Todays blog is in honor of Mothers Day. For my mom.

Dorothy Ada Dougherty
Dorothy Ada Dougherty

All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother ….Abraham Lincoln

My mom has been gone 27 years now and yet I still think of her everyday. Happy Mothers Day.

Dorothy Ada Dougherty was born Nov. 2, 1914 in Davis California the oldest child of J.E. and Ada Richmal (Heap) Dougherty. Mom had red hair and green eyes. She was tall about 5’8″.

Her two bothers were Robert Edwin, and Walter Lyle Dougherty.

Dorothy, Robert, and Walter Dougherty
Dorothy, Robert, and Walter Dougherty

Mom remembered the house in Davis on A street. She told us:

It burnt down when my mother left a hot iron unattended.



A. St. House Davis Calif. circ. 1915
A. St. House
Davis Calif. circ. 1915


Mom graduated from high school at 16. She attended Sacramento City College for her first year.

Dorothy Ada Dougherty clippings


Mom was quite the actress and Director of plays not only in high school but throughout her college years. The year she attended university of Calif. at Davis she was one of only three girls in UCD’s Sophmore class. She transferred to Madison Wisconsin and the university there for her final year.


Upon graduating she tried to get a job in the San Francisco Bay Area. Even with a college degree jobs were scarce in 1935 The best she said she could do was in a “5 and dime” store (guess that would be a Dollar Store today). On May 21, 1937 in the garden of her parents home she married Lloyd Fletcher Putnam, who she had meet while he attended UC Davis.

Dorothy & LLoyd Putnam
Dorothy & LLoyd Putnam


Lloyd and Dorothy had 4 children. I’m the youngest.

Putnam Kids circ. 1950
Putnam Kids
circ. 1952


In 1952 when I started kindergarten, Dorothy began her teaching career in Visalia, California at Carrie Barnett School. She tried teaching eigth, sixth and fourth grade. She settled on fifth grade. In 1956 we moved to Placerville, California where Mom taught at Mother Lode as a fifth grade teacher. She later taught at Charles Brown School. She had to stop teaching about 1966 when rheumatoid arthritis so severely effected her legs that she became wheel chair bound.

I remember as a first grader complaining to mom that she spent too much time at home on her school work. After that Mom tried to complete her lesson plans and grading papers and the like at school. I know she was a great and  conscientious  teacher. She tutored various students through the years who were having trouble with their school work. I remember her working with one young girl in the late 50’s early 60’s at our dining room table on weekends who needed help with English, Spanish was the girls native language.

Mother of four, grandmother of 7, and a great grandmother before she died on 24 August 1987.

On Mother’s Day I salute my mother for contributing to the lives of many and being most appreciated by this daughter for making our home as stable and comfortable as possible while working full time. I still use moms receipes on a regular basis. One of my favorites is a simple and delicious receipe for rice pudding, if you do not already have it, I can share.


5 thoughts on “52 Ancestors #11 Dorothy Ada Dougherty – My Mom

  1. So nice to read some of the back history of our relatives,i was pretty young when aunt Dorothy would come by the ranch to visit w Grandpa,nice to read about everyones background!

  2. I have memories of being the daughter of a widowed teacher mom. My sister wrote an essay which opened with the following sentence–“My mother has 49 children. Five of them live at our house and she meets the other 44 at 8:30a.m. five days a week.” Mom taught for 6 years in the 1920s when a year and a summer of higher education was enough to teach. She returned to the classroom in 1947 both the elementary school classroom and the university classroom for her own education. She received her hard won BA in 1953, at age 52, one year before her two oldest children graduated from college. She was amazing!

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