Michael R. Dougherty

September 7, 1936 ~ October 14, 2019 (age 83)


Michael R. Dougherty, age 83, passed away on October 14, 2019.  Mike was born in Pittsburgh, PA on September 7, 1936.  He was the son of the late Daniel L. Dougherty and Mary Lou Harmon.  He is survived by his beloved wife, Marsha, and their daughter Dana.  He is also survived by his brothers, Daniel L. (Sadie) of Longwood, FL, Timothy P. (Joan and the late Mary Ann) of Palm Coast, FL, and T. Kevin (Violet) of St. George, UT; by his sisters, Sister Carol SC and Maureen, of Pittsburgh, PA; also many nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews, one great grand-niece, cousins and many dear friends and former colleagues.  He was predeceased by his late brother, Jay (Donna) of Madison, CT, and by his great friend, Robert Curiel. 

Mike’s early education was in Catholic school in Pittsburgh, a subject that, in his wry wit, he commented on from time to time.  He graduated from St. George High School in 1954, from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in 1959, and from Duquesne University Law School in 1962.  After graduating from law school, he became a member of the Pennsylvania Bar and practiced law as an attorney with the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. (“Penn Central”).  He honed his skills as a trial lawyer and became a very highly respected attorney there. 

Mike was in the military reserve for 6 years, and following his stint of active service moved to California in 1967 where he became a “law clerk” (research attorney/assistant) to the Honorable Robert F. Peckham, a distinguished federal judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, in San Francisco.  He passed the California Bar exam and was admitted to practice law in California on January 9, 1969.  During that time, he met and married his wonderful lifetime partner, Marsha.  They were married on October 21, 1968, and their treasured daughter Dana was born June 22, 1981.

Mike devoted the bulk of his legal career to public service, serving as the civil attorney (essentially “county counsel”) for Mendocino County, serving as an assistant county counsel in the highly respected County Counsel’s office in Santa Barbara County; and, following a “sabbatical” of sorts at a German hiking club headquartered on Mt. Tamalpais in Northern California, serving as the Chief Assistant City Attorney for the City of Ventura (“San Buenaventura”) from 1977 until December 30, 1999.

Mike was highly respected by the many attorneys and public officials with whom he worked over the years.  He was a “straight-shooter” - honest as the day is long - and as reliable a person or friend as one could ever wish to know.  He served the public interest always, mostly out of the public eye, but always with great skill, honor, integrity and distinction.

Mike’s family wishes to thank all of the wonderful doctors and nurses who helped care for him in these last years.  Their skill and caring have been sincerely appreciated.

A celebration of Mike’s life will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 17, 2019, at the Poinsettia Pavilion (Santa Paula room), 3451 Foothill Road, Ventura, CA, 93003.  A Memorial Service will be held in Pittsburgh, PA, his birthplace and home of his beloved Steelers, on Friday, November 8, 2019, at 11 a.m., in the Church of the Resurrection.  All should meet at the church.  Interment will follow at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Mike to the American Cancer Society, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson Research, or to any charity of a donor’s choice.


To send flowers to Michael's family, please visit our floral section.


Memorial Service
November 8, 2019

11:00 AM
Resurrection Church/St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish
1100 Creedmoor Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15226

Celebration of Life
November 17, 2019

2:00 PM
Poinsettia Pavilion
3451 Foothill Road
Ventura, CA 93003

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