Jan 16, 1924 – May 7, 2018
Doug Yeo was born in Gravelbourg Saskatchewan on January 16, 1924 and died in Comox, British Columbia on May 7, 2018.
Doug was a Renaissance Man. Professional, scholar, war hero, athlete, humanitarian, are but a few of the labels he wore.
Growing up in Saskatchewan in a family of 8 during the Depression shaped his Prairie will, determination and sensibilities. Even though he left Saskatchewan 77 years ago, Prairie dust still ran thick in his blood. At 17 Doug volunteered for the Canadian Air Force and flew in Mosquitos during WWII. In over 80 missions flown he had 2 aircraft shot out from under him resulting in 2 crash landings. He was in the air over France on D Day. In 2016 the French government bestowed upon him a Knighthood in gratitude for his over and above service in the War. He became Sir Doug.
Returning from the war he immediately married his childhood sweetheart Lenore, started a family, moved to Toronto and entered the University of Toronto Dental School. Doug and Lenore remained married for over 65 years until her death in 2010. After her death Doug prominently displayed a girlhood photo of her and garnished it with fresh flowers weekly until his own passing. Upon graduating and becoming a dentist he attended the University of Michigan where he studied and received a Masters Degree in Public Health. Moving to BC, he secured employment with Provincial Public Health travelling throughout the Province providing dental care to underprivileged and First Nation children. After several years he was invited to be one of the founding faculty of the University of British Columbia Dental School. Doug worked at UBC for 25 years as Professor, Associate Dean and Dean of the Dental School. He was beloved at the school and there is an entrance scholarship given yearly in his name to deserving students.
In his professional capacity he became Registrar of the BC College of Dentists, serving several terms and was granted numerous prestigious National and International awards and fellowships.
After retirement he rediscovered long forgotten pastimes of hockey, skiing and biking among others. He traveled both locally and internationally playing hockey tournaments often 10 to 15 years older than his competitors – winning scoring titles and MVP’s. A fierce competitor, he thought at 65, 75, 85 and even 90, the Cup was still within his grasp. At 86 he routinely rode his bike from Comox to Victoria in 2 days with the Boomer’s Legacy Ride. He retired his skates and long-distance bike rides at 91. He was a tournament winning golfer, accomplished curler, tennis player, beautiful canoeist and a take-no-prisoners family backyard four-square player. At 70 he took an Outward Bound course.
Throughout his life Doug was a selfless community volunteer. Most recently he had spent the last decade volunteering at a local soup kitchen helping feed the less fortunate.
Despite his Renaissance status, Doug remained a humble, low-key Prairie boy. His greatest pride and accomplishments were his family. He treated his daughter and son to a safe, warm, wonderful, compassionate upbringing. He was everything you could want in a father.
As great a father as he was, he raised the bar even higher as a Grandfather. He doted upon and loved his grandchildren. His first grandson nicknamed him “Grang” because he couldn’t say grandpa. Doug adopted and embraced the name and for 50 years, that’s what people called him. He was a mentor, role model, protector, best friend and above all else playmate to his grandchildren. He found more joy, humor, fun and fulfillment in that role than in all of his other accomplishments combined. If any role defined Doug, it was as Grandfather Extraordinaire.
His family and friends are immensely proud of him and miss him deeply.
He will never be forgotten.
A private family remembrance will be held. Donations in his name to the Sonshine Lunch Club at St. George’s United Church are welcomed.