Frank Burton Doherty, Jr.


Frank (left) and Eugene Doherty in the Philippines 1944

Frank “Doc” Doherty was my father’s older brother.  He was born on July 19, 1920 in Hammond, Indiana.  I’m guessing the “Doc” nickname comes from the pronunciation of “Doherty” as “Docherty,” from the original Irish, “O’Dochartaigh.”

Frank Doherty was a big bear of a man: handsome, charming, with a wonderful smile.  He was, like my father, a “man’s man.”

One story my father told me about Uncle Frank was meeting him by chance on a battlefield in the Philippines during World War II.  They both jumped into the same ditch to avoid getting shot by the Japanese.  Uncle Frank was in the Army, and Dad was in the Marines.  Both the brothers were haunted by their experiences in the war. Dad was very patriotic, and enormously proud of being a Marine, but never spoke about his time in the war unless he was asked about it.

On April 29, 1972, Frank Doherty died of cancer.  It was swift.  I remember that he was diagnosed less than a year before he died.  He was 52. He left a wife and seven children. The oldest were only in high school. When I was home from college for Christmas a few months before he died, Uncle Frank showed me the radiation marks on his back and told me to stop smoking. At the time, I resented being told what to do, but his stark honesty and concern has stayed with me for a lifetime.  I don’t smoke.

The brothers had a strong bond. Dad’s feelings are clearly expressed in this dedication he wrote to Uncle Frank around 1964.  My thanks to Lynne Doherty Noronha, Frank Doherty’s oldest daughter, for these photos.

Dedication to Frank Doherty




Add Comment

By Karen