April 15, 2021, 63, Kill Devil Hills (Goldsboro) –
Col. Donna Kimberly Dougherty, USAF (Ret.) died April 15, 2021 of natural causes while under the care of Hospice and her family at her home in Kill Devil Hills, NC. Donna (Kim) was a proud patriot, serving her country honorably in the United States Air Force for over 25 years. Col. Dougherty was born on September 27, 1957 in Dunn, NC to William and Helen Barbour. In 1980, she joined the U.S. Air Force after graduating from East Carolina University.
Her military and educational accomplishments are extensive and impressive, to say the least. Among her many undertakings, she served as the Deputy Chief of the U.S. House of Representatives Air Force Liaison Office; Principal Deputy Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Vice President of National Security at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Mobilization Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force; graduated from the National War College in Washington, D.C. and the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA. Despite her heady assignments in and around the D.C. area, her most satisfying assignment was as Commander of the 916th Security Forces at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in her hometown of Goldsboro, NC.
She received many accolades during her tenure with the U.S. Air Force including but not limited to: the Defense Superior Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with 1 OLC, Air Force Achievement Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with 2 OLCs, and her personal favorite – the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon/Pistol. Kim wasn’t only a career woman. She was a thoughtful and loving mother who strongly believed that life was meant to be lived. Her love of travel, photography, people, animals, and Disney radiated with every ounce of her being. Kim never met a stranger, often making life-long friends simply by striking up a conversation. Her deep laugh, corny jokes, travel stories, and unconditional love are already terribly missed. We find comfort in imagining Kim sailing the world on a cruise ship, making new friends, and exploring new places, waiting to get to dry land to call and tell us all about it. Although her life was cut too short, Kim lived more in her 63 years than most could dream of. We truly believe that is all she would have wanted, outside of having a Disney Theme Park named after her.
She is survived by her parents, William and Helen Barbour; her son Brett; daughters Diane and Hunter; her brother Ken and her sister Christy; and her husband Steven. She is preceded in death by her late husband Lt. Col William Bryant Dougherty, with whom we know she will be in good hands. The family has honored her directives for cremation. Her urn will be interred with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, specific details to come. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Kim’s honor to your local SPCA, as animals held a special place in her heart.