OBITUARY

William W. Douglass Jr.

February 4, 1934March 17, 2012

William Wilson (“Bill”) Douglass, Jr., 78, died peacefully on March 17, 2012 at home in Colorado Springs in the company of his wife and sons. Memorial service will be held on March 31 at 10:00 a.m. at Monument Community Presbyterian Church with reception following. Inurnment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery.

Bill Douglass was born on February 4, 1934, in Manchester, New Hampshire. Bill attended Bowdoin College and graduated from the University of Albuquerque with honors. He joined the United States Air Force at age nineteen. Bill was a founding member of the legendary “Misty” Fast FACs and served three tours of duty as a fighter pilot in Vietnam. Those under his command remember with deep appreciation his leadership by inspiring example and courageous spirit. He retired in 1974 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Among the military awards he received for his service were two Silver Stars, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, Bronze Star, Air Medal with twenty-four Oak Leaf Clusters, and Purple Heart. Bill was a heroic warrior and fierce patriot.

Bill married Jackie L. Rosenkranz on April 23, 1966. The family moved to Sioux City, Iowa, where Bill taught science and math in public school and ran for Iowa State Senate with a passion that reflected his life-long concern for integrity in politics. He was a nuclear power plant operator at Duane Arnold Energy Center in Cedar Rapids and retired in 1997 as Director of Fossil Generation at Iowa Electric Utilities. He and Jackie moved to Colorado Springs within view of Pike’s Peak, whose beauty he found inspiring. Bill was an avid skier and golfer, spirited conversationalist, amateur artist, adventurous traveler, and a loyal and generous friend. Bill is survived by his wife, Jackie Douglass; sons William (Bill) Douglass, III (Deborah) and John Douglass; three grandchildren; and sister Marie Louise Martin.

Memorials can be sent to Evercare Hospice and Palliative Care, 5450 Tech Center Drive, Suite 120, Colorado Springs.

Services

  • Memorial Service Saturday, March 31, 2012
REMEMBERING

William W. Douglass Jr.

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RECEIVE UPDATES

July 16, 2012

Dear Jackie, Bill, John and Deborah,
How surprised I was to get an email from my cousin Janie with the sad news. I will always remember the time Billy and his Air Force buddies came and visited me in San Francisco in the early 60's. Sadly, it was the last time I ever saw my cousin. He was off fighting a war after that.

Jackie, I remember when you and your sons came with Uncle Charlie to visit us here in Palos Verdes. Our boys were so little. Somewhere in a scrapbook is a wonderful picture of our sons on the patio. What a good memory.

Billy achieved much in his life. Only regret that the Douglass clan never got together to celebrate and share all he accomplished. My heartfelt condolences.

Penny Douglass Swanson

July 16, 2012

Dear Jackie, Bill, Deborah and John,

I will always remember "Cousin Billy" as the warmest and livliest of all my family associates. He was playing with model planes when he was 10, so I suppose the die was cast. In the wranglings and normal tumult of a large extended family, he was the most genial of any relative you could hope for. Bill sent the most extraordinarily-kind letter to my mother upon the death of my Dad, "Algie" in 1970. I hope you all get some pictures of our uncles Charlie, George, and Henry (and of course Bill, Sr.), so that you can see that the famous Douglass "flannel lip" is represented in all of us.

Above all, Billy was a hero, in the truest sense of the word. My hero as a young lad, and a hero to those with whom he served. An extraordinary man and he will be sorely missed. I only wish I had gotten to know him better.

Fred Douglass
P. O. Box 96
Cataumet, MA 02534
(508) 564-4297

Jane Carter

July 16, 2012

I am Billy's cousin, Jane Douglass(Carter).
So sorry to hear this news. Wish we had had more communication in past times, but Freddie and I never got to Texas with enough time to look him up.
We did get together in Five Islands a long time ago when we were in our early 60s.
I remember the first time I ever shot a rifle was off the rocks in front of the house in 5 Islands with Billy's .22. I was about 11 years old.
I still have that picture, with Uncle Bill standing to the side and perhaps my dad, Alfred, beside him.
If I can find the picture and scan it, I will put it on my website, so that you can access it. Or could email it to you, but first I have to find it.
Janie Carter (North Falmouth, MA)
jcarter@capecod.net

May 8, 2012

Dear Jackie and sons,
We were so sorry to hear about Bill's passing. We so enjoyed our times together when your family was here in Sioux City. We thought the world of Bill.
Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.
Colleen and Bill Hagemeyer, Dakota Dunes, SD

pat williams

April 3, 2012

Jackie, John and Bill. I am so happy we were able to be with you for Bill's memorial. Beautifully done and a fitting tribute. As Bob Herculson said, Bill truly was a really good guy. We all love him. At the service, just before the final piece of the power point, Herk said something about how Bill always had one move great story. Suddenly, on the screen, there was Bill, telling one more great story. Eyes sparkling, hands waving in the air, so typical Bill. Everyone laughed. What a wonderful way to say goodbye. He leaves an empty space in all our lives. Love, Pat Williams

April 1, 2012

Now you belong to the ages, my friend. You live on within the hearts and minds of the many, many you touched.

I hope the celebration of your life was comfort to Jackie, Bill and John. They benefited, greatly, from the way you lived your life.

You are missed.

Hugh and Karen Moreland

March 31, 2012

Bill's friendship was one of the highlights of my AF career. From our early days living together at Northcourt as bachelor fighter pilots to our last years as happily-married ailing and aging men, it has been a deep friendship spanning nearly half a century. 48th TFW reunions over the past many years served to refresh and renew memories of our years of good times together. He was truly one of my favorite people.
I join many others of you who had the privilege of knowing him as a natural leader and mentor. His wisdom, enthusiasm, courage, and patriotism endeared him to all.
He will be greatly missed, but our fond memories will last forever.
Jackie, Bill, and John--we send our most sincere and heartfelt condolences; we share your grief. We're with you in spirit and are sorry we can't be there in person due to my physical problems.

Bob Blocher

March 31, 2012

Rare is the day we don't think so fondly of Bill since he got hit with the terrible disease. If not for my advanced COPD I'd be with you at his memorial service. So many memories of Bill from our days in the 494th TFS at RAF Lakenheath - NorthCourt - to gunnery at Wheeles - concocting Babermouth - to being invited by Bill to join him at Phu Cat with the original Misties. He was always enthusiastic, professional, a great fighter pilot,true hero and patriot - and always a friend!! He will be missed by all that were so fortunate to know him. ... a nickel on the grass ...
-Bob Blocher (Misty12) & Sandy

Rip and Jean Blaisdell

March 30, 2012

Bill was first of all a gentleman then a FIGHTER PILOT and most of all, he was a always friend.

Bob Goodman

March 30, 2012

My first flight commander and combat mentor, 354th TFS, Takhli, 1969-70. Went out of his way to guide and teach, one of the best men I have ever known.