Doug died peacefully on February 2, 2012 at the age of 95 years.
Doug was a proud Calgarian, born in Calgary and grew up swimming and skating on the Elbow River. He went to Rideau Park School and Western Canada High School.
During the Depression years, he travelled throughout B.C., Alberta, and Saskatchewan as a salesman selling yeast. Doug joined the Air Force in 1941 and after his initial training service he volunteered to go overseas for active duty. He was assigned to the 419 Moose Squadron and his final trip with his crew was in the Battle of Berlin, when he was shot down. He and two of his crew survived and became prisoners of war, in Stalag IVB Germany. After liberation, Doug returned to Calgary on the last day of the Stampede!
Shortly after enjoying some months of real freedom, Doug met and soon married his sister’s close friend, Dorothy Gish in 1947. Doug became and enjoyed his years as a realtor. He was president of the Real Estate Board and received a sixty years of service award in 2010. He was also an active member of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and was always very community minded. Doug helped form the Glendale Kiwanis Club and eventually served as Lieutenant Governor for Southern Alberta.
Doug worked with colleagues to host an international POW reunion in 1985 that helped inspire the formation of an Air Crew Association in Calgary. With the help of like-minded colleagues, Doug established the Memorial for the British Commonwealth Training Plan at the Aerospace Museum in 1995. It was in 1955, that the Calgary Foundation was founded by visionary community leaders like Doug and he vowed to return the favour of the generosity of the Red Cross during his years as a POW during WWII. Doug was recognized as an honorary life director of the Calgary Foundation in 1996, and was also given a lifetime membership to the Talisman Centre, and claimed to be the oldest aqua-size participant.
He is survived by Dorothy, his wife of sixty-five years; his five sons, Gerry (Glenys), David (Shelagh), John (Vonnie), Robert (Patricia), and Peter (Heather); fifteen grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and an older brother Murray in Vancouver. Doug was predeceased by his brother Paul and sister Hazel.
A Celebration of Doug’s life will be held at McDougall United Church (8516 Athabasca Street S.E.) on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. Valentine’s Day is appropriate as Doug’s favourite colour was red! Forward condolences through McInnis and Holloway . If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made in memory of Doug to the Calgary Foundation, Aerospace Museum Association of Calgary Fund, No. 700, 999 – 8 Street S.W., Calgary, AB T2R 1J5 or to a charity of personal choice.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Debra Sasges and the staff on Unit 83 at the Rockyview Hospital for all of their care and support. In living memory of Doug Hawkes, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park.
Papa Doug was my gandfather, and he my grandmother would visit us in Adelaide every 2-3 years when we lived there.
He was a very larger than life man to me, and I’ll always remember him for his favourite sayings:
- Pull Your Weight
- B.Y.O.B.G.G. (Bring your own booze, gas and groceries)
- They’re only there for the general public (when confronted with a KEEP OUT or PRIVATE PROPERTY or NO TRESPASSING sign)
- I delegate!
R.I.P Papa Doug.