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Joseph Richard Dugan

Posted By Hall-Wynne On January 24, 2018 @ 8:53 am In Durham,Obituaries | 22 Comments

Joseph Richard Patrick Dugan died peacefully at the age of 92 on January 22, 2018 surrounded by his adoring family and with his beloved wife of 63 years, Claire Frances (Mahoney), by his side. Dick led an honest, hard-working life, helped raise a beautiful family, and left a legacy of goodness and love. He was born in West Newton, Massachusetts, on March 21, 1925, the youngest son of Mary and James Dugan. He attended St. Bernard’s School where he was an altar boy and graduated from Newton High School in 1943. Growing up in West Newton, he formed dear friendships that remained close for the rest of his life. He loved hockey and baseball, but most especially golf. As a young boy he caddied at the Brae Burn Country Club, where he first developed a life-long love for the game. In accordance, one of his life’s greatest joys was playing a round of 18 in Scotland – the Old Course at St. Andrews. Never far from a course, he worked in retirement as a starter at the Sheraton Tara in Hyannis. On this course, he also taught his grandkids how to swing a club.
Dick worked for the railroad all his life, starting at The New York Central while still in high school. In 1943, at the age of 17, he enlisted to serve his country in World War II. Assigned to the Army’s 138th Field Artillery Battalion, he earned a Bronze Star during the liberation of the Philippines. He was most proud to have been an “Avenger of Bataan.” As a member of America’s greatest generation, he was recently honored by a visiting veteran group for his service, and was hailed a hero. He responded he was not a hero, but that the true heroes were those who never made it home. After the war he met the love of his life, the beautiful Claire Fran from Somerville, Massachusetts. It was love at first sight. They married during Hurricane Edna in 1954 and went on to raise 5 children in an old home on Water St. in South Natick, along a bend of the Charles River. They lost their second child, Andrea Louise, to crib death, a heartbreak that remained with him all his life. Dick was a wonderful father, remembered for entertaining his kids with dishwashing games, trips to the rink at dawn, unexpected outings to Fenway Park or piling the kids into the Rambler for Saturdays spent at Revere Beach. He loved backyard cookouts, and surprising his family by bringing home lobsters or hot fudge sundaes. After retiring from the railroad, Dick and Claire moved to Centerville on Cape Cod, enjoying 20 wonderful years with family and friends, old and new. Eight years ago they moved to Durham, N.C. to be closer to family.
Dick was blessed with a quick wit, twinkling green eyes, and a gift to make anyone smile along with him. When the house was teeming with his kids and their friends, right up to the present with his caregivers, he effortlessly brought joy to all those he encountered. He possessed a keen sense of humor, compassion, and a genuine appreciation for bringing joy into the world. This was perhaps his greatest gift, second only to his love and dedication to family.
Besides his wife Claire, Dick leaves behind five children: Martha and her husband Antonio Obando of West Hartford, Connecticut, Joseph Dugan Jr. of Marlboro, Massachusetts, Marybeth Dugan and her husband Kenneth Dalsheimer, Peter Dugan, and Kelli Dugan and her husband John St Clair, all of Durham, North Carolina. He also leaves nine grandchildren: Aura Obando and her husband Paul Easton, Jose and Thomas Obando, Samuel, and his wife Alexandra, Elyson and her fiancé Brian Schnautz, and Isaac Dalsheimer, and Ainsley, Jack, and Eliot St Clair. Dick has two great grandchildren in Santiago and Nicolas Easton. Richard is predeceased by his siblings James and Thomas Dugan, and Dorothy Morrissey.
The Dugan family would like to express appreciation for those who provided care to Dick, especially during his last year, including the caring staff of August Estates, the Duke Hospice Team, Don Stanger of the Holy Infant Outreach Ministry, and the staff of Trusted Home Helpers, in particular Cherri McCoy.
Mass of Christian burial will be held in Durham, North Carolina, at the Holy Infant Catholic Church on Friday, January 26 at 11:00am. A memorial service on Cape Cod and burial with full military honors at the National Cemetery in Bourne, Massachusetts will be at a later date. In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in memory of Joseph R. Dugan via www.jimmyfund.org/gift.

Condolences for the family of “Joseph Richard Dugan”

Condolence from Mary Welford on January 24th, 2018 9:42 am

Thinking of you all at this sad time. So true what joy he brought with his kindness and wonderful humor. Will miss him. Mary Welford and family

Condolence from Sandra Hess on January 24th, 2018 10:39 am

Sorry I cannot be there but am with you in spirit. Will always remember the twinkle in Dick’s eyes as he made a teasing remark. The family was blessed with his presence.

Condolence from Francine Cole on January 24th, 2018 10:41 am

Although I only met Dick a few times, they were memorable. His quick wit and giggles were infectious. … and oh boy was he a good hugger! I will miss him on my visits to Durham. Rest In Peace

Condolence from Meg Luizzo on January 24th, 2018 11:28 am

What a beautiful tribute!

Condolence from Bobby Morrissey on January 24th, 2018 12:34 pm

I am so sorry to hear about uncle Dick. I remember so well at Christmas time dick showing us kids his card tricks, and when we asked him to show us how it was done he would whisper to us “can you keep a secret? we would say yes to which he would respond “so can I”. His humor and warmth will be sorely missed. Love to all Bobby and Josie

Condolence from Karima on January 24th, 2018 3:45 pm

My deepest and heartfelt condolences.
It’s been an absolute honor to have shared this journey with you.

All of you are in my thoughts and heart.

