Skip to Content

In Memory: Ronald W. Dougherty

06.03.24 written by


Ronald W. Dougherty (91) of Canton passed away Saturday, June 1, 2024, at his home. Ron was born on December 6, 1932, in Canton, Ohio to Russell and Agnes (Arnold) Dougherty. Ron was a life-long resident of Canton, Ohio. Ron graduated from Canton Lincoln High School in 1950. Then went on to study at Dartmouth College where he graduated in 1954.

After completing ROTC while in college, Ron was commissioned in the United States Air Force and served from 1954 to 1957 as a Lieutenant and Captain. Following his service in the Air Force, Ron enrolled in the University of Virginia School of Law, where he graduated in 1960. In the decades after college, Ron remained devoted to both Dartmouth and the University of Virginia, actively organizing reunions and fundraising efforts on behalf of both institutions.

Following graduation from law school, Ron returned to Canton with his wife, Carole, to begin his law career. Shortly after arriving home in Canton, Ron affiliated with Attorneys Sam Krugliak, Stuart Wilkins, and Raymond Griffiths, to form the law firm of Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths, & Dougherty Co., L.P.A. Ron was immensely proud of the firm, its attorneys, and clients. Ron served as Managing Parter of the firm for 17 years over the course of his more than 60 years in the practice of law. The dynamic combination of Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths, and Dougherty built a firm of talented attorneys and loyal clients. The stewardship of Ron and his fellow founders enabled their firm to thrive and grow to more than 50 lawyers, the largest in the region, with offices in six locations. Ron would frequently share this accomplishment and success as a point of personal pride.

As a practitioner, Ron served and represented many clients through the course of his more than 60-year legal career. Ron served as General Counsel for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for more than four decades. Ron also was proud to have represented the Canton Repository and Alfred Nickles Bakery – also serving on the Board of Directors for Alfred Nickles Bakery.

Being an attorney was not just Ron’s occupation. It was not only what he did – it was who he was. As a practicing lawyer, Ron was devoted to his chosen profession. Ron was admitted to practice in all the courts of Ohio, the Federal Northern District of Ohio, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as the United States Supreme Court. Ron also chaired multiple committees over the course of his career for the Ohio State Bar Association, also serving on the Board of the Ohio State Bar Foundation and eventually as its president in 2003. Ron was the only lawyer or judge in Stark County, Ohio, to ever receive the prestigious Ritter Award from the Ohio State Bar Foundation. The Ritter Award was presented to Ron in 2012 for Ron’s lifetime achievement and career filled with service to the Ohio State Bar.

One of Ron’s career-long passions was the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival. When Ron returned to Canton, Ohio, to begin practicing law in 1960, he became a member of the initial construction fundraising campaign committee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ron served as General Counsel for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for more than four decades. During 2005 and 2006, Ron served as the Interim Executive Director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ron served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pro Football Hall of Fame from 2006 to 2008. Ron worked as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors and Executive Committee from 1990 to 2020. Since 2021, Ron served as Emeritus Director for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

As an adjunct to his service to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Ron was extremely active in the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival and other Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce committees. Ron served as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival Committee in various capacities from 1960 until 2023. Through the course of his involvement with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival, Ron chaired many event committees and served as General Chairman for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival in 1992 and served as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce in 1995 and served as outside legal counsel for the organization for many years.

Through the course of his long and storied career, Ron was involved in all aspects of community activities and service, including membership in many clubs and organizations. Ron was an active member of the Canton, Ohio, Jaycees, The Canton Club, Shady Hollow Country Club, Firestone Country Club, Christ Presbyterian Church, Lincoln High School Alumni Association, Stark County Republican Party, Executive and Central Committees, Buckeye Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Stark County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Stark County Board of Elections. In 2002, in recognition of his lifetime commitment to the community, Ron was the recipient of the Award of Merit from the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce for Community Service.

In 2021, Ron was the recipient of the Canton Repository’s Clayton Horn Award to recognize his lifetime of achievements and involvement in civic, governmental and community affairs.

Above all things, Ron loved his wife Carole Stover Dougherty. Carole and Ron married on August 28, 1954. Over the years, they were inseparable. Ron and Carole would often jointly volunteer on various civic or Hall of Fame Festival events. They enjoyed traveling and spending time at their villa in Hilton Head, South Carolina. When Carole died on October 28, 2011, part of Ron died too, and since that time, Ron missed her terribly.

During his final days, Ron was most appreciative of the kind and compassionate care he received from his caregivers, Felicia, Destinie, and Wanda, as well as the Aultman Hospice Program.

Ron is survived by his daughter Kerry J. Dougherty; son Russell D. (Lourdes) Dougherty; grandsons Thomas, Tyler and Shaun; sisters-in-law Sandra Zinsmaster Dougherty and Helen “Nutzi” Popa Stover; nieces Joan Shoults, Dr. Cynthia Dougherty Thompson, Dr. Lynda Dougherty, Beth Stover Schaffer and Amy Stover; nephews David Hoffman and Todd Stover. Ron was predeceased by his cherished sister Rosemary Dougherty Saghy, brother John P. Dougherty and brother-in-law Jack D. Stover.

Funeral services will be Friday 11:00 a.m. at Christ Presbyterian Church with Rev. Michael Wallace and Rev. Benjamin George officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service 10-11:00 a.m. at the Church in Westminster Hall. Refreshments will be provided following the service followed by a private family burial in Rose Hill Cemetery, Massillon, Ohio.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are requested to the ALS Association (, Stark County Humane Society ( or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Arnold 330-456-7291