ILLSEY, William Douglas "Doug"


It is with heavy hearts that family shares the news of the passing of William Douglas "Doug" Illsey, 82, of Riverport, on Wednesday, January 17, 2024, at Fishermen's Memorial Hospital, Lunenburg.

Douglas grew up in Ottawa. His family first lived in the city of Ottawa and then moved to a larger two-story house on Merivale Road on the outskirts of the city. This house held very wonderful memories for Douglas and his family. The school was within walking distance and the Anglican Church was across the road.

When Douglas was in high school his family moved to Regina, SK, because his father "Jack" worked for Canada Revenue Agency and had received a promotion. Douglas always told the story of the family stopping nine miles east of the city and his father pointing out the landmarks of the city in the distance. The family built a house in a new suburb and settled into life in Regina. Douglas attended Central Collegiate and completed his high school. When Douglas finished high school, he wanted to take interior design, but the University of Regina did not offer this program. Douglas attended Teachers College and received his teaching certificate. At the time Douglas had applied to the Toronto School Board and Winnipeg School Board for a teaching position. The Winnipeg School Board sent him a contract, and this started Douglas' 40-year career with the Winnipeg School Board Division No. 1. After a number of years teaching, he returned to the University of Winnipeg achieving his Bachelor of Arts in 1980 and Bachelor of Education Degree in 1982, with the encouragement of his dear friend Katherine Kilfoyle. Douglas worked in a number of schools in Winnipeg and built many long-lasting friendships with his fellow teachers. Douglas had a passion for teaching and felt that every child, regardless of social or economic situations, should receive the best education possible.

Douglas met David in 1976 in Winnipeg and the following year David moved to Winnipeg thus starting their 47 years of life together. In the 30 years they lived and worked in Winnipeg, they also found time to purchase and renovate four houses in Winnipeg and a cottage on Sandy Lake, ON. Also, during their time in Winnipeg, Douglas and David spent time with Douglas’ cousins and their families. They also enjoyed the cousin’s reunion from across the country. Family was very important to Douglas and this love inspired his passion for family history and genealogy, both his own and the local community.

In 2000 Douglas and David purchased David’s family home in Riverport, NS. This was the first step towards their relocating and purchasing David’s grandfather’s house in Riverport in 2007.

Douglas and David settled into life in the community and quickly became involved in many aspects of their new community. They attended St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church where they both served on Council. They also volunteered at the Riverport Fire Department monthly breakfast and helped with the annual Shepherd’s Hill Cemetery clean up.

Douglas had a passion for the Arts in all forms throughout his entire life. This included all forms of live theatre, art galleries, symphony, and ballet. Douglas also had a passion for gardening with the ability of turning every home’s backyard into a horticultural extravaganza.

Douglas is survived by his life partner and soulmate, David Conrad; brother, John "David" (Cecilia) Illsey, Calgary; sister, Barbara Louise (Dale) Aasen, Calgary; nieces, Karen (Adam) Kirton, Calgary, Janice (Brian) Burke, Calgary, Patricia (Annie Courtemanche) Aasen, Calgary; nephews, Christopher (Marlene) Aasen, Edmonton, Michael (Susanne Hathaway) Aasen, Toronto; great nieces, Maddison Aasen, Toronto, Brittany Aasen, Edmonton; great nephews, Joel Kirton, Calgary, Myles Kirton, Calgary, Justin Aasen-Courtemanche, Calgary, Drew Aasen, Vancouver, BC, Jagger Rae, Calgary; sisters in-law, Maryann (John) McIntosh, Bridgewater, Barbara (Barry) Zinck, East LaHave, Reta Schrader, Bridgewater, Jaunita Conrad, Bridgewater and dear friend, Katherine Kilfoyle, Winnipeg.

Douglas was predeceased by his parents, Thomas Hartwell John "Jack" and Ida Louise (Fryer) Illsey.

David would like to thank the Lunenburg County Home Care, the medical/ surgical staff of South Shore Regional Hospital, Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital, and Dr. John Jenkins for their excellent care of Douglas.

A sincere thank you to our local community who cared and looked after Douglas when he wandered off or got lost. Your support in those times is greatly appreciated.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Dana L. Sweeny Funeral Home, 11213, Highway 3, Lunenburg and from where a memorial service to celebrate Douglas' life will be held on Saturday, February 10 at 2 p.m., Rev. Tom Summers officiating. Interment will be at a later date in Shepherd's Hill Cemetery, Riverport.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Rose Bay, Shepherd’s Hill Cemetery, Riverport or to the Alzheimer’s Society would be appreciated by the family.

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