Condolence from Lillian P Spiller on January 24th, 2018 5:56 pm

Dear Kelli and Marybeth and the rest of the Dugan family,
I was so sorry to hear about your father’s death. What a beautiful tribute to him. He sounds like a gracious and dear man as well as a fun dad! I know i’m not alone in sharing how impressed I’ve been by the incredible love your family has displayed in the past few years in caring for both your parents. Your father was clearly a special person to inspire such love and dedication.

Much love,

Condolence from Geoff Leary on January 25th, 2018 8:56 am

My Dad – Bill Leary – worked with Dick at the railroad for decades and they were good friends. I remember meeting Dick a few times many decades ago and always knew him as a nice , good humored guy. Please accept my condolences.

Geoff Leary

Condolence from Joe Picariello on January 25th, 2018 11:38 am

To the Dugan Family,
Our deepest sympathies on the loss of Dick. Growing up and knowing Dick was an honor and privilege. He always had a smile on his face and a kind word for all.
The “West Newton Crowd” was a special group of people and Dick was a key part of that group. He will be missed.

Joe Picariello

Condolence from Chris Smith on January 25th, 2018 5:50 pm

“It has a 4 on the floor and that baby can ROAR!!!!!”
I carry many great memories of him.
My thoughts and prayers to all.

Condolence from Kathleen Davidson on January 25th, 2018 7:17 pm

What a lovely tribute to a wonderful man. So grateful to know a few Dugans and their dear ones. Holding you all in the Light, with love.

Condolence from Deb Chance Szelepka on January 25th, 2018 10:20 pm

I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Dugan. I have many found memories of him including his corny jokes and numerous nick names for Mary Beth. He was an exceptional man, husband, and father. I know he will be missed. God Bless

Condolence from Maurice Khisa on January 26th, 2018 11:56 pm

I offer my condolences to the entire family and to Madam Kelli. in particular, it’s hard to loose a loved one but we believe God has a wonderful place for him,Pole sana!

Condolence from Mary-Carol Waters on January 27th, 2018 12:20 pm

I have the entire family in my thoughts and prayers during this incredibly difficult time of mourning. May his spirit live on in your love for him…he was an incredible man! Much love, Mary-Carol

Condolence from the cotten family on January 27th, 2018 2:30 pm

Among the greatest of the greatest generation, like some of the other writers, we’re glad to be acquainted with members of the family, and this story reinforces their extraordinariness. We love the story about the card trick secret! condolences for a big loss and celebration of a wonderful life.

Condolence from dotti on January 27th, 2018 4:42 pm

Oh my – how to possibly know where to begin to pay tribute to Dickie and console his family. My appreciation for him has morphed over the years, ever increasing as I came to understand all he had done and how truly kind he was to everyone. At first, he was the master of the “Dad-joke” — his nice wavy hair (waving good-bye); that noble, Roman-esque Dugan nose (roaming all over their face), the joy of a pun or card trick and ganging up with his brothers to tease his sister (and quietly helping her through hard times). As I began to realize what it took to be an adult, a spouse, and raise a family, I was (and am) in awe of how he did it with grace, humility and a sense of humor. I am not sure how to console; it is hard to account for that void. Hopefully that gap will be filled with memories and the glimmer of his personality in – especially – that younger generation of grand and great-grand children. I am sure it will pop out in the most wonderful of ways, at unexpected times and bring well deserved, bright memories. And, there is always consolation in knowing that any job was well done. His job, 92 years of bringing joy, help, class, selflessness, of knowing how to enjoy his world, and guiding a wonderful like-minded family in the world, was evidently done, and oh my, did he did it SO well! Love to all.

Condolence from Kim (Wells) Navarro on January 29th, 2018 10:30 am

Joe and family

I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad. May all your memories bring you comfort at this difficult time.

Condolence from Muna Mujahid on January 30th, 2018 8:21 pm

My heart is,greatly saddened by the news of Mr. Dugan’s transition. It was wonderful to read about the riches in his life; Family, Duty and Golf. I feel honored to have been acquainted with my Farmer’ s Market Friend! That smile and sweet spirit of light just radiated from him on Saturday Mornings. He leaves and Amazing Legacy in his Family. I will never forget spending a beautiful afternoon chatting with Mrs.Dugan and watching golf with Mr. Dugan. My dad was a golfer and loved the game also. I know the heavenly greens are awaiting his clubs and irons. Enjoy your Birdies and Eagles My friend!

Condolence from Hellen M. Kong’ong’o on January 31st, 2018 7:12 am

Mr. Dugan was a sure hero! Reading his obituary fills my eyes with tears; tears of sadness because of the loss but also some comfort amidst the pain of loss, comfort in knowing that he leaves such a rich legacy with family and friends.
To the Dugan family, my deepest sympathy at this time and prayers for God’s comfort and grace. it will be well, it will be well.
Kellie and John, you are very special people, and now I see why; Mr. Dugan surely did leave a remarkable imprint on your lives. May you continue to share from his lessons and enrich those around you in his memory.
Rest in Peace Mr. Dugan.

Condolence from Gloria Fisher on January 31st, 2018 9:10 pm

Marybeth, lovey, and all of the Dugans. I celebrate your Dad. Yours is an amazing family I am happy to know. Love, Gloria Cronin Fisher

Condolence from Mary Cronin on February 5th, 2018 12:07 pm

The world is less because Dick is gone, but it is so much more for all the love and joy he created and shared. I will miss him deeply. My deepest sympathies to all the Dugans I love so much.

Condolence from John L. Saunders on March 5th, 2018 10:53 am

I also caddied at Brae Burn and went to Saint Bernard School. A few years after Patrick. it was a great beginning in life.


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