August 15 1949 May 22 2020
Helen Stough Doughty was a vibrant Christian woman, who grew up in Africa and subsequently developed a strong love for education, service to others and a wide variety of cats.
Helen was born in the Congo on August 15, 1949 as the only girl of missionary parents, Paul and Betty Stough. After being home-schooled for the first grade, Helen completed the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades at the Rethy Academy, a missionary boarding school for children. After the political situation in the Congo became untenable, Helen was sent on a plane by herself to live with her brother Phil and his family in the Chicago area where she completed the 5th and 6th grades. Helen’s parents were reassigned to Kenya as missionaries, where they managed the Mayfield Guest House in Nairobi. Helen completed high school in 1967 as a graduate of the Rift Valley Academy in Kijabe, Kenya.
Her love for education began in earnest in 1971 when she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education from Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois. She went on to obtain a Master of Arts in Library Science in May, 1974 from Rosary College Graduate School of Library Science and a Masters of Education in Adult Continuing Education from Northern Illinois University. These advanced degrees led to her employment as Head of the Young People’s Department of the prestigious Helen M Plum Memorial Library in Lombard, Illinois. She also taught courses in English, Reading and Development Education at Elgin College, South Texas College and Collin College from 1999 to 2013.
The combination of her upbringing from missionary parents and her love of reading led her to become an avid student of the Lord’s Word. She not only placed His Word in her head, but more importantly she hid it in her heart. Having the Lord in her heart helped her through many challenges in life, both physical and emotional. The comfort and quiet strength she received from the Lord produced a loving, outgoing personality, which along with the ever present smile on her face, attracted many people to love her deeply. It also allowed her to comfort many hurting people, mostly but not all women, with the comfort she had received from her Lord.
On July 7, 2007 Helen married Glenn Doughty at their home in Plano. After their honeymoon, Helen joined Hunters Glen Baptist Church (HGBC), where Glenn had been a member since 1989. Helen quickly became a key part of many ministries at HGBC and in the Plano, Texas community where she lived with Glenn until her death.
In addition to being a dedicated member of a Sunday School class and other Bible Studies, Helen was a key teacher and leader of the English as a Second Language (ESL) classes sponsored by HGBC and other service organizations in Plano. Her special love for her students and friends helped her achieve virtual rock star status at the church and at the Eisemann Center in Richardson where she served as a volunteer usher and greeter for the last six years. In addition to loving her Lord and people, especially those who were hurting, Helen had a special place in her heart for cats. In fact her blue VW bug was dubbed by her friends as the “Meow Mobile” due to the many stickers openly expressing her love for felines of all types and colors. Unfortunately two of her favorite cats, Cassie and Tisa, died before she did. When Cassie died, Helen said, “If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.” Next was Tisa, who had a front leg amputated. A friend told Helen about Tisa’s situation, and we just had to have her. She loved to cuddle with Helen, but Tisa died of kidney failure about two years ago. Now we have Malaika, who had cancerous nodules removed recently, and two one-year old males, Wrigley and Amani.
Helen is survived by her husband Glenn, who has learned a great deal about love in the last twelve plus years from someone who was very different from him. Helen has two daughters from a prior marriage, Brigette Zagotta and Christina Rosenhauer and her husband Jeff. She is also survived by two of Glenn’s daughters, Laura McCroskey and Cheryl Hunt.
In lieu of flowers, we request donations to Amani Ya Juu, which is a sewing and reconciliation program for marginalized women in Africa. Even though the offices are closed due to the pandemic, you can donate via their website at amaniafrica.org . Please do NOT be deterred by the notice that their office is temporarily closed. Helen’s life will be honored at an “Evening of Remembrance” at Allen Family Funeral Options on Thursday, May 28, 2020 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, with reflections and words of remembrance offered at 7:00 pm.
A private graveside service will be held on Monday, June 1 at 10:00 a.m. at Wheaton Cemetery in Wheaton, Illinois. Friends may watch the livestream at: Hultgren Funeral Home Live Stream