HAIR, Douglas "Dougie" Findlay
1979 - 2020
It is with profound sadness, that we announce the passing of our beloved Douglas “Dougie” Hair. After a nearly 6 year battle with brain cancer, he passed away peacefully in his home, surrounded by his family, on April 15,2020.
Born September 6th, 1979 in Bellshill Scotland, Dougie was a fun loving and mischievous little fellow, always on the go keeping his mom and dad hopping, playing with his big brother Stuart, his cousins, or the neighbourhood kids. Whether it was swinging on tree ropes over the burn (stream), or tinkering on motorbikes and riding them on the back hills and farm lanes, he always had many friends by his side. Dougie was an accomplished judo student placing in the top standings at nationals, and a well loved member of the 3rd Bellshill Boys Brigade, as well as the Army Cadets. This is what gave him a taste of what army life might be like. As the years went by, The bond between his many brothers grew stronger and the lads remained loyal friends.
After graduating from high school, Dougie tried his hand at welding, and automotive spray painting, but ultimately, in 1997, he decided to join the army. He wanted a better life. He wanted to travel, enjoy new experiences, and to make something of himself. He completed basic training in Edinburgh with the Ladysmith Platoon, and was then posted at various barracks in the south of England, posted to Guttersloh Germany, actively served in Kosovo, and when another member couldn’t fill his space in the support group travelling to Canada, Dougie volunteered and found himself headed on a last minute posting to Wainright, Alberta.
Dougie had only been in Canada more than a couple of weeks, when he met Jill. There was an instant connection. Within a few days the phone bills started growing, as did their relationship. It didn't take long for either one of them to know that they had found their soulmate. Within 7 months the two were engaged, and on December 26th, 2000, they were married in Sylvan Lake Alberta.
It was a tough first few months of marriage, as Dougie had to fly back to Germany a couple of days after the wedding. Once he was back in Germany, he was able to apply for another posting back to Wainright, and within a couple of months, Dougie and Jill began to build their lives together. It wasn't long until Dougie and Jill announced they were expecting. Dougie could hardly contain himself with excitement, and on May 1st, 2002, the apple of his eye, Faith Anne, arrived. After the posting in Wainright finished, Dougie left the British military, and the pair began to create a permanent home in Canada.
Dougie tried his hand at a few menial jobs, until he was offered a position at NWP where his father-in-law, Pat, and brother-in-law, Phil, also worked. After some time as a swamper, he was able to train and obtain his journeyman certificate as a Boom Truck Operator. Pat was very proud of Dougie. He used to say all the time that “Dougie is the best young picker operator that I’ve seen in a long time!” He loved his job…..a boy running a big toy-and getting paid to do it! It allowed for Dougie and Jill to build their dream house, however there was one downfall. Working away from his wife and Faith was pretty hard on him. He hated leaving for a couple of weeks at a time. Finally, his little buddy Connor Douglas arrived on the scene, June 18th, 2010. This was the push that Dougie needed to seek employment a little closer to home. During this time of just starting a new job closer to the family, is when Dougie was diagnosed.
From the day he was diagnosed, August 1, 2014, until the day he passed, Dougie fought a hard battle. He underwent a surgery that left him paralyzed down the left side, resulting in months of rehabilitation therapy. He then had a second surgery, which is when he was told his tumor was cancerous. He pushed through radiation and multiple rounds of chemotherapy over the next five years. There were ups and downs throughout his battle. He tried to find the silver lining in the situation, which was that he was at home to help with the kids more. During the “normal” times when there was a lull in treatments, he loved to hit the open road on one of his motorbikes, or head out camping with family and friends. So many amazing memories made on these trips. In 2016, the family was able to take a much needed trip to Jamaica. This experience helped carry the entire family through the next few years. As time went by and Dougie became sicker, and it was obvious that they wouldn't be able to go too far from home, Dougie loved to pack up for the day and head to Canmore or Banff and just breathe in the mountain air.
Dougie fought his battle with bravery and with every ounce of strength he had, willing to do anything, if it meant being here just a little longer for his family. Dougie will be remembered for his loyalty, kindness, strength, silly humor and shenanigans! No matter who’s life he was a part of, he left fond memories.
Dougie is survived by his wife Jill of 20 years, their children Faith and Connor, his big brother Stuart, Auntie Liz(Scott), Uncle Jim, cousin Nicola, Uncle Allistair(Beverly) - all of Scotland; Mother-in-law Margaret Armstrong, brother-in-law Phil Armstrong (Shannon), nephews Logan, Lucas and Jacob, numerous extended family, and his neighbourhood and military family. He was predeceased by his grandparents, his parents Dougie Sr. and Margaret, his father-in-law Pat Armstrong, his dear friend Chris Glazer, and his many beloved pets throughout life.
We take solice, knowing that there will be many loved ones waiting for Dougie as he enters the next part of his journey. Until we see you again…….
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