Boats 02

Kenneth William Douglas

September 14, 1929 ~ August 31, 2020 (age 90)


Ken passed away peacefully on August 31st in the Comox Valley.  Ken was predeceased by his brother, Ray; and his sisters, Lillian and Doreen.  He is survived by his wife, Mary Jean; brother, Wally (Kathy); sister, Helen (Ed); and nieces and nephews. He is lovingly remembered by his daughter, D’Arcy (Danny); son, Reid (Margo); grandchildren, Everett (Brandi), Ben (Jessie), Jon (Jaclyn), Anneka, Maryn and William; and great grandchildren, Kaileigh, Carson, and Ronan. 

Ken spent his childhood in and around the dockyards of Esquimalt. At the age of twelve, he learned how to build a wooden row boat from his neighbor, Bill Plater. This is where his passion for boats and building began. As a teenager he attended Victoria High where he played lacrosse, soccer and baseball. He was a tremendous athlete throughout his life and made many life long friends through racket sports at Van Lawn and Jericho tennis clubs.

As a young adult he worked for Island Tug and apprenticed as a journeyman shipwright. Ken attended UBC and then started a teaching career at Vancouver Technical School teaching construction and woodwork. He went on to get his Masters degree and work for the provincial government developing trade programs in high schools across BC. He retired to pursue his boat building dreams in 1984. K. Douglas Boatworks was opened and he began hand crafting beautiful wooden boats. He was happiest surrounded by his tools and fine wood and spent most of his time working in his shop on Still Creek Ave in Burnaby. Ken manufactured over 270 small clinker boats and restored two larger RCMP vessels: the Slideout and the Moosejaw. He leaves an impressive legacy as his sailboats and row boats are admired and appreciated all along the BC coast. 

Ken spent his final years living in the Comox Valley after he suffered a stroke in 2008. He always wanted to talk about old tugs, sailing ships, wooden boats, and the history of the RCMP. Ken will be remembered for his wonderful sense of humour, his love of ice cream and chocolate, his keen eye for a level plane, and his tremendous warm smile. Ken was a devoted father and father-in-law and an ever cherished grandfather.  His family will always think of Ken when they sit down in his wooden row boat and the sea laps the steam bent, red cedar planks and the handcrafted, spoon oars glide gently through the water. A celebration of Ken's life will be held at a later date. 

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