Former PS 234 PTA president Kevin Doherty dies at 63

Kevin Doherty, who lived and worked in Tribeca for 30 years, leaving a stamp on several neighborhood institutions while raising three children here, died last Thursday, Jan. 20, at his vacation home outside San Diego. The family was there celebrating the holidays when his symptoms first surfaced on the day after Christmas. He was 63 and had no warning that melanoma had attacked his brain, his wife, Peggy Maher Doherty, said. “It took a short 3 1/2 weeks for me to lose him.”

Kevin moved to the city from the Bay Area to pursue his MBA and to be with Peggy in 1989, started work at American Express in 1990, and landed on Greenwich Street in 1991. (They met on a blind date set up by Peggy’s sister and her husband; they later married in Napa.) But by the time their third child turned 3, they had decided as a couple that the family would benefit from having Kevin at home full time.

“It was a leap,” Peggy said when we spoke this week. “Our kids were at a point where they really needed more parental involvement. And
Kevin was my biggest cheerleader — the biggest supporter of my career — and he said, ‘Let’s try it.'”

Kevin never regretted the decision, even though there were not a lot of fathers staying at home back then. Peggy called him a “pioneer” and she was right.

“He loved being at home with the kids,” she said. “It enabled him to get involved in the neighborhood downtown and it gave him a chance to be so present for the kids and be part of their leagues and be part of their academic development. It let him do all the stuff I couldn’t do because I had a big job.”

Kevin was president of the PS 234 PTA three times between 2005 and 2009 and in between, helped with Taste of Tribeca, the auctions and just about every other school event. He coached softball for the Downtown Little League and served on its board. And many of us will appreciate this thankless task: he was such a patient and conscientious man that he agreed to serve as condo board president at The Tribeca for five years running.

His investment in his kids’ lives meant he invested in the neighborhood. Since Kevin’s family was in California and Peggy’s was from the Midwest, their closest relatives were a thousand miles a way. That shaped their decision to stay in the city and raise the family here, where they could both be on hand. “We didn’t want to outsource our children — we needed to be close to work and school. And it turned out so well. What a great community we had here.”

Their kids are now all in grad school: Bridget is 27 and getting her MBA; Connor, 25, is in dental school at University of Michigan; and Brendan, 23, is in a graduate engineering program, also at Michigan. With the kids scattered and with covid still looming, the family has decided to wait until good weather to hold a memorial.

Kevin was born in LA, raised in La Cañada Flintridge in the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains in Los Angeles County, and received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Occidental. (He also had an MBA from NYU Stern.) And he and Peggy were planning to retire in Solana Beach, the coastal city just north of San Diego, and so established a vacation home there in the meantime.

“He was a California boy,” Peggy said. “He always wanted to come back to California.”



  1. Kevin was a true gentle soul. Kind and soft spoken. We bonded over work at PS 234. I was PTA President from 2001 -2004, a few years before Kevin and we would talk when we met up on the street, sometimes for 30-45 minutes about issues at the school and our kids. He did so much for our community and gave without any expectation of recognition or reward. A true neighbor. We all will miss his smile and friendly face.

  2. Kevin’s untimely passing is terrible news. Our family is grateful for his dedicated work on behalf of the children and parents of the Tribeca community. Many of us got to see Kevin in action up close — his energy, outreach, friendly hello and invitation to participate, coupled with the ardent and ample investment of his own time and skills, not only advanced our community, but warmed it, as well. His passing is a loss for the neighborhood. We pray for his family at this very difficult time, and we mourn his death together with them.

  3. Very sorry to hear this and my thoughts are with his family. I live down the street from him and would run into him often and say hi. When I got a new puppy he would instantly come over and check in on us both.

  4. He was an institution and really set in place a culture at 234 and the neighborhood that our family (3 kids) benefitted from. One of the neighborhood greats. I hope his family finds peace.

  5. We have great memories from PS 234 with Kevin at the helm of the PTA and of spring and summer nights and weekends when our sons played Little League. Our sons went to elementary school with Brendan and our hearts are with their family right now.

  6. He was a fixture in our children’s youth and was part of the ground we walked on as parents, be it at 234 or the ballfields. He was a kind, generous, caring, happy and genuinely present man who always asked how we and our girls were doing. He was the quintessential family man. We are stunned to hear about his untimely death. Our thoughts and prayers are with Peggy and their children. The Scheman-Chanler family

  7. I am heartbroken for Peggy, Bridget, Connor and Brendan.
    what a loss for all of us.

  8. Kevin was one of the loveliest people I have had the privileged of knowing. He never failed to great you with a huge smile that brightened your day. He was a true gentleman and he will be very sorely missed.

    My heartfelt condolences to his wife and children.

  9. Kevin was the first PTA President I had the privilege of working with as principal at PS 234. He was a stalwart supporter of our school, and I always knew Kevin had my back. Even years after he was no longer a parent at 234, he would check in on how things were going at the school and was there to offer his support to the community. He was truly selfless. My thoughts and prayers go out to Peg, Bridget, Connor and Brendan. He was always so proud of you.

  10. Kevin was such an ardent supporter of PS 234 and Tribeca. He was always there with a helping hand and a kind word. He will be missed.
    My deepest condolences to Peggy, Bridget, Connor and Brendan.

  11. Kevin was the returning President when I was the Treasurer at PS 234 PTA. He was immensely helpful, kind, supportive and generous to me in my new role. He always wanted what was best for the kids. He took on thankless tasks, did a great job and never complained. He was truly selfless in all that work. Years later we would catch up on the street at chance meetings for 20 minutes easily. He was the Mayor of Tribeca as so many people knew him and he knew them all. What a shocking loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to Peggy, Bridget, Connor and Brendan.

  12. Peggy, we are devastated. He was truly such a special man. He always came to the children’s dental appointments. Kevin gleamed with pride when discussing the children’s accomplishments. He frequently came to visit the office to discuss local issues and genuinely wanted to know how we were doing here in the office. He started dental visits here and like a good neighbor always offered advice to us with our own children. He would reach out and help anyone he could. He will be deeply and sincerely be missed. With deepest condolences, Renee, Menka, Jeevan and Thelma.