WAKEFIELD, Douglas R.|
Douglas R. Wakefield, 75, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, at Hospice Austin's Christopher House, after a lengthy stay in the Austin Heart Hospital. He and his wife Leslye moved to Austin in 2005 to be near family and quickly became a beloved part of the community at Westlake United Methodist Church.
Doug was born on March 22, 1938, in New Orleans, the son of Joseph Rousseau and Mary Helen (Youngblood) Wakefield. He grew up in New Orleans and Houston, where he graduated from San Jacinto High School. He acted in Little Theater and was on the school boxing team. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Houston. His first job was recruiting engineers for NASA's Apollo Program, followed by human resources positions at Control Data Corporation, Amtrak, Satellite Business Systems (SBS), the Hay Group, and Georgetown University. With a change of focus toward the spiritual, he earned a Master's in Theology from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., during which time he provided pastoral counseling to inmates at St. Elizabeths Hospital for the Mentally Ill and Criminally Insane. Doug was an enormously compassionate soul who felt deeply for those in material or spiritual need.
He and Leslye met and married in McLean, VA, in 1985, and soon moved to a beautiful farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge near Hillsboro in Loudoun County, VA. They raised sheep and then championship llamas, and the farm was a stop on two Smithsonian tours of the region. Together with Leslye he loved hiking and camping and experiencing God's creation.
Doug had two children by his first wife, the late Beverly Twilley. His son Geoffrey lives in Lakeway, TX, with wife Heather and daughters Kylie and Kate. His daughter Allison Justice and husband Jeff have a ranch near Chappell Hill, TX, and four children: Madison and Mason Edgar, and Jenna and Jill Justice. Doug also leaves a sister, Helen Gayle Wakefield, in Houston and was predeceased by his older brother Don, a career Army officer. In addition to his wife Leslye, he leaves two stepsons, David and Jeffrey Giese, of Middletown, NJ, and Bellingham, WA, respectively, with their wives and families. He was the proud and adoring grandfather of eleven.
His family is grateful to Drs. Nancy Foster and Deborah Ekery and the caring staffs at both the Heart Hospital of Austin and Hospice Austin's Christopher House.
A memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at Westlake United Methodist Church, 1460 Redbud Trail, in West Lake Hills. The service will be followed by a reception at the church for family and friends.
Those desiring to make memorial gifts may do so to the Westlake United Methodist Church Permanent Endowment Fund (PEF), to Hospice Austin, to Mobile Loaves and Fishes, or to the
. Arrangements by All Faiths Funeral Service South.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Feb. 23 to Feb. 28, 2014