In February of 2023, Doug Manuel passed away due to complications from Parkinson’s. His life was filled with love, nature, writing, math, and music.
Doug was a devoted husband to Josie who he met in high school and they were married soon after. His first words to her “hey you” turned into over 50 years of marriage. Together they started a family, first Sarah and then Carla. He also began his career in math and statistics, teaching at Charles Wright Academy and retiring from Weyerhaeuser.
Doug and Josie put down roots in Gig Harbor where they also welcomed horses, goats, dogs, cats, fruit trees, and a house they designed. As a family, they traveled, played pickle ball, hosted game nights and built a sprawling garden. Using the chainsaw became one of Doug’s favored activities.
Road trips were a regular summer routine, including the drive to California to visit Doug’s parents Guy and Janet and siblings Donna and David along with their families. Sometimes getting lost along the way, with Josie having the keen ability to get them back on track.
Doug and Josie also welcomed new additions to the family, son in laws Daren (Sarah) and Fletch (Carla). And grandchildren, Tim and Theo (Sarah and Daren). They welcomed the newest addition to the family, Alex (Theo’s husband), in spring of 2022.
Doug channeled his diagnosis with Parkinson’s into his ability to teach and form community. He started a support group, ball room dancing, a Rock Steady boxing group, pickle ball games, and lessons on how to fall.
The YMCA of Gig Harbor became his new class room to learn and teach. It was there that he did some of his training for the Seattle to Portland bike ride, which he did with the Team Parkinson’s group.
He had so many different sides that he is difficult to describe. A football playing poet who loved to rough house and garden. He was always right, even when he was mistaken. He loved music and spent time listening and enjoying his favorite songs. He would often touch your shoulder if it had just been sunburnt, not knowing the pain was there, but invisibly drawn to it. He gave great hugs and made amazing thanksgiving stuffing and Christmas cinnamon rolls. He loved holding Josie’s hand and writing her poems. He told his daughters the story of their births on each birthday. He liked to remind his grandchildren of who they were as babies as they became adults. He loved deeply and was loved in return.
As a family we grieved each part of life that Parkinson’s took. With the last, tough grief of his death. He was a husband, dad, grandfather, friend, son, brother, artist, and athlete. He is greatly missed.
We are grateful for all of the love and support we have received during this challenging time. If you would like to make a contribution in his memory, please consider the Parkinson’s Foundation or the Michael J Fox Foundation. From our hearts to yours, thank you
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