Former Douglas resident, Douglas MacPherson Blanchard, 91 of Fraser Lake, British Columbia, passed away peacefully in his home on February 5, 2014. His wife Marilyn (Isaak) of 61 years, daughter, Bonni (Martin Hinds) and daughter, Lucie (Hemingway) were by his side. He is also survived by daughter, Beverly (Ben Merritt) of Juneau; grandchildren Mike Rader (Vanessa) of Juneau, Ryan Hemingway (Stefanie Singer ) of Victoria, BC, Douglas Hemingway (Jesse) of Davis Bay, BC, Jenna Hinds of Fraser Lake, BC, and Nathan Hemingway of Roberts Creek, BC; and great grandchildren Lucas Rader and Mia Hemingway.
Doug was born on March 15, 1922 in Skagway, Alaska to Alexander and Olive Blanchard, and brothers, Alexander ll (Bud) and Gordon, all preceded. Growing up in early Skagway taught him a love of the outdoors that carried on throughout his life. After graduating High School he worked on the White Pass and Yukon Railroad before being inducted into the US Army in April 1943. His stint in the Army took him to Nome, a winter on Attu Island, and over to Calcutta and Karachi. On his return, he worked summers on the Taku River for US Customs and Terrritory of Alaska, Fisheries. He spent winters in Juneau working various jobs such as construction, steelwork, and bartending, most notably at the Baranof, Mike's, Whing Ding's, Douglas Inn, and Taku Inn. His spare time was spent deer hunting, skiing, bowling and playing basketball for Mike's Place.
Doug was an avid outdoorsman and eventually the lure of another, larger river caught his attention. In the Spring of 1963, after exploring the Stikine River, he purchased the Tahltan General Store in Telegraph Creek, BC.
When the family was grown, Doug sold the store and purchased Langford Trailer Park and Campground in Victoria, BC. Here you would find him during the winter, but come summer, he returned to the Stikine to fish commercially. In the early 1990's, he retired from fishing and settled on Francois Lake, BC. Doug was finished running rivers, but his sense of adventure and wandering never ended. Winter's found him packing up the wife and travelling to Mead Lake, Nevada to relax in the sun and explore the local hills and ravines.
In September of 2011, Doug suffered a stroke. He worked hard completing rehabilitation and returned home. Though confined to a wheelchair, Doug never lost his interest in the life around him and he kept a smile on his face.
He will be remembered for his deep respect and love of Nature and his compassion for all living things.
The family would like to thank all dear friends and family for the love and fun throughout the years. They can be reached at PO Box 86, Fraser Lake, BC Canada V0J 1S0.
Published in The Juneau Empire on Feb. 24, 2014