Chester Dougherty, 73, of Abilene, TX passed away February 19, 2021 at his home. Memorial service will be held at 2PM, Friday, February 26th at First Baptist Church with John Moore, Pastor of Missions, officiating. Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home.
Chester was born April 10, 1947 in Wheeler, Texas to Gordon and Lucille Dougherty. He grew up in the Texas Panhandle town of Perryton where he realized his love and skill for the sport of football. It was also in Perryton where he met the love of his life, Donna Roush. Chester graduated from Perryton High School in May of 1965 and married Donna in November of that year.
He was recruited to play football at McMurry college in Abilene, TX by Grant Teaff. Teaff once said of Chester that he was the hardest hitting football player he had ever coached. Chester's prowess on the football field earned him multiple All-Conference team selections in the Lone Star Conference and NAIA All-American status. He was invited to the Detroit Lions summer training program as a free agent in 1970, but ultimately chose to return to Texas. In May of 1997, Chester was inducted into the McMurry University Athletic Hall of Honor.
Chester coached football and baseball at Abilene Cooper High School from 1969 – 1981. His baseball program consistently finished at or near the top in district, winning district in 1977 and 1979. In 1981, he left Cooper to start a construction business with his father. Dougherty Construction was involved in many projects around Abilene, most notably remodeling the Abilene National Bank lobby.
In the spring of 1987, Robert Starr, then principal of Lincoln Middle School, asked Chester to take over the building trades program there after the unexpected leave of the current teacher. Chester returned to teaching and then was asked to become Athletic Director as well. After several years, he took off the coaching whistle and focused on teaching the younger generation valuable life skills through his construction program. He also saw the value of recycling materials. He began a program in his class that utilized reclaimed fence planks and barbed wire to build birdhouses that his students could then sell to the community. Many fences were replaced, birdhouses built, and many citizens of Abilene benefitted from the work of his program and students.
Chester retired from teaching in 2006 to focus more time with his family and his grandson, Joey. Chester was a faithful Christian with a servant's heart and used his talents to go on mission trips with First Baptist Church of Abilene and work on building projects for underserved communities in the United States. He also freely gave of his skills to building improvements in local churches and schools.
Chester is survived by his wife, Donna, and children, John, Ellen & Chris Daniel, and his grandson, Joey Daniel. He is also survived by his sister, Joyce Barnard (Larry), brother, Gene Dougherty (Donna), sister-in-law, Sandra Cremeens (Gene), and stepmother, Billie Dougherty. He is also survived by nieces and nephews, Amy Barbee (Brett), Brad Dougherty (Renee), Mallori Brown (Aaron), Darci Dougherty, Jake Dougherty (Traci), Terri Powers (Tracy), and David Cremeens (Janet), along with their children. Chester was preceded in death by his parents, Gordan and Lucille Dougherty, in-laws, Leo and Ruth Roush, and niece, Angela Barnard.
After Chester was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2010, he participated in a research study through the Michael J Fox Foundation for 4 years to help understand unmedicated disease progression. Memorials may be given to the Michael J Fox Foundation (www.michaeljfox.org), City Lights Ministry (336 Hickory St. Abilene, TX 79601), or a charity of your choice.