Cover photo for Rosemarie Dougherty's Obituary
1932 Rosemarie 2023

Rosemarie Dougherty

July 22, 1932 — December 29, 2023


Rosemarie Dougherty, age 91 of Canton, OH passed away on Friday, December 29, 2023. She was born in Canton on July 22, 1932 to the late Loretta Schoeppner, and spent her childhood in orphanages and foster homes. She often said that her years with the sisters of the St. Joseph on the Lake orphanage in Cleveland, were the happiest of her childhood. 

After graduating from Central Catholic High School in 1950 she married James Dougherty of Canton and lived a short time at Fort Hood military base in Texas where they had their first son. After returning to the Canton area, they had six more sons. After their divorce, she supported her family working as a telephone operator at Ohio Bell. 

During the 70’s, she became an activist for peace and women’s rights, attending marches in Washington, DC, volunteering locally and working to get the ERA passed in Ohio. She also furthered her education at Kent State University, graduating in 1984. She then attended Ohio State University, graduating with a Master of Social Work degree in 1991. Rosemarie then worked as a Social Worker in the ER and the palliative care and hospice floors at Mount Carmel East Hospital in Columbus, retiring at age 72. She was well loved and respected by her colleagues for her clinical skills and deep compassion for all she served.

Rosemarie had a love of adventure and traveled throughout the United States and Europe, as well as Japan and Israel. Much of her travels involved supporting her sons and their families in various endeavors and careers. She visited them wherever they lived, providing help and encouragement. She had an unconditional love for her children and family, helping however she could, including helping her grandchildren buy their college textbooks. She was a caregiver throughout her life and cared for her mother, her son, and other family members and friends at the end of their lives. 

Rosemarie was a hiker, lover of nature and an avid birder amassing an extensive life list of birds. She also embraced technology and was one of the first in her family to own a personal computer. She was continually curious to learn new things and read extensively, amassing a library of books that eventually filled her home. Later in life, she explored her creative side and took piano lessons, as well as painting and writing courses.  

Rosemarie was deeply spiritual and a lifelong Catholic, originally a member of St. Benedict's church in Canton. Her studies in the mystical tradition of her Catholic faith led her to the Center for Action and Contemplation. There she studied under Father Richard Rohr among others at the Living School, a spiritual formation program she completed at age 83. She also realized that other spiritual paths could enhance her own and explored various other religions, including Buddhism, once attending an historic Dalai Lama teaching. Later in life she was a member of the Community of St. Bridget in Brecksville. Her “fierce grace” accompanied her on her journey through life and death. Believing in the goodness of humanity, she treated everyone she met with love, compassion, respect and encouragement. She was a friend, advisor, and inspiration to many people during her long life and was loved by everyone she ever met. We were all better for knowing her and she will be missed.  

In addition to her mother, Rosemarie is preceded in death by infant son, Michael; son, Christopher; half-sister, Donna; stepfather, Robert; former spouse, James; infant grandson, Nicholas, and grandson, Julian. She is survived by children: James (Marla), Patrick (Beth), Stephen, David (Donna), and Raymond (Nancy); grandchildren: Jacob, Crystal, Lilian, Emma Grace, Jennifer, Sara, Michael, Brian, Denise, Alisha, Brandy; and eight great-grandchildren. The family would like to thank Aultman Hospice Compassionate Care Center for their loving care of Rosemarie in her final weeks. A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, January 6, 2024 at 11 AM at Trinity United Church of Christ, in Canton by the Catholic Women Priests of the Community of St. Bridget, with a lunch reception immediately following. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Rosemarie’s memory to the Center for Action and Contemplation ( and the Nature Conservancy (
. Services entrusted to Adams Mason Funeral Home, 330-535-9186

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Mass

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Trinity United Church of Christ

3909 Blackburn Rd NW, Canton, OH 44718

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