Wallace Douglas

Obituary
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Wallace L. Douglas

PITTSFIELD Wallace Lyman Douglas, April 29, 1920 Lunenburg, Mass. March 13, 2013, Ft. Myers, Fla., slipped away peacefully of a failing heart in his 93rd year. A 1949 MIT graduate, he made his career managing military contracts in private industry spending several years at Glenn L. Martin Co. in Maryland and Raytheon Co. in Massachusetts before General Electric in Pittsfield. He retired in 1986 as Manager-Contractor Inventory Services in Ordnance Systems for the Fleet Ballistic Missile Fire Control System on the Polaris, Poseidon and Trident Submarine Program.

He was born and raised on the shores of Whalom Lake and remained a devoted President of the 1939 Lunenburg High School class, loyally leading reunions for both the 1939 and 1940 classes until 2010. After high school he graduated from the Wentworth Institute in Boston and completed a civilian pilot training program.

During World War II he became a naval aviator, a designation that he proudly held as his identity. In that war he served in the VP/VPB-23 squadron as first pilot on famed USN Black Cat PBY patrol planes. He received an Air Medal for meritorious achievement in the Pacific. He also served during the Korean War as an Industrial Management Officer and ultimately retired from the Navy as Lieutenant Commander in 1980.

"Doug" was especially known for his dry and playful sense of humor, dedication to family, friends, and his profession. He loved to play the harmonica, an instrument he took up on his own as a child and continued to develop in retirement to the delight of many. A typical engineer he could build and fix just about anything. An avid sailor and navigator, he achieved a personal goal of cruising deep-water after years of lake sailing ranging from Whalom Lake on his self-built skiff to Pontoosuc Lake where he raced 470's and Lake Dunmore in Vermont with his sailfish.

In Pittsfield, where he lived for 24 years, he was active in the Berkshire Sail and Power Squadron and at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. In retirement he made Brandon, Vt., and Estero, Fla., his home for over 20 years.

He is survived by his beloved wife, dancing partner and soul mate of 68 years, Barbara F. Douglas of Estero; four children, Kimberly Douglas of Pasadena, Calif., Jennifer Douglas of Malibu, Calif., Brenton F. Douglas of Amherst, N.H., and Sarah D. Baker of Poultney, Vt., nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

A son, Jeffrey T. Douglas, predeceased him on Nov. 26, 2011.

Memorial and interment of ashes will occur at a later time in Lunenburg. Contact the family at wldouglasfamily@gmail.com for more information. Gifts in his memory may be directed to the Military Officer's Association of America Scholarship Fund www.moaa.org/scholarshipfund/ and/or the Lunenburg Historical Society www.lunenburghistory.org/ and/or the Salvation Army https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Mar. 24, 2013
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