With heavy hearts, we announce the sudden passing of Douglas James Hamnett, on Sunday, February 21, 2021, at the age of 70.
Doug was born in Rivers, Manitoba, on January 17, 1951. Doug moved away from the family farm at the age of 16 and started working for the railroad on trestles. He would fondly tell us this is where he discovered his fear of heights. He then returned to Brandon, Manitoba, where he began his long welding career.
Doug worked on many pipeline and facility projects from British Columbia to Ontario, from the Northwest Territories to the United States Border. Doug welded on pipe from 3 to 72 inches. He was an integral part of many of the pipelines that crisscross this country today, and for every kilometre of pipe, there are many stories to go with it.
Through his long career, Doug inspired many of his helpers to become journeyman welders, spread bosses, inspectors and superintendents. Anyone who’s had the experience of being Doug's helper knew that the helper’s job was not where you wanted to stay. His wife, four children, and one grandson can all attest to this from experience.
Anyone who knew Doug knew that he was a fair, honest and hard-working man who took great pride in his work and always had a joke or a prank. There was never a dull moment, and none of us escaped his endless antics, putting baby powder in mom’s blow dryer, wiring the horn to the brake pedals, greasing callipers and taping shrink sleeves to drive shafts. He even wired the ignition to a car’s seat, so when you started the car, you got a good zap! And was a master of short sheeting beds. At work, his favourite prank was to hide an open can of sardines in the crew vehicles, but preferably on hot days.
In addition to being a dedicated and loving father, Doug also loved travelling. Travel was a big part of his life. After working all over Canada, Doug and his wife Brenda Merle were able to travel for leisure to such places as Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Alaska, Iceland, and 16 European countries.
Doug leaves behind to mourn his wife of 44 years, Brenda Merle, and his four children, Susan (Tim) Harris of Calgary, AB, Donna (Darcy) Newton of Trochu, AB, Shane (Rachel) Hamnett of New Plymouth, New Zealand, Laura-Lee Erickson of Red Deer, AB. Doug is also survived by his 9 grandchildren, Austin and Chad Harris, Kali Miller, Tessa (Quentin Lemay) and Brenn Newton, Lachlan and Eloise Hamnett, Aspen and Teagan Erickson, as well as great-grandchildren Daxton and Draedyn Bergquist. Also left to mourn are his brothers Dave Hamnett of Rivers, Manitoba, and Dennis Hamnett of Red Deer, AB. and many nieces, nephews, friends and colleagues.
Doug was predeceased by his parents Roland and Kathleen Hamnett and his father and mother-in-law Charles and Edith Shields.
The family is very thankful for the kind, and caring support received from friends and neighbours; we appreciate your love and support during this time. Special thanks to the Rimbey EMS, Constable Kowalchuk of the Rimbey RCMP, Alex and Wayne of Wilson's Funeral Chapel, who went over and above to accommodate us.
We have taken such comfort in all the wonderful anecdotes and stories of Doug that we ask friends and family to sign the guest book and share their experiences on this memorial page.
Due to current restrictions, a small private family service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Stars Air Ambulance.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Douglas James Hamnett, please visit our floral store.
1441 Aviation Park NE, Box 570, Calgary AB T2E 8M7