2017-10-25 / Obituaries

John T. Douglas


John Thomas Douglas, 70, died at his home on Thursday October 19, 2017 surrounded by family.

He was born in Cumberland, Maryland on September 15, 1947 to the late Thomas Reese Douglas and Margaret “Midge” Clarissa Campbell Douglas.

He spent his early childhood in Cumberland prior to moving to Reisterstown, Md.

He graduated from Franklin Senior High School in Reisterstown. In 1969 he graduated from Western Maryland College, today known as McDaniel College, with a degree in English. After college, he taught high school English at Dumbarton Junior High in Baltimore, Md. for four years before moving to Doe Gully in Morgan County in 1974.

He is survived by his two sons, John Campbell Douglas of Williamsport, Md. and Steven Michael Douglas of Milwaukee, WI and their families including four grandchildren Julia Elizabeth Douglas, Hunter McCormick Douglas, John Ryan Douglas and Hannah Marie Bishop.

Following his move to the Berkeley Springs area, John worked several jobs, mainly at the former Coolfont Resort prior to beginning his almost 40 year career as a reporter and later as Editor of The Hancock News and The Morgan Messenger.

John won numerous newspaper awards in West Virginia and Maryland for his editorials, investigative stories, coverage of crime and trials, feature stories and headline news working for the local newspapers owned by the Buzzerd family and his longtime friend and mentor the late Warren Buzzerd.

As well as working for the newspapers, John published several mystery novels; Shawnee Alley Fire, Blind Spring Rambler and Haunts. He wrote non-fiction works including Joltin Jim about the life of Jim McCoy and multiple books about George Washington and his dealings in the Berkeley Springs area including George Washington & Us and At the Springs with George. John also wrote A Fog of Ghosts, a collection of regional ghost stories.

John contributed to many other books, local and national publications including Killing Waters a book about the 1985 floods in West Virginia and the vicinity, Goldenseal, Blues Access and many other publications. He was also a local and regional historian, being recognized by the State of West Virginia in 2010 as a West Virginia History Hero.

Through the years John was also heavily involved with, and on, various boards including the Museum of Berkeley Springs and Berkeley Springs Public Library. He worked with many others to promote and raise money for both the Morgan County and Hancock Arts Councils among other interests.

John was preceded in death by his wife Samantha Redston in 2012 whom he had married in 2000. Together they spent many years traveling in both the United States and Europe and supporting local arts.

He was also preceded in death by his previous wife and the mother of his two sons, the late Barbara “Bob” Zivi Douglas in 1996.

A Memorial Celebration will be held in November.

In lieu of flowers, please send contributions in his memory to Hospice of the Panhandle, 278 N High Street, Romney, WV 26757.

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