Douglas H Alsip, August 15, 1953 - February 11, 2013
Douglas Alsip died at home in Juneau, AK, on February 11, 2013 after a courageous battle with prostate cancer. Doug was born in Staten Island, NY, and then grew up in Clearwater, FL, Pine Ridge, SD, and Lakewood, WA, graduating from Bethel High School, Spanaway, WA in 1971.
He attended the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT, graduating with a BS in Electrical Engineering and a commission as an officer in 1975. During his 21 year career, he served aboard CG Cutters Fir and Chilula and at shore based engineering assignments. In 1979, he completed post graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with both an MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. While serving at the CG Electrical Engineering Center in Wildwood, NJ, he co-wrote the control system software for the LORAN-C long range electronic navigation system, a software program that provided timing control for LORAN-C until the system was shut down in 2010. During duty in Juneau, AK he provided support to shore-based electronic systems, such as Alaska's six Loran-C Stations and HF and VHF radio towers and repeaters throughout Alaska. While assigned to Coast Guard Headquarters as the Chief of Radio Aids Development Branch, he led the development of a nationwide differential GPS system, which enhances the accuracy of the GPS positioning system. In his characteristic style, Doug led his team through challenges with the mantra, ""Don't tell me what can't be done, find a way to accomplish what can be done."" Now used by navigators, traffic managers, researchers, and many other professionals nationwide, the DGPS system standards have become the standard for similar systems worldwide.
After his CG retirement in 1996, Doug continued his career in the private sector and with his wife, Jean, returned to Juneau, AK in 1997 to put down roots. While working part-time as a computer programmer for the State of Alaska Legislative Affairs Finance Division, Doug devoted many volunteer hours to the Coast Guard Auxiliary as an instructor, vessel examiner, HAM radio operator, as well as boat coxswain for safety patrols. He also devoted many hours to creating and maintaining data systems to manage Juneau Flotilla's recreational vessel exam requests and the status of Alaska's Auxiliary operational facilities, a system used by both the Auxiliary and the Coast Guard in Alaska.
Doug could have retired anywhere, but chose Juneau because of the beauty of the mountains, ocean, and wildlife. An avid and skilled boater,fisher, and hiker in Juneau's great outdoors, he loved the serenity of Southeast Alaska's wilderness and was home here.
He is survived by his wife Jean Butler of Juneau, AK; his son Joseph Alsip, daughter Deborah Kyle, daughter Diana Alsip, and grandson Cameron Kyle of Chandler, AZ; his mother Isabel Alsip and sister Jessica Walker of Cocolalla, ID; his sister Beth Brobeck of Phoenix, AZ; and several aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A memorial service will be held in Hershey, PA on March 9th and an internment of remains will be held at a future date in Juneau, AK. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice and Home Care of Juneau, the Institute for Prostate Cancer Research at the University of Washington Medical Center, or other cancer research organizations.
Published in The Juneau Empire from Feb. 22 to Mar. 20, 2013