Dougherty was born Dec. 24, 1925, to George T. and Alice (Phillips) Dougherty of Montrose, Colorado. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served from 1945 to 1958, first in occupied Japan, then in Germany, where he met his future wife, Erna. They were married in 1956. (Erna Dougherty died Apr. 20, 2002.)
After his military service, Art and Erna moved back to Montrose, where he worked for the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office before being elected sheriff of Ouray County.
Current Ouray Sheriff Junior Mattivi recalled one story that he said would stay with him. “It was the Fourth of July, or getting near the Fourth of July, and the Hell’s Angels [motorcycle gang] were supposed to be coming to town. Art decided he was going to take his fishing vacation anyway. He loved to fish. The Angels didn’t come.
“That’s what Ouray County was like then. And that’s what Art was like. Not everything was life-and-death. He got the job done. He was easy going. He was fair. That’s what I’ve always taken from him. He treated everybody the same.
“His words of wisdom to me when I was first running for office: Just wave to everybody.”
Dougherty was buried with military honors at Cedar Cemetery in Montrose.
He was a life member of D.A.V., V.F.W. and Ouray Elks Lodge #492.
He leaves, besides many friends, one daughter, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.