Lighthouse 02

Molly Lee Doughty

June 10, 1940


Molly Lee (Grafton) Doughty, 83, of Santa Ana, CA, made it peacefully to her heavenly home.

Molly was born in Santa Ana, California on June 10, 1940, to Thomas (Tom) and Virginia (Ginny) Grafton-Wade. She grew up on a farm with her brother Rob and sister Rosalie at the northwest corner of Santa Ana next to Mile Square Park with a dairy at the back of the property. She was so lucky to live in a time when she could look out her bedroom window and see 10 acres of corn, strawberries, and green beans being farmed.  

She was a precocious and curious young girl with a quest for knowledge that carried throughout her life. That curiosity allowed her to skip the 8th grade where she was introduced to a wonderful set of girlfriends who remained in her life for many decades. She attended Garden Grove High School, was active in Job’s Daughters, and was elected queen from 1956-1957.  

She married Lee Doughty in 1958 and had four children: Cathy, Tom, Corine, and Steve by the time she was 25 years old.  They bought their first home in Landsdale in 1963 and moved to a bigger home as the family grew.  Molly became a fixture in Santa Ana when she became a Realtor for Santa Ana Realty. She eventually bought Santa Ana Realty shortly before her 40th birthday.  She was elegant, beautiful, and tough. Her reputation in the industry was stellar.  She always maintained her secret to real estate marketing success was having four young children involved in Little League, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, classroom activities, camping, and memorable family vacations.    

At the peak of her life, with all her kids out of the house, she was struck down with a brain aneurysm at the age of 55.  It was a difficult and long road back to recovery as she lost the use of her left arm, left leg, and left side vision which left her unable to drive. She was convinced she would prevail and through stubborn determination, perseverance, and hard work, she was able to walk again and work for another 20 years while enjoying her family and friends.

Molly endured more than most: divorce, disability, dementia, and recently a car accident leaving her with two broken legs and a broken ankle, yet she never complained, not once. It wasn’t in her DNA because she was more thankful for the bounty of good things the Lord did not take from her. It’s a feminist narrative in its purest form and we got to see it up upfront and learn so many lifelong lessons. We are so proud of her and will miss every fiber of her being, knowing that she is now at peace, free of pain, and with her little sister, brother, and parents in heaven.  Molly is survived by her children Cathy Doughty, Thomas Doughty (wife Libby), Corine Doughty, and Steven Doughty (wife Nichole) and seven grandchildren (Preston Thomas, Stephanie, Thomas H, Thomas D, Molly, Grafton, and Elle).

A funeral service will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 22nd, located at First United Church of Costa Mesa – 420 W. 19th Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92627.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that gifts in memory of Molly be given to these two churches:

Christ Church by the Sea (United Methodist)
1400 West Balboa Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92661 (
(619) 673-3805

First United Methodist Church of Costa Mesa
420 W 19th St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627 (
(657) 294-5400

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Molly Lee Doughty, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
July 22, 2023

3:30 PM
First United Methodist Church Costa Mesa
420 W. 19th St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627


© 2023 Brown Colonial Mortuary. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility