It is with a heavy heart that the Chijnaya Foundation shares that Board member, Paul L. Doughty, has recently passed away at the age of 93.

Paul was a longtime friend of several Board members and a guiding force for all of us who love Peru and devote ourselves to helping Andean communities. Paul dedicated a large portion of his life to supporting these communities, beginning in the late 1950’s when he did his doctoral research in Huaylas.

In memory of Paul, we are sharing a portion of his obituary, below.

Read the full obituary

“Born on February 27, 1930, in the town of “Bigger, Better, Booming” Beacon, New York,  Paul led a remarkable life that left an indelible mark on countless individuals and communities. From a young age, Paul’s love for sports, fishing, and scouting ignited his adventurous spirit. He explored the picturesque Mount Beacon and scoured the area’s creeks and empty lots for scrap metal to support the USA’s World War II effort. Paul’s formative years were spent at Oakwood Friends School, where he graduated in 1948. Little did he know that his experiences at this Quaker-based institution would shape one of the defining chapters of his life.

During his time at Ursinus College, Paul crossed paths with the love of his life, Mary “Polly” Catherine French. They embarked on a 65 year long life together, when they married in 1952.

A man of unwavering principles, Paul chose the path of conscientious objection rather than participating in the Korean War and devoted his service to the Friend’s Service Committee, focusing on rural community development in Mexico and El Salvador. This transformative experience fueled his passion for anthropology, ultimately leading him to earn a Ph.D. from Cornell University. His research and fieldwork in the Andean Highlands of Peru left an enduring impact on the communities he lived and worked with, and he continued to maintain strong ties with them throughout his life.

After a seven-year association with the Latin American Studies program at Indiana University, Paul and his family made Gainesville, Florida, their home in 1971. Starting as Chair of the Anthropology Department, Paul embarked on a long career at the University of Florida, where he dedicated himself to teaching and research. His commitment to academia and his students was unwavering, and he retired in 1995, leaving behind a legacy of knowledge and inspiration.

Paul’s passing leaves a void in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. His legacy of intellectual curiosity, dedication to community, establishing scholarships for higher education students, and unwavering commitment to family will continue to inspire generations to come.

He is survived by his son, Thomas Doughty, daughter in-law Lianne, son in-law Bo Nilsson, and loving grandchildren, Maya, Nico, and Lua and a host of friends and colleagues who will forever remember him as a welcoming and generous soul.

It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to Paul. We will continue to honor his memory and legacy by carrying out our work to impact the lives of many in the Altiplano. If you would like to honor his memory, a scholarship has been established in the name of Paul and Polly. We invite you to learn more about our scholarship program and work in the education sector. Thank you for your support. 

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