Agnes Dougherty, 1926-2022

Agnes Dougherty, 1926-2022. Photo provided

ANDOVER, Vt. – Agnes Dougherty, 96, of Andover, Vt., died peacefully at home on Oct. 23, 2022. In her final brief illness, she was lovingly cared for by her family and friends, and a dedicated, compassionate home hospice team of VNH.

Born in 1926 in Bethlehem, Pa., Agnes was the youngest of the 11 children of John and Mary (Kociolek) Yavorkski. A proud graduate of the St. Luke’s Nursing School, she began a lifetime dedicated to service and caring for others as a nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital and a visiting nurse before marrying Richard Dougherty (d. 2013), a teacher and later principal, and raising a family of five children.

Together for 57 years, “Dick and Agnes” shared a strong faith, a deep commitment to social justice and community, and a wide range of interests including a love for the outdoors, travel, gardening, and celebrating events large and small with their family and friends. After living in Titusville, N.J. for 18 years, they retired to Andover, Vt., drawn by the natural beauty of the Green Mountains and the opportunity to be a part of the Weston Priory community.

While running a B&B at their home with the sweeping view of Terrible Mountain, they also cooked at the Priory, assisted the family in sanctuary there, and hosted a weekly supper and scripture group that continues today. In addition to volunteering with several local organizations, in 1987 they co-founded the Vermont Associates for Mexican Opportunity and Support (VAMOS!) with their friends Patty and Bill Coleman. 35 years later, VAMOS! provides meals, education, medical services, computer classes, music classes, and programs for children, women, and the elderly at ten community centers and serves over 180,000 meals each year. Along with assisting with gift acknowledgements and sewing clothes for children, Agnes served as Secretary of the Board until her passing.

A skilled craftswoman, Agnes enjoyed sewing, quilting, knitting, and caning furniture. Always proud of her Polish heritage and cuisine, she passed on her love (and recipes) of pierogis, stuffed cabbage, plotzek, and palacinki to her children. A voracious reader and puzzle-solver, she also took special delight in sharing jokes, poems, and songs, along with the wisdom gained from a long life, well-lived: “If you want to be happy, help others.” She is survived by her children; Richard and wife Susan, Sean and wife Kimberly, Terrence and wife Diane, Mary and husband Mark, and son Thomas, along with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. She was interred at Weston Priory. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to VAMOS! by visiting or by mailing to P.O. Box 212, Weston, VT 05161.

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