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James Alfred Douglass

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James Alfred Douglass Obituary
February 25, 1933 - September 12, 2015 One of the most admired and successful retailers in the men's clothing world in Southern California has died. Al Douglass, also known as "Mr. D," passed away at home surrounded by his family from complications of Parkinson's disease. He fought a long battle with courage, determination and grace. Known for is exquisite taste and style, Al is most remembered as the creator and owner of a chain of stores, including AT EASE and AL'S GARAGE in Newport Beach, Westwood and Pasadena, with additional stores in Japan. Born in Kankakee, Illinois, to John Millard Douglass and Hulda Karn Douglass, Al was the youngest of five boys and, with the support of his older brothers, was the first and only member of his family to attend college. While earning a BA degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1956, he met the love of his life, Nancy Kristeen Swanwick. He recalled that when he saw her walking up the steps of Angell Hall, it was love at first sight and he said to himself, "That's the girl I am going to marry." In August, they celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary. Al joined the U.S. Marine Corps and attended Officers' Candidate School, serving at Camp Pendleton and retiring with the rank of First Lieutenant. Al always dreamed of owning his own business. He saw a void in the market for men's leisure wear and the timing was right when Fashion Island opened. In 1969, with the help of family and friends, he and Nancy opened AT EASE. Al enjoyed traveling for the finest clothing, special items and accessories for his customers. Exceptional products and excellent service were hallmarks of his business. He also was a well-known and respected Mercedes collector. Al will be remembered by many as a loyal friend and generous mentor who always had time for others. He is survived by his wife Nancy, his daughter Julie, his son Cam and daughter-in-law Marie, and grandchildren James Alexander, Beatrice Kathleen and Max Cooper Douglass. Per Al's request, burial was private.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, 2015
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