Obituaries — 08 November 2017
Douglas Alexander Rettie – January 28, 1946 – November 2, 2017

Douglas Alexander Rettie – January 28, 1946 – November 2, 2017

It is with deep sorrow that the family of Doug Rettie announces his sudden passing at his home in Dryden on the morning of November 2, 2017, at the age of 71.

Doug is survived by Gale, his wife of 44 years,  by his daughters Lindsay (Chris Marchand) and Robyn (Ruby-dog), and by his granddaughter Eloise, the sunshine in Papa Doug’s life.                                        Doug is also survived by his mother Peggy Rettie, by his siblings – Mac, Patricia, Martin, Chris, and Martha – and by numerous nieces and nephews.  He is predeceased by his father Alex Rettie. 

Doug was born in Lindsay, ON . He and his family lived at Four Mile Lake, Port Arthur and Nipigon before settling in Parry Sound.  In his youth  Doug was a Cadet, took piano lessons, and sang in a high school production of the operetta The Mikado.  Music was always a part of his life.

Doug obtained his teaching diploma at  North Bay Teachers’ College in 1967. He would go on to receive his Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree at the University of Waterloo in 1973.

Doug married Gale Draycott in Parry Sound on Christmas Day, 1972.  In 1974, Doug accepted a teaching position in Vermilion Bay, ON – the beginning of a new adventure that would take Doug and Gale 1,500 km away. After the birth of their daughters Doug and Gale moved to Dryden in 1980 and realized that this was now ‘home’. Their ‘two-year plan’ to stay in the Northwest has now lasted 43 years.

In the mid-70s Doug started playing hockey in Vermilion Bay. Though somewhat lacking in skill at first, his enjoyment of the camaraderie and beer evolved into a passion for the sport. Doug was known to generations of local players as a dedicated official  who took pride in training and mentoring new referees.

His Scottish heritage, a love of Celtic music, and the encouragement and tutelage from his close friend Terry, led Doug to join The Dryden Caledonia Pipe Band as their bass drummer.

Over the years Doug and Gale have built a strong, loving circle of friends with whom they have shared so much.  Doug retired in the year 2000 and this allowed him more time to spend with his family and friends doing the things he loved. This included hunting and fishing, playing cards, sketching and painting, vacations, playing the violin, afternoon naps, tinkering around home and at the lake property and motorcycling.

Doug loved to laugh, tease and joke with students, co-workers and friends alike and no doubt he will be remembered for his unique character.

Doug , we will always love you and our memories of you will live on forever in our hearts.

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About Author

Chris Marchand is a native of Dryden, Ontario. He served his first newspaper internship at The Dryden Observer in 1998 while attending journalism studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops B.C. He's worked desks as both reporter and editor at the Fernie Free Press as well as filled the role of sports editor at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. Marchand was named editor of the Dryden Observer in Aug. 2009.

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