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The Rev. R. (Richard) Paul Doherty, 72

July 28, 2010

JUNE 2, 1938-JULY 26, 2010

ROCKFORD, Mich. - The Rev. R. (Richard) Paul Doherty of Rockford, Mich., age 72, passed away peacefully Monday, July 26, 2010, surrounded by his loving family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John James Doherty and Alice Mae (Helsel) Doherty, and his older brother, Jack Junior Doherty.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Joan Elaine (Davies) Doherty; daughter, Susan Kathleen (Matthew J.V.) Wilton of Mattawan, Mich.; sons, Michael Alan (Svetlana) Doherty of Cary, N.C., and Richard John (Monica) Doherty of Cedar Springs, Mich. Surviving grandchildren are Allison Elizabeth Wilton, Courtney Erin Wilton, Emily Kathleen Wilton and Kyle John Doherty. He also is survived by stepgrandchildren, Yevgeniya Kohan Doherty, Kyle David (Krystal) Earl, Joshua Douglas Earl and Emily Elizabeth Earl; his sisters-in-law, several nephews, nieces and cousins; and his faithful golden retriever, Wesley.

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Paul was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., June 2, 1938. He was a graduate of Mount Clemens High School, the University of Michigan and Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He was ordained as a United Methodist minister in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. He served the Dryden United Methodist Church in the Detroit Conference. He also served at Mount Zion, Mount Bethel and St. Paul's United Methodist Churches in the Baltimore Conference. Upon returning to the West Michigan Conference, he served the Constantine, Dowagiac and Twin Lake United Methodist churches. In his 44 years of ministry, Paul's passion was in mission work for Haiti. He served as an UMCOR consultant to Haiti, was chairperson for the Michigan Area Haiti Task Force and board member of Grace Children's Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Since 1982, he led numerous work team mission trips to Haiti for the building of schools and churches. He was a fundraiser for the Methodist Orphanage in Port-au-Prince and the hot lunch program for the Methodiste d'Haiti.

He enjoyed gardening, reading and was an avid Chicago Cubs fan. He took many trips to Ireland to pursue his passion for genealogy, tracing his roots in Ireland back to the 1500s. He enjoyed spending as much time as possible at his cottage in northern Michigan, but most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family and grandchildren. Paul will always be remembered for his great sense of humor, caring nature, mentoring of others for the ministry, his ministry with youth, his dedication to his faith and his love of life.

Relatives and friends may meet with the family on Sunday, Aug. 1, from 3 to 4 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 227 Fulton St. E., Grand Rapids, Mich., followed by a memorial service at 4 p.m. Following the service, a time of fellowship and sharing memories will be held.

In lieu of flowers, Paul's wishes were that his work would continue for the Methodist Children's Orphanage, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Donations may be made for the Methodist Children's Orphanage, Port-au-Prince, through the West Michigan Conference Treasurer at the UMC Conference Office, P.O. Box 6247, Grand Rapids, MI 49516.

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