J.F. "Jack" Douglas, Jr., of Ocean Springs, passed away peacefully at home with family on Friday, April 4, 2014, at the age of 94.
He was a proud, loving, and dedicated family man. Jack is survived by his wife of 63 years, Dorothy Douglas; daughter, Gaye and husband David Row of Ocean Springs; son, Paul and wife Cindy Douglas of Baton Rouge; four grandchildren, Christopher Row of Ocean Springs, Paul Douglas and wife Katie of Baton Rouge, Katherine and husband Frankie Atiyeh of New Orleans, and Stephen Douglas and fiancĂ© Kathryn Regard of Baton Rouge; and great granddaughter, Carolyn Douglas of Baton Rouge.
Jack was born March 28, 1920, in Starkville, MS. He is preceded in death by his parents, Jeffie Butler and J.F. Douglas, Sr.; and his brother, Lowery Douglas. He served in WWII in the Army Signal Corps as a radar technician, and the Army Air Corps/Air Force as an electronic training program developer and instructor. Based upon his performance, he was selected for advanced electronics and radar electronics training when the mere existence of radar was classified. He helped set up one of the Army's first electronics training schools at Chanute Field, Ill. Jack waived separation to serve as a radar technician and flight line chief in "Operations Crossroads". He served with the 509th bomber group and is a certified Atomic Veteran.
After his military service, he attended Electrical Engineering School at MS State. His civilian service began at Keesler in 1950 as an electronics instructor. Jack was the Project Officer for moving the radio school to Keesler. He was assigned to the Air Training Command headquarters where he helped establish a communications electronics school for the Brazilian Air Force. Jack later worked in a defense program development leadership role at Sylvania in the early 1960's and returned back to Keesler to continue his federal service in 1968. He was a true patriot that worked on many unique and sensitive projects which required extensive travel, job changes, and family relocations. Jack was recognized on many occasions by his peers for his broad technical skills, leadership, and results orientation. His contributions to the safety of our nation were far reaching.
During his 30 years of civilian and active community service, he received numerous outstanding awards including the Mississippi Gulf Coast Federal Employee of the Year. Jack was also one of the first to receive the Air Force "Spirit of Keesler" award. The citation accompanying the award stated, â€śJack's innovative leadership, infectious professionalism, practical involvement and unique diplomacy were directly responsible for the success of many base-community projects. His quiet reassurance and uncompromising dedication in every endeavor made him a beacon for others to follow".
Jack lived a full and happy life. He was an avid outdoors man who enjoyed golfing, hunting, fishing and being in nature. Jack was a member of First Baptist Church of Ocean Springs and a devout and active Christian. In addition to the giving of his time, he was charitable and quietly reached out and supported others in need. Even as his health declined, he continued to be a trusted advisor who provided a helping hand and words of wisdom to friends and family.
The family would like to thank Hospice of Light and other caregivers for their compassion and caring. In specific, we would like to thank both Connie and Shonda. In the spirit of Jack, the family requests that in lieu of flowers you pay it forward and help someone in need.
He will be remembered for his belief in people, infectious optimism, generosity, patriotism, love of family, and positive spirit. Jack leaves behind many friends and family members who will dearly miss his unconditional love.
He gave his all to everything and everyone. He loved deeply. He lived greatly.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at the Ocean Springs Chapel of Bradford-Oâ€™Keefe Funeral Home, where friends may visit 2 hours prior. Burial will be at Biloxi National Cemetery.
View and sign register book at www.bradfordokeefe.com