FIFIELD, Douglas Herbert


Age 77. It is with both sadness and joy that Doug’s family announces his death on April 16, 2017, in Harbour View Haven Home for Special Care, Lunenburg, with family by his side. He lived with vascular dementia for seventeen years and we are happy that, at last, his soul is free and his body at rest. Doug was a resident of Bridgewater and area for forty-five years. Born in Sydney Mines, Cape Breton, on April 4, 1940, Doug was the eldest of seven children of Mary Maria “Peg” Fifield, Lower Sackville, and the late James Thomas Fifield (1980). Doug grew up in Lower Sackville in the home his father built and which his mother continued to occupy until very recently. From an early age, he and his brothers spent time with their dad, always wanting to be where there were pieces of wood, hammers, nails, wrenches, and screws. The five brothers all became carpenters (with skill levels of varying degrees) and, over his lifetime, Doug built three houses for his family. He loved to tell the story of when he was a young teen, how he learned to make pies from his mother: mercy, the pies were hardly cool before he would carry them to the side of the highway to sell! An entrepreneur at many times during his life, friends often said Doug could sell anything and always come out ahead. By the age of eighteen, Doug was in the work force, either driving a company vehicle or his own car while selling farm equipment or meat products. By that time, Heather was in his life and they married in 1961. Three babies were born in ’64, ’67 and ’70 and with that responsibility, Doug became a constant provider for his family, continuing to love and protect us during his lifetime. During those early years, he was a “travelling salesman” for the NS Abattoir. He and Heather lived in Digby for six months and, while there, he played hockey in a men’s league. He would often come home bloodied, but already thinking ahead to the next game. Years later, when the Abattoir closed, Doug and his family returned to Lower Sackville where he worked with his dad in the family business, Centennial Elevator. Another job that gave him a level of frustration, along with hysterical laughing, was nightshift on the production line at Ben’s Bakery, Halifax, bagging sliced bread – oh, the cussing, and then came the stories of what happened when the line got jammed! On the bright side, his small daughters waited excitedly for him to arrive home each morning, because he always brought a “still warm” bag of doughnut ends! When Michelin Canada opened its plant in Bridgewater, Doug joined that workforce for a few years; but he longed to be in the open air rather than closed up all day in the plant. That opportunity came when he purchased a local trucking business. He felt so good and eager for each day’s work and his clientele grew quickly. Some of his customers were the large grocery stores, where he would clean the store warehouse of broken boxes (some containing food products) – pushing everything with big shovel-like brooms onto the truck. This happened at night, after the stores were closed and the warehouse empty. Sometimes, one of our kids would go with him and, of course, they would encounter various critters while they were doing the job – after a few dances with rats and maggots, Doug had to triple the incentive $ to get our kids {or even other people’s kids} to help him on truck runs! In 1980, Doug enrolled at NS Institute of Technology, Halifax, and graduated a year later with a diploma in Marine Rigging. He was the oldest in his class and often referred to as Pops or Gramps. His father had died earlier that year, so Doug lived with his mother in Lower Sackville while attending NSIT, travelling to and from classes each day on Metro buses. When he wasn’t busy studying, he knit a Lopi sweater for Heather (as a surprise), with minimal help from his Mom. That sweater is still worn and is here on display. We were so proud of Doug when he graduated and was hired as a Marine Rigger by DND at the Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott (HMC Dockyard, Halifax). After 16 years of driving 5 days per week, to and from Halifax and Bridgewater, he decided to accept an offer of early retirement. Doug was an active member of Bridgewater Baptist Church for many years and, more recently, a member of Bridgewater United Church. He was extremely sociable, always ready to laugh, sing and dance. He was the same in our home and these are memories we will always cherish. He loved his fully equipped workshop and shared his beautiful wood crafted creations with family and friends. He enjoyed golfing at the Old Town Course and the annual golf tournaments with his DND buddies. He liked to fish, play hockey, bowl, swim, walk, dance, drive-in theatres, blue grass music concerts and his guitar. He also enjoyed times hosting annual corn boils at our home for Couples Club; dances at Bridgewater Travellers Club; friendship at the Gyros Club; and, of course, the Kinsmen Club, with all the conferences throughout Atlantic Canada and all the interclub visits, the many supper meetings and card games later. He was indeed a social man! His most recent time of entertainment (2007 or 2008) was at “the camp” with a group of local men who were truly his best friends and like brothers to him. As the dementia robbed him of different functions, these men still took him to camp. When they played cards, he had a hand; when they made meals, he helped to prepare it and later dried dishes; when there was a need to visit the outdoor hut, someone took him; when it was bedtime, he had the lower bunk and all ears were tuned for night sounds from him. When it was time to pack up for home, the guys had him help roll sleeping bags, stuff pillows into bags and food into plastic totes. We hope each of you knows how much you are appreciated for the way you treated him with love and attention, all while still allowing him to be part of “the regular camp routine”. Doug is survived by his mother, Mary Maria (Peggy) Fifield, Lower Sackville, brothers, James “Jim” (Beatrice), Upper Sackville: Ronald “Ron” (Maureen), and Robert “Bob”, both of Lower Sackville; Michael (Shelly), Enfield; sisters, Marilyn (Don) Topping, Hamilton, ON; Gail (Phil) Carter, Bedford. Doug is also survived by his wife of 56 years, Heather Ann (Misener), daughters Tracey (Peter) Leary, Beaver Bank, Andrea (Bev Langley) Coreschi, Upper LaHave, and son Kirk Fifield, Middle Sackville; grandchildren Brinna and William Leary, Beaver Bank; Joshua Fifield, Halifax, and Matthew Fifield, New Glasgow; Reid and Dean Coreschi, Upper LaHave. Other family who will miss Doug’s warmth and love are his former daughter-in-law, Shawna Cronkite, New Glasgow; former son-in-law, Jeff Coreschi, St. Margaret’s Bay; sister-in-law, Reta Misener, Hammonds Plains; brother-in-law, Harold Peverill, Kentville; and numerous nephews and nieces. Besides his father, Doug was predeceased by a nephew, Paul Lively; sister-in-law, Doreen Fifield, grandparents, William and Hattie Fifield, also Herbert and Hannah Riddle; his mother-in-law whom he loved dearly, Margaret Misener; and his brothers/sisters-in-law from Heather’s family: Evelyn Ross (Lewis), David Misener (Doris), Betty Savory (Victor), Margaret Peverill, and William Misener. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Dana L. Sweeny Funeral Home, Lunenburg. A donation has been made to the Brain Bank of NS, followed by cremation. Visitation will be Thursday, May 11, 2017, from 6 to 8 pm and the service to celebrate Doug’s life will be Friday, May 12, at 1:30 pm, both from Dana L. Sweeny Funeral Home, 11213 Hwy #3, Lunenburg. Rev. Ronald Frampton will officiate. Doug’s family extends sincere thanks to doctors, nurses and staff of Harbour View Haven for the exceptional care given during the past five years. We want to publicly acknowledge the wonderful caregivers and other staff working in the dementia unit (BHS), who truly loved Doug and treated him with the utmost dignity a

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