C.C. ‘Doc’ Dockery – Summit Founder, Political Advisor, High-Speed Rail Advocate – Dies at 89

Doc Dockery

He was born Charles Crofford Dockery in May 1933, but Lakelanders grew to know and love him as Doc Dockery, a self-made man, the founder of Summit Consulting, a political kingmaker, an advisor to governors and author of two books.

On Monday evening, condolences poured into the Facebook page of his wife, former state Sen. Paula Bono Dockery, when she announced at about 5 p.m. that her “darling husband Doc died peacefully this afternoon at Good Shepherd Hospice House. Keep our family in your prayers as we grieve this wonderful man.”

Doc Dockery, 89, had been in failing health for several years, but a fall last month sent him to the hospital for a final time. Paula Dockery told her friends in late July that he was resting comfortably. Theirs was a love story of 32 years.

Dockery was born in Elkin, N.C., to Mildred Hurt Dockery and Doctor (his name, not his title) Albert Dockery.

In 1941, his father walked out the door and never came home.

“We didn’t know he was leaving. Just one day he wasn’t there,” Dockery told Florida Trend magazine. “It was about a week later, the furniture that my mother and dad had bought on credit was repossessed. That left us in a house we couldn’t pay any rent on and without furniture. My grandfather came and took us to live in the country.”

A year later, his father wrote to say he was coming to visit – told his son what day and time to expect him.

He was supposed to be there early in the morning. I sat down on the shoulder of this dirt road all day waiting for him,” Dockery recalled for Florida Trend. “My grandmother came out at lunchtime and told me to come in for lunch — or dinner as we called it — and then I could go back out and wait. I didn’t go in because I thought I might miss him. He never came.”

Dockery said it was his grandfather, Henry Hurt, who taught him his work ethic as he labored beside him on the family tobacco farm.

My grandfather was teaching me to dig ditches — we were laying water pipe at the farm — and he says to me, ‘Boy’ – he never called me anything but ‘Boy’ — he says, ‘Boy, if you can dig a ditch that you can be proud of, then you’ve learned something about work. Whatever you do, you do it the best,’” Dockery told the magazine.

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