The world became a little less on Aug. 24, 2019, when Doug lost his courageous six-year battle with cancer.
Born on Dec. 30, 1944 in Emo, Ont., Doug forged a trail of laughter, friendship, and love from coast to coast (with a few international spots in between).
The entries on his resume—many and varied—included newspaper editor, stints in the pulp mill and oilsands, business owner, car sales, insurance, publishing, and real estate, but it was the jobs that weren't on his resume that told the real story—town crier, wedding emcee, wordsmith, poet, grill master, Santa Claus, eulogist, Elvis impersonator, story teller, Little League coach, stay-at-home Grandpa, singer, comedian, square dance caller, auctioneer, and dancer. (He could jive like nobody's business, and of all the things cancer stole from him, he probably missed his dancing legs the most.)
He considered a tuxedo and a Santa suit wardrobe staples, and was the kind of man who showed up at chemo with green hair on St. Patrick's Day to give the nurses a thrill.
Doug was perpetually upbeat, always had time to visit, and no matter how sick he became, considered himself “pretty good for an old fella.”
Doug is survived by his loving wife and dancing partner of 53 years, Shirley (nee Watts); son, Trevor (Andrea) Hodge; daughter, Marni McDonald; granddaughters, Ariana Hodge, Shaelyn McDonald, Rachael Hodge, Delaney McDonald, and Sara-Lyn Hodge; sister, Sandra (Gordon) Williams; and many nieces and nephews (whom he “loved the most”).
He was predeceased by parents, Hughbert J. and M. Louisa Hodge; parents-in-law, Arthur and Arlien Watts; son-in-law, Shawn McDonald; sisters Lucille Hodge, A. Doreen Nixon (and partner Alan Webb), and Shirley Sullivan (and spouse George); sister-in-law, Maxine Ruymer (and partner Ron Boyko); niece, Sherri Sullivan; and nephew, Murray Sullivan.
Doug didn't want a service, but his legacy will live on in our hearts, our stories, and one or two incriminating pictures.
Remember him fondly, and raise a glass when you have the chance.
If desired memorial donations may be made by cheque in Doug's memory to the Tamarack Lodge or Riverside Health Care “Palliative Care Room LaVerendrye” c/o Northridge Funeral Home, Box 89, Emo, ON, P0W 1E0.