Steve Hudson Dougherty
Steve was born on September 15, 1946. He grew up in Hopewell, VA, in the 1940s. Growing up in rural Virginia during a time of deep segregation informed his lifelong concern about upholding the dignity of all people. He left Virginia to pursue his undergraduate education at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. He recalled driving across the country on the major East-West thoroughfare of the time, Route 66. Then the Vietnam War came and, along with it, the Selective Service draft of 1969. During this time he attended medical school at University of San Francisco, which exempted him from Selective Service. He would later recall watching Santana practice at a park near Haight & Ashbury street on his walk to school. A country deeply torn by the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War created a magical climate for music. Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, Joan Baez, and many more filled my dad’s Volkswagen station wagon during this time. He continued his medical training as a General Surgery resident at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN, where he met Leah Eberley, who became his wife of 46 years.
Upon completing training in Minnesota, he moved to West Texas to work as a trauma surgeon and took on the residency director of surgical education position at Texas Tech University in the border town of El Paso. He and Leah claimed that the cold drove them down to Texas. Steve shuttled his four children to school in downtown El Paso early in the mornings. The drive took us along the I-10 corridor adjacent to the US-Mexico border with views of the shanty towns of Ciudad Juarez. He spent his entire career at Texas TechEl Paso where he became known as a talented surgeon and prodigious residency educator. Life on the border was happy for Steve and his family, but also provided perspective on the stark inequities of people in close proximity.
Upon his retirement from education and surgery in 2013, he joined his wife Leah in Santa Barbara, CA. He loved to research for short stories on his blog Mixed Metaphors. He also remained committed to his family, staying in close contact with his four children and developing a strong bond with his grandchildren. Steve died from glioblastoma of the brain on November 6th, 2020. He is survived by his Wife Leah and his four adult children. We will miss him dearly.