Obituary: Dr Holly Dugan

Last month co-founder of Little Bangkok Sangha, and good Kalyanamitta (spiritual friend) of us all in Bangkok Dr Holly Dugan passed away with a short and suffering-free cancer. Here below is her life in brief – thanks to Holly’s sister Heather for providing it:

Holly Williams Shaw Gordon Dugan (Dr. Holly Dugan) – September 15, 1940-April 28, 2011

Holly Williams Shaw was born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, on September 15, 1940, to Marianne Stilwell Shaw and Charles Wesley Shaw. She joined her older sister Heather and was later joined by brother Charley and sister Marianne (Happy).

She was reared on a horse farm in the countryside of Maryland outside of Baltimore where she developed her love of horses and riding. As a young child she rode and won prizes in many horse shows; later she enjoyed fox hunting as well. Always an adventurer and a bit of a “tomboy” she loved the freedom of life on a farm

She graduated from The Bryn Mawr School for Girls in Baltimore and attended Hollins College in Virginia for two years before her first marriage. After ten years divorced with a young daughter, Piper, she set out for Strasbourg, France, and enrolled Piper and herself in school. During the next seven or eight years Holly lived in France, Vienna, Austria, (where she worked for the Atomic Energy Commission), and Menorca, Spain.

Returning to the US after seven years and still an adventurer she bought a house in the Fells Point section of the Baltimore Harbor in the beginning stages of its development to a residential area. She worked at Johns Hopkins Hospital for a foremost doctor in the field of geriatrics and enrolled at Johns Hopkins University where she graduated with a BS in Psychology and then obtained a MSW in Clinical Social Work at the University of Maryland. During this period she reconnected with and married a childhood friend. With her love of learning she embarked on an ambitious road to earning her Ph.D in Clinical Psychology at the California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco, California.

With her love of travel always with her she decided to travel to Thailand to visit her adored nephew, Jack Kneeland. After a few trips she and her then husband decided to move into the little house on Ruamrudee where Jack was living while he went back to the United States to obtain a graduate degree at Johns Hopkins School of International Studies. Fully intending to return the house to Jack on his return to Bangkok, she was delighted when Jack said he would find another house.

For the next six years Holly reveled in all the excitement and adventures Bangkok had to offer. Here she had found her haven where she could use her intellect and charm to hone her teaching and lecturing skills and amass a large circle of friends that she treasured. Holly died in peace and equanimity on April 28, 2011. She left behind her daughter, Piper Gordon Barnard; sisters, Heather Shaw Bennett and Marianne Shaw Trapp; nephew, Jack ,Kneeland; niece, Ann Barclay Kneeland and husband, Peter Reppe, a great nephew, Camas Kneeland Reppe and a much loved group of friends and students and her two beloved cats, Khun Chai and Foxy.

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