Obituaries » Mary Jo Dougherty

Mary Jo Dougherty

September 2, 1956 - October 20, 2019

Services for Mary Jo are scheduled for Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at the Archdiocese of Denver Mortuary Chapel, located at 12801 West 44th Avenue in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, beginning with a Rosary at 1:30 p.m., and a Scripture Service beginning at 2:00 p.m.

There will be a Celebration of Life for Mary Jo held at the Botanical Gardens located at 1007 York Street in Denver on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  All are welcome to either or both events as we remember and reflect on an amazing and generous life for a beautiful woman.

In lieu of flowers, the family expressed their request to have donations made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) in Mary Jo’s name (

The family appreciates your kindness and prayers.

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Mary Jo Dougherty was born on September 2, 1956, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and died peacefully at her home in Lakewood, Colorado, on October 20, 2019, with her husband of 28 years Michael Roark at her side.  Diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2013, Mary Jo fought this blood cancer with the same grit and determination that earned her a swimming scholarship to Western State University, qualified her as a national triathlete and enabled her to summit 49 of Colorado’s fourteeners.  A double black diamond run skier and world traveler always ready for the next great adventure, Mary Jo was also an avid reader, passionate gardener following in the footsteps of her beloved mother (Granny) and loved to cook for her extensive circle of friends and family, including hosting her legendary annual Christmas cookie decorating parties for the special children in her life.  She spent most of her professional career in law, initially as a paralegal and, after graduating from the Sturm College of Law at Denver University, as an attorney, most recently as a shareholder at McGeady Becher P.C.  Loving and kind beyond measure, Mary Jo was generous in her support for charitable organizations with both her money and her time, for example, volunteering for many years to teach cross country skiing and snowshoeing through the National Sports Center for the Disabled.  In 2017, Mary Jo was named the Rocky Mountain Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2017 Woman of the Year, smashing the previous fundraising record for the title and raising more than $237,000 for blood cancer research!

Mary Jo was predeceased by her parents Bardie and Eula Mae Dougherty.  In addition to her husband, her survivors include daughter Michelle Roark (Michael Hormel), grandson Zander and granddaughter Alphia, stepsons Michael Scott Roark and Matthew Roark, brothers Larry Dougherty (Estelle) and Lynn Dougherty (Sherry), plus numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, a Rosary will be conducted commencing at 1:30 p.m., followed by a Scripture Service at 2:00 p.m., at the Archdiocese of Denver Mortuary Chapel, 12801 West 44th Avenue, Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, there will be a Celebration of Life for Mary Jo at the Denver Botanical Gardens, 1007 York Street, Denver, Colorado, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Following a brief program, there will be a reception with a light lunch and time to share favorite stories and memories of Mary Jo.  Parking and admission to the facility is free, so guests are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes to enjoy the gardens before and after the celebration and dress casually.  Bonus points for bright colors, pearls and sassy hats!

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) in Mary Jo’s memory (

The family appreciates your kindness and prayers.

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