US family seek exchange student thirty years on

An Illinois family are hoping ‘Journal’ readers can reunite them with the Derry man who stayed with them as a student some thirty years ago.

Keith Dougherty/Doherty stayed with the Fred and Kathy Standa in the town of Naperville, Illinois some three decades ago as part of a exchange trip organised by the Irish Christian Children’s Fund (ICCF).

Fred and Kathy’s son Gerald this week told the ‘Journal’ the family have lost touch with Keith - whose family they believe lived in Quarry Street- and are keen to reconnect ahead of Fred’s 80th upcoming birthday.

“Keith and I are about the same age, so he should be about 42 now,” Gerald said.

“His parents are Seamus and Dorothy. A year or two after he came to stay with us my parents went to Northern Ireland and visited Keith and his family.

“As the years have passed, we have lost track of Keith. My dad will soon be celebrating his 80 birthday and has expressed the desire to reconnect with Keith.”

Gerald said attempts to track him down have thus far proved fruitless.

“I have contacted ICCF, however, they have been unable to find any records that could help us reconnect.

“I have tried several internet searches but have been unable to turn up everything. Searching for the name Dougherty (assuming that’s the correct spelling) in Ireland is like searching for Smith in America.”

Anyone who may be able to help can get in touch by contacting the ‘Journal’ on 71 272 251 or email david.wilson@derryjournal.com