Longtime local teacher celebrates 90th birthday

The children of Carolyn Wilder Dougherty urge her friends and former students to send best wishes for her 90th birthday to P.O. Box 444, Silver Creek, N.Y. 14136. She enjoyed a career as a home economics teacher in three school systems, Clymer (1945-1947), Forestville (1950-1963) and Silver Creek (1963-1979). She was a senior class adviser for several years at Silver Creek High School.

Born on Jan. 26, 1923, one of 11 children of Thomas and Jennie Militello, “Curly” graduated from Silver Creek High School in 1941 and from Buffalo State Teachers College (now Buffalo State College) in 1945. She was married to the late Norris Ray Wilder (1946 -1966) and the late Richard Dougherty (1974-1996). She is a past president of Silver Creek Business and Professional Women’s Club. She enjoys her eight children and step-children, 23 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She is an active driver and a member of Mt. Carmel Church in Silver Creek.

When asked about the secret to her long life, Dougherty points to staying active and good diet. One activity is that Dougherty, her sisters and their extended family have recently formed the Thomas and Jennie Militello Family Foundation, with the help of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Their charitable goal, in memory of her parents who once ran a general store in the village, is to assist Silver Creek’s schools, Catholic faith community and the Emergency Squad.

Good diet is also a key aid for good health.

“As a home economics teacher, I have always been very interested in health and nutrition, the study of foods and their use and benefit to our body. I try to keep informed with the latest research,” Dougherty said.

She takes few medicines and her doctor tells her, “Keep doing what you are doing – it’s working!”

Dougherty also remains a student of technology, so well-wishers can also send her congratulations by email at or on Facebook.