Harold Mathew Douglas, our wonderful brother, grandfather, uncle and friend, died Friday, October 29, 2010 of pneumonia.
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Doug was born December 19, 1924 in Des Moines to Laurel Preston Douglas and Gertrude Phillips Douglas. He spent his childhood in Edmond, Oklahoma and Lineville, Iowa. Doug graduated in 1943 from West High, now North High School, in Des Moines, and he enlisted in the army during World War II. He proudly served his country in Italy and Africa, earning a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
He returned home from the war and married Wanda Rice on May 27, 1948 at Rockford, Illinois. Doug and Wanda were blessed with two children, Dwight and Mary.
Doug spent his entire career at United Airlines, starting as a baggage handler, and moving up to the counter and ticketing, and finally to freight agent. He, Wanda and the children lived across the street from the Des Moines Airport for many years, and he enjoyed watching the planes as they descended onto the runway.
Doug was a kind and gentle man, quiet and reserved, but passionate about his family and friends. He could fix anything and enjoyed spending time at his workbench. He was always there when you needed him, ready to help or offer guidance. He was a man of deep faith, baptized and brought up in the Methodist church and belief that God knows what is best for him. His faith sustained him as his wife and children died. In his own words, he had a great life - a wonderful family, a job he loved, and always had a best friend.
Doug is preceded in death by his parents, wife Wanda; children Dwight and Mary, brothers Kenneth and Durward; and sister Thelma. He leaves to mourn his passing his sister Bertha Hetzer; daughter-in-law Diana Retman Douglas; grandchildren Kaitlin and Daniel Tomlinson and Brandy Retman; great granddaughter Willow Grimes; son-in-law Jim Tomlinson, nieces Kathleen Hetzer, Karen Porter, and Roni Peters; nephews Steven Hetzer and Harry Hetzer; Ron McNeely whom he loved like a son, and many friends.
The visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, at Hamilton's Southtown Funeral Home, 5400 SW 9th St., Des Moines. The funeral service will follow at 2 p.m. at the funeral home, with burial following at Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa in Doug's memory.
Published in Des Moines Register on Oct. 31, 2010