I really didn't have the "Christmas Spirit" the whole season so on the 24th I woke up and made my mind up that today would be the day and started working toward that goal. I got a call from Jenna at about 10:30 a.m. and she was on her way to Grandma Mary's. There was something with Doug and she said "mom they think he's dead"...my heart stopped and I couldn't believe what she was telling me. From that point on that day there certainly was no thought of Christmas. Our family was reeling with the news that Grandma Mary found Doug dead at between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. on the morning of the 24th. I called Velda and she was devistated and it broke my heart to hear her sob at the loss of her little brother, Dougie. Calls made back and forth throughout the day confirmed that indeed, Doug had passed away sometime between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. on the morning of the 24th. His body was taken for autopsy to confirm cause of death (we're thinking heart attack) and as of yesterday (Saturday) the autopsy was complete but coroner's report won't be ready for 45 days or so. His wife, Caroline, said that his wishes were to be cremated and she is honoring his wish. Details at this point is that there will be a family viewing on Wednesday or Thursday, cremation on Friday, and graveside services in Thatcher on Saturday or Sunday. My point for writing this is to sort out my emotions, to share my love for Doug.
When Don and I started dating back in 1969, Dougie was 6 years old and the cutest little kid ever... dark hair, dark eyes and all the personality that the cherished baby of the family has. His personality was fun and he loved to laugh. By the time that Don and I got married in 1974 he was almost 12 years old and still fun as ever. He stayed with us a lot when Farrell and Mary went out of town on buying trips or on vacations during the school year. One time in particular, Don and I were living in our little trailer over on Voigt Street and Doug was staying with us. The movie, "What's Up Doc?" starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neil came on the tv and Doug and I were watching it. It was a funny movie and that dang kid got to laughing so hard he would fart and the more he would fart, the more he would laugh. I laughed so hard I thought that I would pee my pants. Doug had so many good friends growing up, Scott Hamblin, Kelly Udall, Tony Eagar, Trenton Lund, just to name a few. Doug worked for Don plumbing once-in-awhile, too. He was terrified of Elwin Browning and one day they (Don & Kelly LeSueur) and (Elwin & Doug) were racing to see who could get x amount of plumbing done by noon. The losers had to buy lunch. Going along at a pretty good clip but losing slightly, Elwin yelled something at Doug and Doug said he looked up to see Elwin running at him on the floor joists then suddenly, Elwin fell and hit the ground. Doug just knew that was the ONLY thing that saved his life that day. When I told Elwin of Doug's death this morning he said that Doug had to have a testimony of prayer because why else would Elwin have fallen that day?
Doug will be missed and his loss mourned by all of us. He leaves behind his two boys, Josh 22, Justin 21 and the darling of his life, Maddie (4). We (my kids - know what it's like to lose your dad) and I know what his wife, Caroline is going through at the loss of her husband. It won't be easy for them, but I have a testimony that families can be forever. Heavenly Father knows their needs and will comfort them as only He can. We love all of them and are so very sad. I expressed to Mary that no mother should lose one child, let alone two. She is stronger than she thinks and is going to be needed by Doug's family. Caroline's parents are both gone and Mary is all she has. Priesthood blessings have been given and comfort felt.
I just want all of you to know that I love you. I love Doug and my heart breaks for his family. I love Mary and am thankful for the strength she has been to my family. We can get through this as a family with all the love and support that we have for each other.