May 4, 2021
1936-2021 ~ It is with sad hearts that we announce the peaceful passing of Douglas Bagshaw Walton in Gateby Intermediate Care Residence in Vernon on May 4, 2021 at the age of 84.
Doug was born and raised in Brandon, Manitoba. As a youngster he enjoyed all sports, especially hunting, curling and the handyman projects he did with his Dad. The Military always intrigued Doug and he joined the Artillery Reserves in the Army at age 14.
After five years employment at Anglo Canadian Oil, Doug entered the Regular Army as Second Lieutenant. His Military career spanned 42 years culminating as Base Commander Canadian Forces Base Shilo, Manitoba. The photo (below) was taken when Doug was Director of Artillery in Ottawa.
Doug met the love of his life, Doreen, at a teen dance in Brandon (“Not for 50 cents?”) and they were married in 1961. Son Jack joined the family in 1968 and they had adventures at numerous postings in Germany, Wales and Canada.
Throughout Doug’s career he achieved four Parachute Certificates during respective postings: Canadian, British, American and German. Ask Doug, “What did you do in the Canadian Army?” and he would reply, “A paratrooper.” He accumulated 341 jumps, 37 in Britain.
In 1974 Doug Commanded 1 Airborne Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery in Cyprus setting up camp at the Nicosia International Airport Sector while on Peace Keeping Operations for six months. Another highlight was a NATO position Commanding the First Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Lahr, Germany for 2 years. Upon return to Canada he was posted as Commandant of the Artillery School at the Combat Training Centre in Gagetown, NB., followed later by Chief of Staff Atlantic Militia Area, Halifax, NS.
The Walton’s retired to Vernon in 1991 and built their house in Coldstream, BC. In his retirement Doug served as Okanagan Zone Commander for the Cadet League and as Area Commissioner (Interior) of the St. John’s Ambulance.
For the summers of 1994-97 Doug was Commanding Officer of the Vernon Cadet Camp. He was later Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel and then Honorary-Colonel of the British Columbia Dragoons. He was made an Officer of the Order of Military Merit in 1979 and the Order of St. John in 2006, and was awarded Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation in 2010, largely due to his participation in the Remembrance Day Ceremonies held in Vernon.
In his retirement Doug actively enjoyed hunting with Jack, skiing with Doreen at Silver Star, golfing (not so much), and family Sunday dinners with Doreen, Jack, Tracy, Kerry, Shannon and Radar, the cat. Other hobbies were court mounting medals, music, carpentry, sewing and being the neighbourhood handyman.
Friends loved to hear Doug reminisce about his military reflections, join in his infectious sense of humour, relish the numerous social gatherings at the Walton’s and knew it was time to head for home when Doug played “Auld Lang Syne”.
Doug is survived by his loving wife Doreen Elizabeth Walton (Rookes) (“Bye, Mom”), son, Jack (Tracy), granddaughters Kerry and Shannon (Colton) and nephews Brian, Steven and Robert. He was preceded in death by his parents Percy and Charlotte Walton of Brandon and Winnipeg, his older sister, Roxy and his twin sister, Norma.
During Doug’s rich and fulfilling life he was a loving son, husband, father and grandfather. His DNA was “Army”. A real guy, tough and solid. Doug was a character, a tremendously dedicated soldier and the military people admired him, respected him, and loved him.
Throughout his long battle with vascular dementia, Doreen was beside her “Rocketman” caring for him at home and eventually at Gateby, where the family is grateful for the wonderful care provided by staff and volunteers. Also a thank you to Dr. Long.
Doug attended his own Celebration of Life in 2019 at the Army Cadet Camp Graduation Parade surrounded by Military Personnel, Cadets marching to their own band, guns firing and bagpipes playing in the distance one month before entering Gateby, so a Memorial Service will be held sometime in the future.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Society, St. John’s Ambulance Brigade or the Nature Conservancy.
Funeral Arrangements have been entrusted to Pleasant Valley Funeral Home,
Condolences may be offered at www.pleasantvalleyfh.com
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