Kenneth Douglas Weitzel passed away peacefully on Friday, May 9, in Austin Texas. Born in Chicago on Oct 30, 1928, Douglas grew up in Taylorville and Champaign, Illinois. He played basketball at University High School, and attended the University of Illinois, where he was a member of the Men's Glee Club, Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity, and the ROTC, serving as Cadet Adjutant.
After U.S. Army service, Douglas attended The University of Texas Law School, graduating in 1955. He served as Reading Clerk of the Texas House of Representatives, as well as assistant to Land Commissioner Earl Rudder. He married Norma Sue Dennis of Gilmer and in 1957 they moved to Longview, where he served as special investigator for District Attorney Ralph Prince. Douglas later practiced law privately, was active in First Methodist Church, Longview Community Theater, Kiwanis, and Sharon Temple. He and Norma raised three children in Longview over 27 years of marriage.
Douglas moved to Austin in the 80s, where he worked for the DMV, the Commission on Aging, and Austin law firms. In 1991, Douglas married Paula Johnson and they settled in Dripping Springs where they lived for 20 years, enjoying the Texas Hill Country, the deer in the yard, and two Great Pyrenees Mountain dogs. Douglas and Paula enjoyed travel and theater and were very active in the Dripping Springs First United Methodist Church and Walk to Emmaus. They moved to Austin in 2011 due to health issues.
Douglas was preceded in death by his parents, Ethel Lester Weitzel of Austin, and Maynard Weitzel of Sherman. He is survived by his wife Paula Johnson of Austin; three children, Dennis Weitzel of Orlando, Ken Weitzel of Dallas, and Lorelei Weitzel of Austin; seven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. We are confident that he is in the presence of his Lord and Savior, and will miss his humor, grace, intelligence and friendliness.
The family wishes to thank the West Oaks Rehab Center staff in Austin for their exemplary and compassionate care. Douglas donated his body to the UT Southwestern Medical School for studies, after which he will be interred with military honors in the Dallas-Ft Worth National Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Thursday, June 5th at Dripping Springs United Methodist Church.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from June 4 to June 5, 2014