Weed Corley Fish Funeral Homes and Cremation Services

3125 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX


J. Chrys Dougherty

3 mayo , 191520 febrero , 2014

J Chrys Dougherty, III died Thursday, February 20, at age 98.

Born Robert Henderson Dougherty in Beeville, Texas, May 3, 1915, Chrys was the only surviving child of five siblings, the other four of whom died before he was born. He was the son of J. Chrys Dougherty and Mary Virginia Henderson Dougherty. His grandfather Robert Dougherty immigrated from Ireland and founded a boys' school in south Texas. His Aunt Lida was the first woman superintendent of schools in Texas.

After his father died when he was 16, Chrys changed his name to that of his father. He began reading the Harvard Classics in order to educate himself. Then his uncle James R. Dougherty helped him attend the University of Texas and Harvard Law School, with the request that he pass on the gift of education to others, which he did through numerous gifts to individuals and institutions.

While at Harvard Law School, Chrys met another Texas transplant, Mary Ireland Graves ("Miggie"), a student at Vassar. They married in April 1942. During the War, Chrys served in the Counter-Intelligence Corps, and in France as an attorney in the Judge Advocate General Corps. There he added a love of the French language to the love of Spanish he'd grown up with as a child in south Texas. Years later Chrys served as the Honorary French Consul of Texas.

Returning from the war, Chrys studied International Law at Harvard. In 1946 he co-founded the Graves, Dougherty law firm with his father-in-law Ireland Graves. He was involved in a number of important cases over the years, most notably the Tidelands case – a legal battle between the State of Texas and the federal government over rights to offshore oil. He served as President of the Texas State Bar Association in 1979-80.

Chrys had a strong belief in the rule of law as an alternative to violence. Accordingly, he served as state president of the United World Federalists in the late 1940s. He also had a strong belief in the importance of making legal services available to everyone, not just those privileged enough to be able to pay for them. He focused his attention on expanding legal services for the poor, urging lawyers to devote time to pro bono work. In recognition of these efforts, the State of Texas Bar Association established the J. Chrys Dougherty Legal Services Award in his honor. Texas Appleseed and Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas also have awards named for him.

Chrys retired from the practice of law in 1995, but not from service to the community. He was one of the founders of Texas Appleseed, which recruits lawyers to volunteer their skills and donate their resources for social and economic justice. He served on the board of The Austin Project, whose purpose is to strengthen families and improve education. He was active in the University Presbyterian Church.

Chrys frequently quoted the Bible verse: "From him to whom much is given, much will be required."

Chrys never stopped learning. He read voraciously. His interests ranged widely, and he enjoyed reading about world religions, education, and other topics. He traveled extensively and was an avid photographer.

Chrys' beloved Miggie died in July 1977. In 1978 he married Bea Ann Smith. After they divorced, he married Sarah Blair Randle in 1982. She died in 1997.

Chrys leaves behind his daughter Molly and her husband Richard Pells, son Chrys IV and his wife Mary Ann, two grandsons, John Ireland Dougherty and Mark Chrysostom Dougherty, and many dear relatives and friends.

The family would like to thank the staff at the Arbour at Westminster Manor for their loving care, and Hospice Austin for making him comfortable at the end.

Chrys believed every person had something to teach him. He was always deeply grateful to others.

A memorial service will be held at University Presbyterian church at 3:00 PM on Saturday, March 1.

Gifts in Chrys's honor may be made to Texas Appleseed, 1609 Shoal Creek Blvd, Austin TX 78701; The Austin Project, 5221 Ledesma Road, Austin TX 78721, www.theaustinproject.com; or University Presbyterian Church, Campus Ministry Program, 2203 San Antonio St., Austin TX 78705, www.upcaustin.org.

A feature story in the Austin American-Statesman dated February 22nd can be read at http://m.statesman.com/news/news/local-obituaries/j-chrys-dougherty-championed-legal-assistance-for-/ndX8z/


  • Memorial Service sábado, 1 marzo , 2014


J. Chrys Dougherty


C.B. and Mollie Francis

23 mayo , 2014

Chrys was a wonderful man and it was a privilege to have known him, and have him represent us in legal matters through the Graves, Dougherty firm. He will be missed.

David Guarino

5 marzo , 2014

Chrys represented the very best of the old Austin. He was always a gentlemen and always engaged in the best civic endeavors. Chrys and Molly -- Nancy and I were very saddened to learn of your fathers' passing, but we celebrate and long and full life lived very well.

Steve Bickerstaff

3 marzo , 2014

Chrys was a very special person who had a enormous impact on my life. His advice in the late 1970s helped me to decide to start the law firm Bickerstaff, Heath and Smiley. Later, I was pleased to be one of the first major contributors to Appleseed in response to Chrys' visit with me. He was very selfless.

Steve Bickerstaff

Joel Luton

26 febrero , 2014

Mr. Dougherty was instrumental is getting my dad's (Jesse P. Luton) remains placed in the Texas State Cemetery for his work on the historic Tidelands case. They had both worked on that case together and remained friends for their lifetimes. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Dougherty after my dad passed away. What a remarkable man and a true gentleman.

Joel Luton

Liz Hoffmaster

25 febrero , 2014

I am sad to hear of Chrys’ passing. What an extraordinary life lived in passion and curiosity, generosity of spirit and good will. I feel privileged to have known him and spent some time with him 3 or 4 years ago. He had a lot of fun being challenged by my latest biofeedback gadgets and letting me record his brainwaves while he was deeply relaxed. At other times we were trying to figure out strategies to defeat his partner on the squash court.
Chrys,we will all miss your indomitable spirit and that twinkle in your eye. I know you go in peace and joy.

Jack Pirson

24 febrero , 2014

Mr. Dougherty helped me greatly during a difficult time in my life. I will always be very grateful to him for that. My condolences to his family. He was a great man.

John Miller

24 febrero , 2014

When I met Chrys at my first board meeting with The Austin Project, he made my day. He said the board needed new life and young passionate members. I chuckled and said, "Chrys, I'm 50 years old." He said, "You look young to me."

There's so much we can learn from our older brothers and sisters. They've lived and exprienced all that we will in time, yet few take the time to engage in their wonderful anecdotes, life stories, and lessons. Chrys was a man with vision, passion, and love in his heart; a patriarch for all that knew him.

Blessings to all.

Kathleen Cannon Smith

23 febrero , 2014

Mr. Dougherty was a friend of my father's, Oscar Eli Cannon, and a friend of mine and my son, Arthur Cannon Graves. He was a wonderful person and a great example for one and all.
He will be missed.

Oscar Robinson

23 febrero , 2014

I served on the Holy Cross Hospital advisory board with Chrys and learned to respect him and his values. May we all remember his favored Bible verse!

Will and Pat Barber

22 febrero , 2014

Chrys' mentoring and enablement at key points in my life made an enormous difference, professionally and personally. My wife and I both thank you very much, Chrys. Will/Pat Barber