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Obituary of Douglas Ray Lanford
Douglas Ray Lanford, passed away, at home, March 30, 2023 at the age of 89, just a couple weeks shy of his 90th birthday. He was born in Texas, but his family lived in several locations until he graduated in Chicago. His sister, Jan, shared that even though he was 12 years her senior, he was always game to take her places, even on some of his dates.
He entered the Air Force in April 1953 and was transferred to Lowry AFB in Denver, Colorado. During some rest and relaxation there, and coincidentally the only day of the year when there was enough ice to go ice-skating, he was soon cozying up with a young woman he met, Patty. A romance blossomed and they were married on July 10, 1954. The adventures started right away when Patty’s wedding dress got switched, her wedding ring was lost in the lake, and their car broke down en route to their honeymoon, so they ended up spending their first night at Motel X…but there were to be many other adventures and trips ahead of them as they enjoyed 68 years of marriage.
After his service in the Air Force, Doug and Patty moved to Anaheim, California. Shortly thereafter, they became parents to their daughter, Terry. She was followed a few years later by their son, Curt. Doug worked as an engineer for Hughes Aircraft Company for 31 years. A co-worker recently shared how much he appreciated Doug taking him under his wings and teaching him the ropes. After enough shock and vibration work, Doug retired early and started to pursue other interests. Doug and Patty traveled a lot in their RV, and their grandchildren expressed fond memories of their hosting camping trips.
Doug was quite a craftsman. His ultimate passion was building models, and he filled up his basement with them, receiving many best-of awards from the Western Idaho Fair. When he wasn’t building models, he loved watching old westerns. He also liked to call himself Chef Doug-ee as he was quite proud of his pancake-making skills. Doug was known for being a terrific tease and jokester. We will all really miss his smile and humor. He loved to pretend box with you, and he was fist bumping until the end. He loved children, always squeaking their ears and giving them candy, but his smiles centered around the love of his life, Patty, and his family.
He is survived by his wife, Patty; their children and spouses: Curt (Patricia) and Terry (Roger); three grandchildren: Blake (Andrea), Drew (Jenny), and Whitney (Casey); four great-grandchildren: Everett, Lucy, Paheli, Ruby; and sister, Jan.
Doug and Pat never said “goodnight,” but always said, “Will see you in the morning.” It will leave a great hole in our lives not to see him in the morning any longer. Up until Doug’s very last day, Patty would always say “Good morning, Sunshine.”
“...may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.”
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