Memories of Dad
My father, Frank Daugherty, died when I was 18. He was a gregarious and truly big-hearted man. He always looked for the positive in people and events. He was happy and he projected that spirit to all who were fortunate enough to be in his presence. He always wanted to do things with me. Playing ball in the backyard was something that we loved to do together. He'd come home from work ready to go saying, "What are we going to do; where are we going to go?" This was all the more remarkable because he was older than dads of other kids my age yet he had a seemingly boundless amount of energy.
My dad was always curious, always looking for something to investigate or explore. On the many driving vacations that my family enjoyed, he would see signs for local attractions, "see the world's largest ball of twine" — and we would make a left turn on a gravel road to see the ball.
My Dad grew up prior to the Depression in West Plains, Missouri. He was an honest, hard working person whose word was gold. He was willing to see another person's side of things and often thought there was more than one answer to a particular question. He had an open mind coupled with Missouri country wisdom.
Dad went to business school for two years, after which he ran full service gas stations and repair shops in the early 30s. My dad was over 30 and had a child when World War II started. He helped build ships that were commissioned for the British. After the war, Dad and Mom opened a shoe store in Herman, Missouri, the town where I grew up. They were partners in running the business--he was steady at the tiller and she was creative and innovative. They made a good team and enjoyed a very collaborative marriage.
Herman, Missouri, was a real community, and had a neighborhood feel. Since we were newcomers our family had to work to get established. Dad became President of the Chamber of Commerce. His example of civic involvement encouraged me when I became an adult, to become active in my own community.
In 1973 Dad was diagnosed with ALS and he had to sell the store. At that time, nobody knew much about the disease. My father was frustrated by ALS particularly because he was a very physical person who had always enjoyed playing golf and being outdoors. He lost his ability to speak, but he died before he was totally incapacitated.
I know I have been strongly influenced by my Dad's attitudes and his exuberant embrace of life. When someone teaches you how to live, the way he taught me, it is a tremendous gift. I like to think that if you know me you know a big part of my Dad.
- Jay Daugherty