If you're reading this, I am dead and you're not. William Doherty of Weymouth died November 1, 2019, with family beside him including his wife of 52 years, Dorothy Kamison Doherty. With apologies to Dylan Thomas, I have raged, raged against the dying of the light, but now it is time to go gentle into that good night. My sister Mary Doherty pre-deceased me, and I am survived by my sister Kathleen Doherty of the Netherlands, niece Liann, and Mary's children, Kristin Moffat and husband David of Lunenberg, and nephew Brian Doherty and wife Kim of Norton. I have too many other nieces and nephews to list individually from the Mitchells and Sotos of Stoughton to the Hamelburgs of Marblehead and California. I am also survived by daughter Elizabeth Doherty and husband Rick Fuller and three grandchildren whom I will miss the most, Ronan, Declan, and Cormac.
Dorothy and I graduated Braintree High School in 1960 and have been truly together for the last 60 years. We started teaching at Weymouth South High School and taught together for the last 20 years of its existence. When North and South combined, we taught another 10 years at Weymouth High School and retired in 2001. In the early 70s I was lucky enough to write a course called Introduction to General Semantics and had more than 3000 students take it. When the schools combined, both Dot and I taught it for the next 10 years at Weymouth High. I am pleased to say the course continues with John Pappas at Weymouth High and Jessica Vallese Johnston at Norwell High School.
In the meantime, a parallel life evolved: we bought a small boat and joined the Quincy Yacht Club where I served as secretary of the house committee for five years and recently passed 50 years’ membership. The blizzard of 78 forced us from the yacht club to Hewitt’s Cove Marina. Now we could live on the boat from May till November. I had begun scuba diving for lobsters 3 days a week in 1965 with dive partner Richard K Murphy of Squantum. We then got commercial licenses and another facet of life opened up. My 10 traps grew to 800; I became involved with the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association where I have been a delegate, a member of the board of directors, and a member of the insurance board owned by MLA.
In 2001, life changed again. We retired from teaching and our last high school sternman, Joe Kennedy, went off to college. He brought Mike Kohler of Plymouth, who worked with me for 18 years, and Mike brought in Taylor Smith of Weymouth, who has been with me for the last 10 years. Taylor is the new Captain of the ISHMAEL.
In addition, we had until then never travelled anywhere. What for? We lived on a boat. Now I could lobster from May till December and we could travel somewhere warm in winter. And we have. We have gone to Costa Rica where we caught our first giant sailfish, done two or three transatlantic/pacific crossings, and gone up and down the east coast of South America. We’ve been on safari in South Africa with fishing in Capetown and to Australia, New Zealand and Tahiti. In Asia, we went from Hong Kong to Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore. Our most recent trip was a reverse trip through the Panama Canal from San Diego to Miami with fishing stops in Cabo St Lucas and Guatamala with our frequent companions Linda Breen of Hull and Dave Casoni of Marshfield.
Now this is NOT meant to be some form of humble bragging, but an attempt to get you to open your eyes. The experience is better than the stories and far more memorable when you are where I am.
If you’ve gotten this far, it’s time for what every sternman I’ve ever had has heard—usually on the foulest of weather days—STOP! look around, today is a BEAUTIFUL day and it is never going to come again, tomorrow you’re one day closer to joining me, so SEIZE THE DAY and enjoy it to the fullest.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend visiting hours on Wednesday, November 6th, from 4:00 – 8:00 PM in the Cartwright-Venuti Funeral Home, 845 Washington St., Braintree. Burial will be private.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, November 15th, at 4:00 PM in the Sons of Italy, 54 Whitman Street, Weymouth.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Bill's name to Lown Cardiovascular Group, 830 Boylston St #205, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467.
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