May 11, 1934 – January 8, 2021
It is with very heavy hearts that the family of Douglas James Rowland announce his passing on January 8, 2021. Doug passed away peacefully at the age of 86.
Doug was born in the old Burns Lake Hospital (George Brown Memorial), alongside his twin brother Gordon on May 11, 1934 to parents Mary Kathleen (Queenie) and Edward Fraser (Ted) Rowland.
Doug was raised as a young boy in Rose Lake. The family moved to Decker Lake in 1946 where Doug was to spend the rest of his life.
Doug met his bride to be, Sonja (Anderson), when they were just young children. They grew up together in Decker Lake when Sonja moved there at the age of 10 with her family. They were married on June 5, 1954 and later had three children, Kim, Brenda, and Kurt.
Doug had an impeccable work ethic which started at a very early age.
As a young lad he worked alongside his dad logging with horses in the Rose Lake area.
At the early age of 15 years, Doug obtained his driver’s licence and bought himself a flat deck truck. His first job was hauling lumber from Pendleton Bay to the sawmill on Planer Road, Decker Lake.
After many years he sold his truck and took short term positions with the Ministry of Highways, and with Endako Mines on the construction crew.
From Endako mines Doug entered into the sawmill business with Paul Paulson, and eventually formed a partnership with friends Bobo Andersen and Eric Lindaas where they formed their own sawmill company Boo Flat Lumber. This was a partnership that lasted for 30+ years, until Doug later partnered with his son Kurt as they continued on with the sawmill business at Boo Flats.
Doug loved the sawmill, and he loved to go to work. He acquired his scaling ticket and was the scaler and loader operator at the mill. They cut ties for CN, and special-order scaffold planking that was used for high rise building construction in the New York area.
The daily ritual at the mill included clearing the table in the old lunch shack every coffee and lunch break to sit around the wood stove playing cards.
Doug had a real passion for sports and was a very successful and competitive athlete.
He played baseball, as well as skiing in the “4 Way Event” (Slalom, Downhill, Cross-Country and Jumping). He competed in Smithers, Wells, Jasper, Revelstoke, and Grouse Mountain. He won several medals and trophies. Curling was also a big part of Doug’s life and he spent many years curling with friends and his family. He competed at the Molson’s Men’s Money League and won two years in a row.
Doug’s love of sports was passed down through the generations as he always encouraged and supported every one of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was proud to watch every one of them at their events and games.
Doug retired in his early 60’s and spent his retirement grooming his yard, and growing a prolific garden. He took great pride in his home on Decker Lake and always referred to it as his “little slice of paradise”.
Doug took on another hobby, his lifelong love of horses. Several years were spent going to the thoroughbred races at the Calgary Stampede, accompanied by his family, and long- time family friends Glenn and Claire Anderson and children. When the races discontinued at the Stampede he moved over to ‘Exhibition Park’ in Vancouver. It was there that a ritual came to be. Doug, and several family members and friends would spend the May long weekend at ‘The Track’. He just loved and looked forward to every ‘May Long’.
He loved the horses so much so, that he bought his own race horses along with partner Glenn, and the passion continued for many years when he also acquired broodmares and raised foals that would later run at the track. If Doug couldn’t be at the racetrack somewhere, he would ‘play the ponies’ from his living room.
Doug was an avid card player, and would wrangle a game of any sort whenever he could, with the grandkids, family or with his good poker buddies. He looked forward to
Wednesday night Whist Drives and socializing with his friends at the Decker Lake Hall. Everyone learned to play cards with ‘Gramps’ at an early age.
Gramps also made sure that every child, right down to the great-grandchildren, learned to drive. They would start as soon as they were old enough to sit on his knee and see over the steering wheel.
Doug loved his community and enjoyed helping with many of the local groups, being active for many years with the Decker Lake Recreation Commission, the Omineca Ski Club, and the Curling Club. Doug helped with the construction of the Decker Lake Hall and the Burns Lake Curling Rink.
If you asked Doug, he would say he had a very rich life. In fact, Doug just enjoyed every day to the fullest. Life to him was about living in the best country in the world, it was about the community, it was about his family and friends.
He never ever wanted for much, to him life was just about enjoying each and every day for whatever it brought. He always found the good in everything.
Doug was a man of great integrity, so humble, and so genuine. An honest, non-judgemental, caring and loving man.
He enjoyed the company of everyone he met and would help anyone at any time. Everyone was welcome in his home.
He brought a lot of joy to so many people with his fun-loving character, his kindness, his interest in everyone, his laughter, his smile, his stories.
You will be forever loved and sadly missed by all your family and your wonderful friends. Your joy for life, and all the beautiful memories you have left with us, will live on in our hearts forever.
Doug was predeceased by his mother Queenie, father Ted, brother Gary, mother and father in law Folke and Cleone Anderson, sisters in law Anita (Gord) Rowland, Rhoda (Errol) Anderson, Doris (Elmer Anderson), and brother in law Errol Anderson.
Doug is survived by: Wife Sonja, Daughter Kim (Arnie) Larson, grandchildren Darcy Anderson, and Crystal (Justin) Blackwell and great grandchildren Mackenzie, Kelsey and Colby. Daughter Brenda (Calvin) Read, grandchildren Tehya (Clement) Nion, and Fraser (Marissa) Read. Son Kurt, grandchildren Kali Marshall, and great grandchildren Carter, Cassie and Jaxon,
Lindsay (Clayton) Wainwright and great grandchildren Emma, Mya, Noah and Isaiah, Grandchildren Jenni Rowland, Ali Marleau (Sorel), and Kirsten (Gian) Luck. Brother Gord (Alice) Rowland Brother-in-law Elmer Anderson and many loving nieces and nephews.
“Photo by Roni Haggarty”
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