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REES, Douglas Bartlett

March 13, 1921 – St. John’s, Newfoundland
March 18, 2019 – Calgary, Alberta

With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Douglas Rees on Monday, March 18, 2019 at the age of 98 years.

Doug was born in St. John’s, NL and at age 19 he joined the Royal Rifles of Canada (C Force) with whom he was deployed to Hong Kong during World War II. He was a Japanese P.O.W. for a very difficult four years. He rarely spoke of these times. Doug placed a very high value on freedom, democracy and human rights.

After returning to Canada he settled in Ontario and worked for Canada Post. In 1992, Doug and his wife, Carolynne, followed family and moved to Calgary. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and uncle, taking great pleasure and pride in his family.

For many years, Doug and Carolynne spent winters in Barbados where they enjoyed friends and watching beautiful sunsets from their balcony. In the summer, the two enjoyed boating and fishing in the Kawarthas. Doug loved music and playing the organ. He was also an avid sports fan, cheering for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Blue Jays every game they played. He always had a twinkle in his eye, a kick in his step and a positive outlook on life. He adored returning to Newfoundland to visit his brother, sister and the rest of his family. Doug enjoyed good health and independence until his final days.

Doug is survived and cherished by his daughter and son-in-law, Cheryl and Sid Viner; his grandchildren, Rebecca, Benny and Eliana; as well as his nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his loving wife Carolynne, his brother Lloyd Rees, sister Della Forward, brother-in-law Robert Forward, and brothers, Charles Whalen and Angus Rees.

A Private Family Service will be held. Condolences may be forwarded through

The family wishes to express their appreciation to doctors: Walker, Saar, Desy, Groshaus, Simon, Biala and Tanner – nurses: Savannah, Kim, Kimberley, Dennis, Lilia and Laura – and all the staff on Unit 71 and Unit 93 at Rockyview General Hospital. We also want to thank Dr. Brent Kinnie who provided exemplary care over many years and the staff at Mackenzie Towne retirement residence.

In living memory of Douglas Rees, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road S.E., Calgary, AB, T2X 3J3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. So sorry for your loss. Doug was a wonderful person and we enjoyed his many stories as he expressed pride in his family.

    We will remember them

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  2. My heart aches..Love you forever Uncle Doug! Sandy

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  3. To Cheryl and the rest of Doug’s family I just wanted to let you all know my deepest condolences to each and every one of you. I knew Doug for about sixteen wonderful years. Then I would sit with him for five minutes or so and we would have a little chat about anything. Him and I would just love that. It will be very hard to walk by his room at seven Am sharp and not have our chat. Doug and I also shared the love of living in the tropics because I’m from the Bahamas but he of course said Barbados is better. I used to dread when he left in the fall to go to Barbados for the winter cause I missed him so much. But I couldn’t wait for him to come back to hear all the wonderful stories. Gosh he loved it there. Your father will always be a big bright star in my heart he was a beautiful person.
    There is a song I found out Doug and I both loved it’s called Beautiful Barbados it’s a short song and it’s from the Merry Men.
    Big hugs to all of you. Doug was very proud of all of you and Cheryl he sure loved going to your house for prime rib. Take care
    Love Charlene

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  4. My sincere condolences to all the family.

    I met Doug many years ago at one of the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association reunions. He was kind, gentle, humble, funny, a great storyteller and a pleasure to speak with.

    I thanked him then and I thank him now again for his service to our country during World War II which has allowed us to have our freedom, our democracy, our human rights and our right to live our lives as we please in a peaceful country. What all he endured during his four years as a “Prisoner of War” we will never know as he and our other Hong Kong Veterans rarely speak about it, but it is a testament to his strength and perseverance that he was able to survive such an ordeal and return to Canada and to live a full and long life.

    Doug will be missed by all who had the pleasure to know him.

    May you find peace in your memories of this wonderful man.

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  5. Jeanne Lefebvre and Harvey Olsen

    Dr Viner and Family,

    We were sorry to hear of your father’s death. You and your family are in our prayers. It looked like he lived a long and grand life. May he Rest In Peace.

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  6. Ellen and Jim Luelo

    Having shared many moments with Doug at MacKenzie Towne retirement residents over the past 15 years when my mom Mabel moved in I will truely miss his smile and twinkle in his eye. I always looked forward to our chats if he was waiting to go for lunch or sitting in the sun on a hot summer day. Boy he sure hated the cold and reminisced often about the Barbados, hating the fact he couldn’t get there any more. He was a very special gentleman and will be missed by all. My condolences to his family.

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  7. Kathie Carlson

    Our sincerest condolences to family and friends of Doug. We will miss him and our humorous phone conversations. He was a remarkable man with great strength, considering the hardships he faced in WW II.
    Lest we forget!

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