Anchorage Daily News April 7, 1997
Lifelong Alaskan James Patrick Doogan, 82, died April 4, 1997, at Memorial Hospital in Fairbanks. There was a visitation at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church with a Rosary. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Monroe High School Gymnasium with Father Andrew Maddock, S.J., Father Joseph Laudwein, S.J., and Father Francis McGuigan, S.J., concelebrating. A reception followed. Pallbearers were Mr. Doogan's grandsons, Sean, Matthew, Jason and Stephen Doogan, Patrick and Kurt Witzleben, James Beeson and Bobby Garrett. Honorary pallbearers were Edla Cashen, Roberta Johnson, Ruby Matthews, Frank Chapados, George Sullivan, Earl Beistline and George Karabelnikoff. Burial was in the spring in the Pioneer Gardens of Northern Lights Memorial Park in Fairbanks.
Mr. Doogan was born Nov. 3, 1914, the eldest of Teague and Mary Doogan's 12 children, in Douglas. He attended Douglas High School, leaving at age 15, after his father died, to help support his family by working in the mill of the Alaska-Juneau Gold Mine. By age 21, he worked at the Lucky Shot Mine near Anchorage. In 1937, he entered the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines near Fairbanks to study mining and metallurgy. During the summers he worked for the Fairbanks Exploration Co., the Deadwood Creek Mining Co. and at the mines in the McQuestion area of Canada, near Chicken. He also surveyed for roads near Tok. In 1940 he married Geraldine Feero of Skagway and moved her to a tent home on a placer operation called Cleary Hill Mines. They spent winters in Fairbanks where Mr. Doogan worked part-time and went to college. During World War II, he worked as a mechanic for the Air Force. In 1944, he bought a delivery company, Pioneer Express, and ran it for 18 years, hauling freight, coal and fuel oil throughout the Fairbanks area. He was a member of the Fairbanks Volunteer Fire Department and was active in the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Toastmasters, the Little League, the Elks, Pioneers of Alaska Igloo No. 4, and the University of Alaska Alumni Association. He received that group's William Cashen Award in 1985, and was to receive an honorary degree from UAF in May. He was a Eucharistic minister, trained the altar servers and was on the Parish Council of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. From 1947 to 1950 and again from 1956 to 1959, Mr. Doogan served on the Fairbanks City Council. He was elected a delegate to the Alaska Constitutional Convention in 1955. Mr. Doogan was active in the Democratic Party throughout his life. From 1962 to 1969, he worked for the Alaska State Housing Authority, moving his family to Anchorage in 1964. He also worked for the Alaska Oil & Gas Association, served as executive director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and worked as a Teamster during construction of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. In 1984, Mr. Doogan and his wife moved back north, to undeveloped land on Goldstream Road outside Fairbanks, where they built a log cabin, felling and peeling the logs themselves.
Mr. Doogan is survived by his wife, Geraldine ''Jerry'' of Fairbanks; three sons and daughters-in-law, James Patrick Jr., and Barbara Doogan of Fairbanks, Mike and Kathy Doogan of Anchorage, and Lt. Col. Dan and Kitty Doogan of Scott Air Force Base, Ill.; three daughters and two sons-in-law, Margaret ''Peggy'' and Fred Witzleben, and Kathleen Garrett of Anchorage, and Maureen and Donald Beeson of Homer; two brothers, John Doogan of Juneau and Hugh Doogan of Fairbanks; five sisters, Catherine Doogan of Anchorage, Rose Navarre of Kenai, and Sisters Ann Marie, Mary Kevin and Theresa Doogan, all SSA, of Victoria, British Columbia; grandsons, Sean, Stephen, Matthew and Jason Doogan, James Beeson, Patrick and Kurt Witzleben and Bobby Garrett; granddaughters Laura Reeping, Megan Beeson, and Amy, Elizabeth, Sarah, Katherine and Sara Doogan; great-grandson, Anthony Witzleben; and a prodigious number of cousins, nieces and nephews. The family suggests memorial contributions be directed to the Jim and Jerry Doogan Scholarship Fund at Monroe High School, 715 Monroe St., Fairbanks 99701.
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