Cover photo for Bruce A. Douglas's Obituary
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1936 Bruce 2018

Bruce A. Douglas

January 16, 1936 — May 9, 2018

Bruce A. Douglas age 82 of Detroit Lakes, MN died May 9, 2018 at his home surrounded by his loving family under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley. Bruce Alexander Douglas was born January 16, 1936 in Hendrum, MN to Garfield and Myrtle Douglas. Growing up in Hendrum he played basketball, baseball, and quarterbacked his football team, where he was selected to the All-State team. When his father passed away, Bruce and his mother moved for a short time to Bakersfield, CA to live with his sister Helen and Husband Harley and family. He loved to be able to play basketball outdoors all winter long! Back in Hendrum he finished High School and even was the lead in the school operetta. He then attended Moorhead State Teachers College, where he earned a B.S. degree in Education. While in college he met Marlys Nordstrom and they were married that summer. They moved to Buffalo Lake, MN where Bruce taught Phy Ed and Social Studies. He also served as head Basketball and Baseball coach and assistant Football coach under Clint Perkins, who became a lifelong friend. Larry Buboltz was a student of Bruce’s and Bruce was always proud of the opportunity to serve as Larry’s campaign manager when Larry became the mayor of Detroit Lakes. In 1961 they moved to Detroit Lakes where Bruce taught History, Phy Ed, Health, and Driver’s Education, which he taught for over 40 years. His students were very important to him. Over the years he coached basketball at all levels, and also coached Babe Ruth baseball for several summers. In the community he enjoyed his years of serving in the Jaycees, where he worked on many projects. For a few summers during the Water Carnival he was put in charge of the visiting queens – his favorite job! A very important part of his life was his strong relationship with God and his Church. He was very active at First Lutheran Church. He sang in the church choir and served as an usher for many years. When Marlys was the choir director his job was to organize the ushers and tape many programs. Music was always a part of Bruce’s life. He grew up in the Presbyterian Church where his mother was the organist. She would have him sing solos in Church and for special events. All of his kids played in band, under the direction of his good friend Gene Gaffney. One of his favorite things was gathering around the piano singing with family and friends. A popular request at parties was for Bruce to sing “On the Road to Mandalay”. After his retirement, Bruce and Marlys traveled the United States for twenty three winters. In 1990 they began to travel abroad singing with the First Lutheran Church Choir. In addition to being happily married to Marlys for fifty nine years, Bruce’s greatest and proudest legacies are his children and grandchildren. Thanks be to God for a wonderful life. Bruce is survived by his wife Marlys; one daughter, Andi (Mike) Story, of Juneau, AK; three sons, Dan (Marree) Douglas, of Montevideo, MN; Dave (Jodie) Douglas, of Seattle, WA; and Mike (Calesha) Douglas, of Baltimore, MD; ten grandchildren, Ellen, Mallory, and Ryan Story; Jake, Isaac, and Kori Douglas; Grace, Abby, and Hannah Douglas; and Aiden Douglas; sisters in law, Patty Douglas, of Berryville, VA and Janis Johnsen, of Denver, CO; brother in law, Harley Stennes, of Bakersfield, CA; brothers and sisters in law, John and Bonnie Nordstrom, of Frazee, MN; and Al and Jeanne Nordstrom, of St. Paul, MN; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends. Bruce was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Gar Douglas; and one sister, Helen Douglas Stennes.
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