Kerry Curtis Doughty
June 28, 1953 – March 17, 2020
Kerry Curtis Doughty passed from this life after a brave battle with cancer on March 17, 2020. He was the oldest of six children born to Richard and Jeri Doughty on June 28, 1953, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Doughty was intelligent, kind and compassionate to others. He was an avid reader and willing to listen to different points of view and concerns when often others would not. He was hard working and held jobs at an early age ranging from paper routes to dishwasher at a donut shop.
Upon graduating from Thomas Howe High School in Indianapolis, Doughty attended classes at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, but soon joined Dura Containers where he found his calling in sales. Shortly after, he followed his father into the food industry, eventually becoming a salesman for Midwest distribution. He met his wife, Jan, during a blizzard in 1977 and in 1978, they eloped.
In 1982, a call from Wilson Foods and subsequent employment began a series of increasingly responsible sales and marketing positions. In 1985, at the age of 32, Kerry won a prestigious Ring Club award from Wilson Foods. In 1986, he started as vice president of sales for Kretschmar Brands, St, Louis and in 1988, he became vice president of sales at Loveland Foods, in Loveland, Colo., where he sold Old Timer Bacon and Hams. In 1990, a call from a former mentor at Wilson Foods necessitated a move to Fast Food Merchandisers (FFM) (Hardee’s Food Systems) in Rocky Mount, N.C., where Kerry was vice president of customer service, then vice president of international sales and senior vice president of sales for GolPak, the manufacturing subsidiary of FFM, establishing its offices in Brentwood, Tenn., in 1996. When Perdue Farms bought GolPak in 1998, Kerry stayed with them as director of food service sales. He was quickly promoted to vice president of food service sales. He remained with Perdue Farms in Brentwood until he joined Butterball, LLC as executive vice president of sales, marketing, and research and development in 2007 and moved to the Raleigh, North Carolina, area.
Kerry was promoted to president and CEO of Butterball in 2014, where he remained until 2018 when he was diagnosed with cancer.
During his tenure, different employers recognized talent in Kerry that they wanted to cultivate. To that end, he attended executive development programs at Northwestern University, McGill University, University of North Carolina and University of Virginia. In addition, his responsibilities took him all over the world.
In 2018, he was the recipient of the Urner Barry Poultry Person of the Year Award.
Kerry made close friends of business associates and acquaintances along the way with his penchant for hard work and thoughtful consideration of others. He served on board positions including the American Heart Association-Triangle Heart Walk, the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the North American Meat Institute, the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association and the National Turkey Federation.
Most recently, as 2019 chairman of the NTF, Kerry presented the National Thanksgiving Turkey to the President and First Lady during the pardoning ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House. At the completion of his term, Kerry was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the NTF at its convention in Nashville on February 15, 2020.
Kerry was an athlete and lifelong sports enthusiast who enjoyed playing golf whenever he could. He was an inaugural season ticket holder for both the Nashville Predators hockey team and the Tennessee Titans football team. He was a Notre Dame Fighting Irish football fan and an Indy Car race fan who attended at least 45 races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway over the years. When the 2014 opportunity came to have Butterball sponsor a car for one race with the Andretti Team for the Indianapolis 500, he recognized the marketing possibilities and chose Ryan Hunter-Reay as the driver he wanted Butterball to sponsor. Hunter-Reay won the race that year with the Butterball logo on his car and on his racing suit.
Kerry also enjoyed supporting the basketball programs at Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University and attending Carolina Hurricanes hockey matches whenever he could.
Through it all, he was an attentive, considerate person and a great father, husband, son, brother and friend.
He is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Jan Doughty and three children, Brooke Huber (Daniel) of Zionsville, IN., Devin Doughty (Ashley) of Henderson, NV., and Reece Doughty (Stephanie) of Los Angeles and two grandsons, Noah and Owen Huber. Other survivors include three sisters and one brother: Sherry Beck (Kelly) of Indianapolis, Bill Doughty (Susan) of Coopersville, MI., Stacy Doughty-Hall of Nashville, IN. and Kelly Sue Rapp (Brian) of Gainesville, FL. He was predeceased by his father, Richard (2005), mother, Jeri (2019), and sister, Teresa Doughty (2016).
At Kerry’s request, a Celebration of Life will be held in Cary, N.C., and in Indianapolis; both at a later date in view of current events. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to: Racing for Cancer, 951 Queen Annes Road, Houston, TX 77024.
Racing for Cancer
951 Queen Annes Road, Houston, TX 77024
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Kerry Curtis Doughty
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April 1, 2020
Dear Jan and family,
Our sincerest condolences. Meeting you both in Florida, at the Don, was truly special. From what I gathered, he had a loving wife to be there by his side and Kerry was a genuine man that cared deeply about people. He took time to offer valuable business advice to a random stranger like myself. Christina and I are praying for you and your family. It was an honor to meet the both of you. Kerry is at peace now and his life is a celebration.
Sending our love and prayers,
Paolo and Christina Franzese
March 31, 2020
Dear Jan and family;
Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of Kerry. I was so saddened to hear of his passing. I always enjoyed and respected my relationship with Kerry, a man who consistently treated me and our business in Canada with respect, support and cooperation.
My prayers remain with with you and your family.
March 25, 2020
I met Kerry in 1991 and worked with him at FFM for many years. Kerry was one of the most kind, thoughtful and sincere boss and human beings I ever met. He taught me so much in my professional career and I am am better person because I knew him. The world has suffered a great loss with his passing.
March 19, 2020
Jan and family, I am so very sorry for your loss. Kerry was a good guy and am so thankful God brought you all into my life all those years ago when I helped you to find a home in Rocky Mount. God bless you and your family.