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James E. Dougherty of Sewell, NJ entered into Glory on August 1, 2023. He was 92 years of age, being born on July 16, 1931 to Edward and Anna (Degnan) Dougherty in National Park, NJ.
Jim was the dearly beloved husband of Peggy Ann (Culbert) Dougherty. He was predeceased by his parents and his loved sister, Peggy Ann, when she was 5 years old in 1937.
In addition to his dearly beloved wife, Peggy, he is survived by Peggy's cherished and devoted mother, Esther Culbert of Sewell, NJ. Jim is also survived by Peggy's two brothers, James Culbert (Brenda) of Mount Wolf, PA and Edward Culbert (Suzanne) of Southington, Ct., and both of their families.
He is survived by a loved cousin, Bette Ann (Degnan) Kryak (Don) of The Villages in Florida. Included in survivors are a number of cherished friends of Jim and Peggy, including Francis and Joanne Napoli, Denise Ibbotson (Rob), and Karin Joy Bauman, all of Vineland, NJ. Also, Joanne Klatt of Sewell, NJ; Marilyn Collins of VA; Pastor Thomas and Linda Hall of Newport, NJ; Rev. Dr. Karl Kraft (Evelyn) of DE; long-time friend (since 1937) Richard Phelps (Judy) of Englewood, CO; and a number of fond neighbors from Jim and Peggy's Parke Place Community.
Jim graduated from Gloucester Catholic High School in 1950. During his time there, he was an excellent half-back on the football team. He was also skilled at playing basketball.
After school, he entered the Navy, and then in September of 1954, entered The Jordan Seminary in Menominee, Michigan. In his Junior year, he knew that God had not called him to that vocation. He returned to New Jersey and entered Glassboro State College (now Rowan University). He quickly completed a Bachelor Degree in Education and a Master's Degree in "The Psychology of Reading", where he graduated first in his class.
From September, 1960 he began his career as a teacher at Clearview Regional High School in Mullica Hill, NJ, retiring in 1986. During that time, he taught English, History, Social Studies, Reading and Public Speaking (coaching all High School graduating speakers from 1960-1986). His extra-curricular debate teams travelled far and wide, consistently winning top honors in every competition. The last several years of Jim's career were spent as a Learning Disability Specialist, working in every school, K-12 in the two townships of the Clearview district, Mantua and Harrison.
Outside of the teaching setting, he was active in his church, was involved with acting and singing, and writing unique and heart-touching poetry and thought-provoking compositions, as well as many "Letters to the Editor" of the local newspaper, expressing moral concern for various issues.
After retirement, Jim became whole-heartedly involved in the Pro-Life movement, using his speaking and teaching abilities to educate youth and adults on the issue. He gave over 700 talks all over the area to both Catholic and public school youth as well as a wide variety of adult groups. He specifically trained many various adult groups to do the work he was previously doing alone in order to help spread the message in a loving way.
In 1989, Jim and his future wife, Peggy, formed their Christ-centered Singing, Piano Playing, Drama and Visitation of the Sick and Hurting Ministry, which they named "Two for HIM". Jim loved his Irish heritage, so invariably an Irish tune or two was incorporated into many performances. They performed a multitude of concerts for a wide variety of church and civic groups.
In summary, Jim's long-time friend (since the first grade), Richard Phelps, recently described Jim's "dedication to Jesus as second to none", noting that Jim always reflected what he believed in all of his actions. Rich also noted that Jim never took any person for granted, whether relatives, friends, or strangers.
Jim was wholly dedicated to encouraging all people with positive comments. He was a living example of the beloved words in "The Prayer of St. Francis." He has been described by a number of people as precious, special, exceptional, multi-talented, and a truly gentle soul.
Jim absolutely loved the Bible, and often mentioned to Peggy that he believed that encouragement was the best thing we could do for people, second to the most important thing, which is leading them to a saving and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Family and friends may visit from 9:30am to 11:00am on Saturday, August 5, 2023 at Smith Funeral Home, 47 Main Street, Mantua, NJ where a service will be held at 11:00am. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery in Sewell, NJ. As an expression of sympathy, contributions can be made to Family Christian Radio, 4057 Rural Plains Circle, Suite 300-B, Franklin, TN 37064 Click here to donate online
We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of James here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.