Robert L. Doughtie, known to family and friends as “Pete” Doughtie. Pete, 77, publisher of The Rutherford Reader newspaper passed away Thursday, Jan. 10.
“This world just lost an awesome man… my dad,” stated, Patrick Doughtie, Pete Doughtie’s son Patrick Doughtie posted last week on Facebook.
Visitation will be Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Murfreesboro Funeral Home, 145 Innsbrooke Blvd. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Lighthouse Baptist Church, 3145 N. Thompson Lane.Murfreesboro Funeral Home & Cremation Services is handling the arrangements
Accordng toand The Murfreesboro Post, Pete’s family wrote in his obituary that he met his wife, Kaye Sadler, in the first grade, where they lived in Suffolk, Va.
Photos courtesy of Kaye Doughtie
“Their first date was in the fourth grade to a Saturday afternoon matinee; a fact Kaye’s mom knew nothing about,” his obituary said. “Although they dated other people in high school, this original connection that was formed at age six in elementary school was never broken and they often flirted with each other without others knowing. They married in 1961 after he enlisted in the Army, a post he served for five years. He began working in the newspaper industry in 1965 after being discharged from the Army.”
Photo courtesy WGNS Radio
Kaye said she does not remember what movie they went to watch in the fourth grade, but it likely was a Western. She met Pete because she walked by his house on the way to school every day, so she has always known him.
“I don’t remember life without him,” she said.
Kaye said she plans to continue publishing The Reader.
Friends remember Doughtie, who moved here from California around the turn of the century, as a man who loved God, his country and his new home, Rutherford County.
Gloria Christy, a member of the family that owns Shacklett’s Photography, contributed historic local photos in The Reader. That feature turned into a column as well when Doughtie encouraged her to research the history behind the photos, she said.
“I didn’t consider myself a writer,” she said. “I love the stories that emerged out of that. He was such an encourager. He gave me a forum for that. I learned a lot from him. I’m indebted to both of them (Pete and Kaye).”
Doughtie made national headlines several times, including when he was one of many residents who strongly opposed officials’ approval of the construction of a mosque on Veals Road in 2010.
In 2015, Doughtie helped the FBI try and convict a New York resident who had contacted Doughtie to seek help in building a “death ray machine” to assassinate then-President Barack Obama, according to a Dec. 21, 2016 story by WKRN.
Doughtie said he believed the man contacted him because of The Reader’s coverage of the mosque controversy. Doughtie told WRN he was happy to help bring the man to justice.
Standing up for what he believed in was one of the things that friends admired about Doughtie, such as Ken Lane, co-owner of Bullseye Gun, Gear & Pawn.
The store owner said he first met Doughtie when he worked for Kroger, as Doughtie was a customer who frequented the grocer. They became friends.
“He stood firm on his convictions and he never took the easy road when he was defending his country,” Lane said. “He was a true patriot.”
Doughtie’s son Jay said he agreed that his father was a man who stood behind his principles with a “very strong, truthful, conservative voice.”
Another friend, Rutherford County Property Assessor Rob Mitchell, shared a couple of his favorite memories, including their side business of frying peanuts and selling them under the brand “Pete and Kaye’s Virginia Peanuts.”
But what really stood out was Doughtie’s love of the community and for providing a voice for people who otherwise were not represented in the media, Mitchell said.
“He gave a voice to views and opinions that otherwise wouldn’t be able to be made public,” Mitchell said. “He will be missed. He was a man of faith. It’s sad for the rest of us left behind.