 1991, he joined the Atelier staff, ultimately becoming a foundry foreman known for his innovation, commitment to safety, and record-breaking pours – totaling well over 900 tons of molten bronze, iron, corten steel, and aluminum. After five years, Robert left the Atelier to work from his own studio and small foundry in Oldsmar FL, where he created and cast his own figurative sculpture.
He traveled for commissions, leaving mermaids and other mythological creatures in various public and private places across Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, and Niagara Falls, Canada. As his health deteriorated during his last years, he settled in Pennsylvania – mostly quiet, with occasional booms from his bronze cannons.
Robert is survived by his wife, Michelle Williams; his father, Robert A. Dougherty, Sr.; brother, Dwight Dougherty; nieces, Rachel Cotton and Michelle Cotton-Barr; uncle, Roger Bacon; aunt, Sue Shapiro; and numerous other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother, Mary L. Bacon Dougherty; and sister, Catherine L. Cotton. The family requests private remembrance services.
In lieu of flowers, please send thanks to the Nurses and Doctors at the Intensive Care Unit, UPMC Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital, 32 Central Avenue, Wellsboro, PA 16901.
Donations in Robert’s name can also be made to the Florida Camp for Children and Youth With Diabetes Inc., http://floridadiabetescamp.org.
To send an online condolence visit www.kenyonfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are in care of Kenyon Funeral Home.